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Explain Micro-Services Like I'm Five

ogwurujohnson profile image Johnson Ogwuru ใƒป1 min read

After going through lots of articles and videos explaining what micro-service is, would love to hear further explanation from the dev community.

Discussion (4)

rhymes profile image

I found explanation by @dmerand hilarious:

EJBroeders did an excellent job of explaining this for smart adults! I'm going to try my hand at an analogy that hews to the "five years old" side of things, just in case a more generic tale is helpful :)

Imagine you have one best friend with whom you do everything! You read together, ride bikes together, and talk together. One day, your best friend is sick, so you can't read with anybody, or ride bikes with anybody, or talk to anybody, because you only have the one friend.

You decide that you'll make three new friends instead: one who loves to read, one who loves to ride bikes, and one who likes to sit around and talk. One day, your friend who loves to ride bikes falls off her bike and can't ride bikes that day. Fortunately, you still have somebody to read with and somebody to talk to!

Your one friend with whom you do everything is a "majestic monolith" - it's great to have a relationship like this, but it's hard to cultivate and potentially catastrophic if something goes wrong with it. Your group of three friends are microservices - you're spreading the risk around by making friends this way, at the possible expense of more difficult communication, and missing out on a deeper connection.

We all need a friend who's a majestic monolith :D

ogwurujohnson profile image
Johnson Ogwuru Author

Lol, i still need my majestic monolith friend, but yeah... i get his analogy, i'm getting a firm hold of what micro-services mean now, thanks @rhymes for sharing

theodesp profile image
Theofanis Despoudis • Edited

You have a box full of Lego blocks and you want to play with them. You want to make a big building and you start putting the blocks together. However, as you run out of blocks you realize that this big blob of blocks you made is not easy to play and it looks ugly. Plus there is no space to put your new Lego Star Wars figures. Plus there is your little sister that she wants to play also with them.

So you decide to break it apart and make smaller buildings instead where you can move them around easier, you can break them apart and give them to your sister if she wants. Plus when you decide to stop playing you can put them in the box as they are without breaking them apart again as they would fit perfectly.

I hope you caught the analogy.

ogwurujohnson profile image
Johnson Ogwuru Author

This analogy is awesome, helped me get a clearer picture, thanks Theofanis

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