Tag: Layered SOA

Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 4

Part 1 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 2 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 3 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 5 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 6 – Service vs Components vs Microservices

Text update the 27th of June 2021

In part 3 we saw, that in order to ensure a higher degree of autonomy for our services, we need to avoid (synchronous) 2 way communication (RPC/REST/etc.) between services and instead use 1 way communication.

A higher level of autonomy goes hand in hand with a lower degree of coupling. The less coupling we have, the less we need to bother with contract and data versioning.
We also increase our services stability – failure in other services doesn’t directly affect our services ability to respond to stimuli.

But how can we get any work done, if we only use 1 way communication? How can we get any data back from other services this way?
Short answer is you can’t, but with well defined Service Boundaries you (in most cases) shouldn’t need to call other services directly from your service to get data back.

Service boundaries

What is a service boundary?
It’s basically a word that’s used to define the business data and functionality that a Service is responsible for. In Microservices: synchronous communication, data ownership and coupling we covered Service principles such as Boundaries and Autonomy in detail.
Boundaries determine what’s inside and outside of a Service. In part 2 we used the aggregate pattern to analyse which data belonged inside the Legal Entity service.
In the case of the Legal Entity service we realised that the association between Legal Entity and Addresses belonged together because LegalEntity and its associated Addresses were created, changed and deleted together. By replacing two services with one we gained full autonomy for the Legal Entity service whereby we could avoid the need for orchestration and handling all the error scenarios that can result of orchestrating data-changing calls between services (LegalEntity service and Address service).

In the case of the Legal Entity the issue of coupling was easily solved, but what happens when you have a more complex set of data and relationships between these data?
We could just pile all of that data into a single service and thereby avoid the problem of having data changes across process boundaries (i.e. between different services that are hosted in other OS processes or on different physical servers). The issue with this approach is that this quickly brings us into monolith territory. There’s nothing wrong with monoliths per se. Monoliths can be build using many the same design principles described here, e.g. as modules/components, that are bundled together and deployed as a single unit – where as microservices often are deployed individually (that’s at least one of the major qualities that people talk about in relation to microservices).
Continue reading “Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 4”

Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 3

Danish version: http://qed.dk/jeppe-cramon/2014/04/22/micro-services-det-er-ikke-kun-stoerrelsen-der-er-vigtigt-det-er-ogsaa-hvordan-du-bruger-dem-del-3/

Part 1 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 2 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 4 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 5 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 6 – Service vs Components vs Microservices

Text updated the 26th of June 2021

In Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 2, we again discussed the problems with using (synchronous) 2 way communication between distributed (micro) services.
We discussed how the coupling problems caused by 2 way communication combined with micro services actually result in the reinvention of distributed objects. We also discussed how the combination of 2 way communication and the lack of reliable messaging and transactions cause complex compensation logic in the event of a failure.
After a refresher of the 8 fallacies of distributed computing, we examined an alternative to the 2 way communications between services. We applied Pat Hellands “Life Beyond Distributed Transactions – An Apostate’s Opinion” (original article from 2007) / “Life Beyond Distributed Transactions – An Apostate’s Opinion” (updated and abbreviated version from 2016), which takes the position that Distributed transactions are not the solution for coordinating updates between services. Finally we discussed why distributed transactions are problematic and what approach Pat Helland proposed instead.

According to Pat Helland, we must find the solution to our problem by looking at:

  1. How do we split our data between services
  2. How do we identify our data within services
  3. How do we communicate between our services

Section 1 and 2 were covered in Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 2 and can be summarized:

  • Our data must be collected in pieces called entities or aggregates (in DDD terminology).
  • Each aggreate is uniquely identifiable by an ID (for example a UUID / GUID).
  • These aggregates need to be limited in size, so that they after a transaction are consistent.
  • The rule of thumb is: 1 use case = 1 transaction = 1 aggregate.

In this blog post we will look at section 3 “How do we communicate between our data / services”
Continue reading “Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 3”

Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 2

Danish version: http://qed.dk/jeppe-cramon/2014/03/13/micro-services-det-er-ikke-kun-stoerrelsen-der-er-vigtigt-det-er-ogsaa-hvordan-du-bruger-dem-del-2/

Part 1 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 3 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 4 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 5 – Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them
Part 6 – Service vs Components vs Microservices

Text updated the 23rd of June 2021

In Micro services: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 1, we discussed how the number of lines of code is a very poor measure for whether a service has the correct size and it’s totally useless for determining whether a service has the right responsibilities.

We also discussed how using 2 way (synchronous) communication between our services results in tight coupling and other annoyances, amongst other things communication related coupling, because data and logic often aren’t in the same service.

2 way (synchronous) communication between services also causes:

  • Higher latency due to network communication
  • Contractual-, data– and functional coupling
  • Layered coupling, because persistence logic often isn’t in the same service that owns the business logic
  • Temporal coupling, which means that our service can not operate if it is unable to communicate with the services it depends on
  • Lower services autonomy and less reliability, because our service depends on other services to perform its job
  • All of this also introduces the need for complex compensation logic due to the lack of reliable messaging and coordinating transactions.

imageReusable service, 2 way (synchronous) communication and coupling

Worst case, If we combine (synchronous) 2 way communication with nano- / micro-services, modelled according to e.g. the rule 1 class = 1 service, we have basically returned to the 1990s where Corba and J2EE/EJB’s and distributed objects ruled.

Unfortunately, it seems that new generations of developers, who did not experience distributed objects and therefore haven’t yet realized how bad an idea it was to overuse this, is bound to repeat history.
This time we have just switched technologies like RMI or IIOP out with HTTP+JSON instead.

Jay Kreps summed up the common Micro Service approach, using two way communication, very aptly:

image

Jay Kreps – Microservice == distributed objects for hipsters (what could possibly go wrong?)

Continue reading “Microservices: It’s not (only) the size that matters, it’s (also) how you use them – part 2”