The architecture of the monolith is the basis of many existing e-commerce services in both the B2B and B2C sectors. After some time, it is difficult to update such monoliths according to the new business model, and sometimes it is difficult to effectively manage them. How do to solve this problem? Microservices may turn out to be the answer.
Websites built in monolithic architecture are a traditional, integrated model of software design. This outdated development approach has been applied to the largest e-commerce establishments. These systems have grown alongside the global Internet market and it is now difficult to replace or modify them.
Monolith architecture issues
Monolith architecture issues involve implementation, scaling, understanding a huge database, transitioning to modern frameworks, or implementing new features. To maintain a monolithic system, companies need to maintain IT departments that need to specialize in legacy languages such as DB2, C, Pascal, .NET, Java, and Cobol.
For example, if you had an outdated site in monolithic architecture, you need an entire team of developers who first need to learn the old framework to understand the programming code. If they do, they can start their works. However, it cannot be assured that the rest of the system will not be destabilized when fixing the bugs because it is fully integrated. It can bring big losses to the business.
Advantages of microservices
Microservices represent a modern approach to building IT software. Unlike monoliths, these systems consist of loosely connected sites that are linked by light protocols. In addition, disassembling the systems into the first part makes it easier to understand how they work for testing and expansion. Thanks to this, independent development teams can work on it. Microservices fix system errors in a specific cell. Only when it works it will be added to the system. Any change does not affect the stability of the overall system.
Where to start microservice implementation?
Existing monolithic systems are so powerful that splitting them into microservices at the same time could compromise the stability of the entire site or even the company. However, this does not mean that large systems cannot be transformed. According to Martin Fowler, a specialist in the field of software architecture, "almost every successful system of micro-services began with a monolith that had become too big and had to be broken into pieces." The microservices architecture is so adaptable that it can be inserted element by element into the monolithic element. You can plan a long-term migration process or focus on the most urgent needs.
Lage e-commerce systems are a great example. Many well-known brands have various platforms that are suitable for different markets. Therefore, they have an issue with syncing information about products or visual identification. In this case, Microservices (and the Progressive Web App) provide the ability to extend the frontend through the API and connect to the backend tree in multiple systems at the same time. You can also integrate the e-commerce platform through product information management (PIM), content management (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), or even shared loyalty programs. Additionally, using PWA, it is possible to design a frontend for mobile devices that will be integrated into your system.
Microservices in practice
A phased implementation can be a long-term process, but thanks to that you have time to analyze and properly design this complex system. Microservices can become a tool to protect old monolithic systems. With the chosen integration tool, like the API Gateway, microservices can be added and tested individually. Businesses can quickly adapt to the changing environment and stay on the move dynamically. In addition, well-written documentation on microservice development will facilitate and accelerate developers' later development of the system and encourage outside teams. In the future, the same API can be used to implement the latest open source solutions such as AI or speech recognition applications.
How is the use of microservices supporting e-commerce architecture? In a decisive way, making it easier to create and maintain a website.