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The microservice style of architecture is a way of building an application as a group of various services. Put simply, it means building an application using many single-function modules or parts. Each module has a clearly defined interface and intended operation.

What is the origin of microservices?

As organizations shifted away from monolithic architectures and toward service-oriented architectures in the early enterprise software application development days, microservices emerged. This evolution continues to be driven by the multifaceted demands of businesses across verticals. 

As development speeds continued to increase, so did the need to move away from old and dysfunctional applications. These single autonomous units could not be easily changed, so any upgrades or augmentations to an application were slow and impacted the entire system. Simple changes to one piece of code could mean redeploying an entire new version of the software.

Microservices solved this problem by offering the ability to build an application as a collection of small and independently deployable services, or parts, that could be updated and changed without affecting the entirety of the system.  

How do microservices work and why is it important?

Microservices structure an application in such a way that it is built of various smaller parts, or services, that can be independently deployed.

This structure is critically important to modern software development because it enables agility and speed. 

Key benefits of the microservices structure include:

  • Microservices are loosely coupled. Loose coupling means the services comprising an application function nearly independently, so any changes or updates to a single service have no impact on the application as a whole. 
  • Microservices are independently deployable. Teams can deploy their own services without needing to coordinate with other teams or worry about negatively impacting them or the application as a whole.
  • Microservices are highly maintainable and testable. Due to the autonomous nature of microservices, individual parts or services can be easily tested and maintained without requiring teams to touch the entirety of an application while doing so. 

What are the benefits of using microservices?

Some of the reasons developers use a microservice architecture include: 

  • Microservices are easy to migrate and optimize. They enable organizations operating in a multiteam environment to work at the speed and agility needed for their respective component delivery. Each team can develop its own set of microservices, with the flexibility to pick the most optimal technology stack for its own requirements. 
  • A microservice architecture doesn’t require one team to complete their assigned activities before another team can perform theirs. 
  • Microservices are a good complement and enabler of DevOps, CI/CD, and automation.
  • Using microservices saves time and increases productivity. Since changes in one part of an application don’t require that the whole application is deployed again, QA and release cycles can be shorter.
  • Microservices help improve user experience. Development teams can continuously iterate and improve applications to keep up with market changes and demands.
Microservices | Synopsys

What are some of the challenges of using microservices?

Although microservices have many advantages, they are not without challenges. Some of those challenges include:

  • Increased complexity in securing an application. This is because microservices function in an essential polyglot architecture
  • Lack of visibility and traceability. This is due to the highly distributed nature of microservices, with multiple services and components talking and passing data to one another. 

How can Synopsys help?

Seeker® is an interactive application security testing (IAST) solution from Synopsys that supports both web-enabled and microservices application security testing. Seeker provides continuous runtime application security testing, monitoring, and autoverifications. It gives teams a comprehensive view into multiple composite project interactions, communications, and data flow in the back end.

Seeker can verify, alert, and report any detected critical findings in real time to the impacted team, and it provides crucial information instantly. It also provides in-depth visibility into hundreds of endpoints and tainted data with data flow mapping and cross-microservices project analysis. 

Teams get actionable insights with detailed stack traces, source locations, warnings about vulnerable open source components and codebases, and sample tips for timely remediation, so they know what security practices they need to implement, and when they need to do so.

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