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sasidhar Gadepalli
sasidhar Gadepalli

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Top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns for Developers

The world of microservices is full of endless possibilities, each with its unique approach and potential benefits. As a developer, understanding the top 10 microservice architecture design patterns can offer a significant advantage.

Ready to dive in? Let's embark on this journey together.

1. API Gateway
First up on our list of top microservice designs is the API Gateway pattern. It serves as an entry point for clients, routing requests to appropriate microservices. Consider it the conductor of an orchestra, bringing harmony and coherence to a potentially complex system.

When you implement the API Gateway pattern, you’re consolidating the interface of your microservices into one API. This way, the client doesn't need to make several requests to individual services – they simply interact with the gateway. It's efficient and it reduces the complexity that the client has to deal with.

2. Aggregator Microservice
The Aggregator Microservice is another star player among the top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns. This pattern merges responses from multiple microservices into one. Imagine it as a skilled negotiator, expertly blending the needs and responses of various services into one cohesive whole.

The Aggregator Microservice is a specific type of service that can encompass several others. It retrieves data from various services, processes it, and then returns a combined response to the requester. This pattern is particularly useful when a client request spans multiple services, and you want to return a single response.

3. Chained Microservice
In our list of top microservice designs, the Chained Microservice holds a critical position. Like the links of a chain, each microservice in this pattern is linked to the next, each doing its part and passing the request along.

The Chained Microservice pattern is perfect when you have a series of services that need to process a request in a specific order. One service processes a request and then passes it to the next service in the chain, and so on. This pattern can be ideal for complex applications where order matters.

4. Branch Microservice
The Branch Microservice pattern is the Swiss army knife of the top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns. Just as a tree branch divides into smaller branches, this pattern splits the processing of a request into multiple, independent paths.

This pattern is useful when a client request involves several independent tasks that can be processed simultaneously. The tasks are divided among separate microservices, and each task is processed independently of the others. Once all the tasks are complete, the results can be aggregated and returned to the client.

5. Event-Driven Microservice
Next on our journey through the top microservice designs is the Event-Driven Microservice pattern. This design uses events to trigger and communicate between microservices. Think of it like a group of friends at a party, each reacting to the events around them.

The Event-Driven pattern is perfect for applications where you need high-level, real-time responsiveness. When an event occurs in one service, other services that are interested in that event can react accordingly.

6. Shared Data Microservice
Resuming our journey through the top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns, we encounter the Shared Data Microservice. In this pattern, multiple services share the same database to keep data consistent. Think of it like a communal kitchen in a shared apartment – everyone has access, but everyone must respect the shared nature of the resource.

The Shared Data pattern works well when data consistency is paramount. However, it can introduce a high degree of coupling between services, so it's best used sparingly and in scenarios where it offers significant benefits.

7. Asynchronous Messaging Microservice
The Asynchronous Messaging Microservice takes a place of honor among the top microservice designs. This pattern uses asynchronous messaging for communication between microservices. It's like passing a note in class – the sender writes the note and passes it on, then gets back to their work. The receiver can read and respond to the note in their own time.

This pattern can be incredibly useful in situations where you need to decouple the service that sends a message from the service that processes it. It can help to create highly scalable and resilient systems.

8. Database per Service
The Database per Service pattern secures its place in the top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns by tackling one of the critical challenges in a microservice architecture: data management. In this pattern, each microservice has its own exclusive database. Imagine it like a personal diary – each service has its own, and no other service is allowed to peek inside.

This pattern is highly useful when services have different data storage requirements, or when you want to ensure that the failure of one service doesn’t directly impact others. It supports service independence but demands careful handling of transactions that span multiple services.

9. Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) Pattern
The CQRS pattern finds its place among the top microservice designs by offering a simple yet powerful concept: separate the read operations from the write operations. It's like having a chef and a waiter in a restaurant – one prepares the food (writes), and the other serves it (reads).

CQRS can be highly beneficial when you have an application where the read and write workloads are significantly different and need to be scaled separately. It also adds complexity to the system, so it's best used in situations where its benefits are clear.

10. Saga Pattern
Finally, the Saga pattern concludes our list of top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns. This pattern manages transactions that span multiple services, keeping them all in sync. Think of it like a conductor ensuring every musician in the orchestra plays in harmony, even though each one is playing a different instrument.

The Saga pattern is perfect for operations that need to span multiple microservices in a distributed transaction scenario. Each service involved in the transaction has a corresponding saga participant that can perform the operation and undo it if necessary.

And there you have it, our comprehensive guide to the top 10 Microservice Architecture Design Patterns for developers. Each pattern offers a unique approach to managing the challenges and complexity of a microservice architecture. Use them wisely, and they can be powerful tools in your toolkit, helping you to build efficient, scalable, and robust applications.

I hope you've found this journey through the top microservice designs both informative and inspiring. Happy coding!

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Top comments (3)

webjose profile image
José Pablo Ramírez Vargas • Edited

A few of these patterns seem to be more like anti-patterns. The most obvious one is Shared Data Microservices. Based on the fundamental definition of a microservice, each microservice needs to be a whole, independent participant whose presence or absence doesn't affect other microservices' performance or operation. Since data doesn't magically appear, there is at least one microservice here maintaining the data. If this one went down, all others are left out of updates.

Furthermore, each microservice should be capable of being maintained separately. What if one of the microservices needs to change a column's data type? There goes independent development out the front door. Now you cannot independently progress this microservice without progressing all others sharing the data.

Yes, I can picture your response: "I said they have to respect the shared nature of the data so data schema changes are out of the question", but in reality, we cannot bind ourselves to never change a data schema; it isn't realistic to think we can achieve schema perfection from the get-go. At some point in time, we will have to update the shared data schema, forcing simultaneous development on all microservices sharing the data.

Branch Microservice and Aggregator Microservice seem to fall into a gray area. While it looks like it could be in violation because we are creating intra-microservice dependencies, I can probably justify doing this. For example, a scheduler microservice that assigns CPU-intensive work to another microservice(s) could be a good branching example. Aggregator can probably be justified if we need independent scaling of the task performed because it is CPU or RAM-intensive, but if it isn't the case, I don't see how I could justify creating this intra-microservice dependency just because. I guess this aggregator one makes me wonder.

Generally speaking, I'd say all microservices should have their own database, pretty much always (or at least considered the norm), and should be event-driven through asynchronous messaging beyond the first hop from the API gateway. More like a pattern, I think these are requirements.

All in all, thanks for the article. While I disagree a bit, I find it useful and entertaining.

sasidhar_gadepalli profile image
sasidhar Gadepalli

Thanks for reading and commenting on my article.
You raise insightful points. The key to Branch and Aggregator patterns is ensuring that the resulting microservices maintain their independence. You're right, branching can be justified in cases like CPU-intensive tasks. As for the Aggregator pattern, it's useful when you need a consolidated response from multiple services, or as you've pointed out, when the task needs independent scaling. However, overuse can lead to unnecessary complexity and inter-dependencies. Balancing design patterns according to your specific needs and constraints is critical.

helios_solution profile image
Helios Solutions

Thank you for sharing the link to the article on the top 10 microservice architecture design patterns for developers. Microservices have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their scalability and flexibility. This article seems like a valuable resource for developers looking to enhance their understanding of microservice design patterns.

By exploring these design patterns, developers can learn effective approaches for building resilient and maintainable microservices. Understanding concepts such as service discovery, circuit breakers, and event-driven architecture can greatly contribute to creating robust and scalable systems.

I appreciate the effort put into compiling these top design patterns, and I'm sure many developers will find this article helpful in their microservice development journey. Keep sharing such informative content, as it benefits the developer community and fosters continuous learning.