When the digital world started talking about mobile apps and businesses decided to develop smartphone applications, these solutions were simple and far from what we use these days. In 2023, companies that want to expand and attract more clients worldwide must scale up their apps accordingly.
The larger the app, the more functionality it can provide the customer. But how do you build such a complex app? The answer is – microservices. No matter whether you’ve stumbled upon this term for the first time or have already decided to move to microservices, IntelliSoft has got you covered.
We have 16 years of experience in the industry, so microservice architecture is what we’re fluent in. In this article, we’ll talk about the top five languages and help you choose the best language for microservices. Buckle up, and let’s move on to exploring the world of microservice architecture.
Table of Contents
Microservices Architecture: What is It??
Microservices, or microservice architecture, are the apps that are divided into smaller services that are independent. These services can be deployed independently, are loosely connected, and interact with lightweight mechanisms.
In other words, when an organization needs to build an extensive, complex app quickly, they turn this app into a microservice. All parts of the application are then easier to manage. This type of architecture is now replacing the traditional monolithic architecture, which provides less control over the app and is more challenging to scale.
In contrast, microservices are easy to scale, make changes to any app part, and break down the app into small deployable parts.
Why Migrate to Microservices Architecture
If you have a small project that is not likely to grow in the future, monolithic architecture can be your choice. However, larger products cannot survive on this fuel type; they must be built on microservice architecture.
If you decide to migrate to a microservice, you should consider your business capabilities and budget because it is a rather costly option requiring adequate skill and experience.
Here are the reasons why companies choose to migrate to microservice architecture:
- An extensive program can be difficult to manage in a monolithic architecture. Moreover, handling a monolithic code is a challenge in itself, making companies choose a microservice.
- If you use a monolithic architecture for a heavy app, it might slow down the start-up time.
- With a microservice, your team can choose various methods to work on an application. In a monolith, you can’t change the individual components of the app as they are not independent at the code level.
- Microservices solutions offer easier process adoption and new technology usage as you can test them on separate parts of the app without having to rewrite the entire code.
- In a microservice architecture, if one module is affected, it won’t influence the entire app.
How to Choose the Right Programming Language
You have already decided it’s time to move to microservice architecture. That’s a great choice, but what should you do next? There are many languages to build your microservice architecture; how do you know which one’s the best? Worry not; we have prepared a list of criteria to help you choose the best language for microservices.
Here’s what you should consider:
- Scalability: Microservices are all about scalability; your app’s architecture must meet the increasing demands and scale up easily. Thus, choosing a language that can handle multiple requests simultaneously, for example, Go, Python, or Java, is essential.
- Portability: Running on various platforms is necessary for a microservice, so choose a platform-agnostic language, such as Node.js, Java, Python, or Go.
- Maintainability: Java, Python, and Go are the languages that are easy to maintain and update, which is essential for building a microservice.
- Performance: The primary reason why organizations migrate to microservices is to improve the app’s performance. Therefore, choose a language with the highest performance levels, such as C++ or Java.
- Security: When building a new architecture, ensure that your language has built-in security features. Those can be Python, Go, or Java.
- Community support: The size of the community that uses a specific language also matters if you have any questions or need support from other developers. The most popular languages, like Java or Python, have the largest communities of developers.
- Cost: If you want to save costs, opt for open-source languages like Java, Python, and Go.
Top 5 Languages for Building Microservices
The best language for microservices is the one that suits your needs the best,, so we can’t highlight the ultimate solution for you. Yet, here’s a list of the top five languages that have proven to work the best for microservice architecture.
GoLang, or Go, has gained a lot of popularity among developers working on microservices, even though it is a relatively new language. Google introduced this programming language in 2009. Nowadays, it is known for its ability to handle heavy loads, strong API support, and concurrency features.
Go is a perfect choice if you want to enhance an existing application, allowing you to improve the speed and efficiency of using several cores and machines. It’s also incredibly easy to understand due to its logical syntax. Moreover, Go allows a microservice to easily handle the delivery of complex apps, as it divides them into modules.
Go also has a package system that allows developers to speed up the development process and not build extremely time-consuming frameworks. However, since Go is a new language still growing and improving, it might be challenging to use all of its libraries. It also does not have manual memory management, and its runtime safety is imperfect. Finally, safety is checked only during compile-time.
Reasons for using Go:
- Great speed and support for concurrency
- Powerful standard library for creating web services
- Made for building large and complex apps
Java is reported to be the most popular programming language of 2023, with more than 63% of developers using it for their projects. It’s no wonder that it has stayed on top of the charts for several years: Java offers many libraries and resources, and many cloud providers use Java for their microservices.
The developers’ favorite language is both readable and highly reliable. It also offers a great annotation syntax, making it extra easy to write and manage microservices. Java also comes hand in hand with the Java Virtual machine (JVM) – a cross-platform execution environment. It saves developers time and effort as they can write Java code once and run it anywhere.
Java also has numerous frameworks that support microservices, such as Dropwizard, Spark, Spring Boot, and Eclipse Microsprofile. Java is an awesome choice for developers who like to experiment with frameworks and other languages without wasting extra money. It doesn’t mean it’s a perfect solution for any project. Java microservices are stable and scalable, but the choice still depends on your project.
Reasons for using Java:
- A lot of programming resources and libraries
- A vast community of developers
- Ability to move from one system to another
Another developers’ favorite, Python, is very easy to learn and allows developers to experiment as much as they want to. A great thing about Python is that it supports integration with the latest technologies and enables easy prototyping.
Python is an interpreted language, so developers can make changes to the code quickly without disrupting the development process and wasting time. It is possible to use simple apps and Python microservices that will be used by millions of users globally.
This language also enables a RESTful approach to creating APIs and is compatible with legacy languages like PHP and ASP. Moreover, it has multiple popular frameworks, including MinOS, Flask, Django, FastAPI, and Nameko.
Python sounds like a perfect programming language, but is it? Unfortunately, it also has some disadvantages, mainly its slow execution speed compared to C++. Its interpreter nature causes this. Moreover, Python requires to be tested thoroughly, which can take a lot of time, and the developers can only see the bugs during runtime.
Reasons for using Python:
- Code readability
- High programming productivity
- Strong support for integration with other technologies
C++ is a complex programming language with object-oriented features. It’s known for its speed, allowing you to write fast and portable apps. C++ is known for its performance, efficiency, and versatility, and that’s why it is used for a wide range of apps, covering system-level programming, game development, high-performance apps, and embedded systems.
One of its main advantages is supporting both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms, allowing developers to create complex and maintainable code. Moreover, it provides direct memory access, enabling fine-grained control over system resources, which is especially useful for performance-critical tasks.
However, C++ doesn’t support garbage collection and has no built-in support for threads. You should consider these cons when choosing a language, but remember that C++ is incredibly fast and provides great concurrency support. It’s way faster than other programming languages, so it’s now gaining popularity.
Reasons for using C++:
- Ability to write fast, portable programs
- Excellent concurrency support
- Made for building high-performance apps
Ruby is among the most popular programming languages used in 2023 due to its flexibility, code quality, and development speed. Its syntax emphasizes simplicity and developer-friendliness.
The language’s strong emphasis on object-oriented programming allows for clean code organization, making it easy for developers to create maintainable and reusable software. It is often used for mobile development, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Ruby also offers the Ruby on Rails framework, famous for its productivity. The language is a great choice for enterprises, considering its development speed and the number of available software resources. However, it can’t be called the top one language in terms of performance.
Reasons for using Ruby:
- Faster deployment
- Improved scalability and adaptability
- Great for machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Docker and Microservices: The Future of Scalable and Resilient Application Development
- Monolithic vs Microservices: Pros and Cons
- What Is Kubernetes And When to Use It: Key Trends in 2023
- Docker 101: Stop, Delete, and Manage Your Containers Like a Pro
- What is Cloud Computing? Understanding the Basics, Services and Benefits
A Comparison of the Top Five Languages for Writing Microservices
Technologies That Simplify Microservices Architecture Development
If you decide to build microservice architecture, programming languages are not the only thing you should consider. Microservices are made of different building blocks, some of which are technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes, REST, and Prometheus. Let’s cover them in detail so you don’t get confused when you stumble upon them. It’s better to come prepared when it comes to microservices.
Docker and Kubernetes
If you want to build, test, and run software systems as self-contained packages in a container, Docker can help with that. It’s a containerization technology that simplifies software deployment, works with different OSs, and can be integrated with several complex tools and services.
Kubernetes helps developers automate repetitive manual tasks and handle containerization applications. Moreover, you can use it for scaling and scheduling.
In most cases, the two technologies are combined, helping developers get the most out of the two and build a responsive setup for microservices.
Benefits of Docker:
- Easy software deployment using Docker images and Dockerfiles
- Compatibility with multiple operating systems and extensive plugin support
- Integration with various tools and services for improved development processes.
- Facilities for continuous distribution and integration, fostering a DevOps culture
- Lightweight technology, ideal for creating microservices infrastructure
- Docker Compose coordinates multiple containers, simplifying microservices system creation
Representational State Transfer (REST) is a popular tool that helps microservices communicate with other microservices. The REST microservice can communicate via HTTP using this architectural design approach. It deals with requests and responses in JSON, XML, and HTML.
Benefits of REST:
- Enables the creation of scalable microservices
- Decouples the server and client, allowing them to evolve independently
- Changes to code on either side have no impact on the other
This technology is both an alerting tool and a full-service monitoring system. It is used for complex application topologies that have multiple nodes. It helps execute multidimensional data and provides a data store. In other words, you can use Prometheus to filter and group your data based on its type and labels.
Benefits of Prometheus:
- Supports multidimensional data collection and querying
- Offers an extensible data model for adding arbitrary key-value dimensions to time series
- Designed for building minimalist applications with simple capacity
- Well-suited for simple microservices software systems
- Ideal for cloud-native deployment environments
Next Steps With Microservices
What’s the entire process with microservices, then? It does not consist of simply choosing the best language for microservices, so let’s go over all the steps you must take.
- Choose the language. First, you need to decide what programming language you will use based on your needs, capabilities, and budget. You can choose between the top five languages we covered in this article or go further and choose a different one.
- Design the architecture. Once the choice has been made, it’s time to design your microservices architecture. Consider different design principles that will suit your app type and the architecture’s scalability, reliability, and maintainability. You should also think about the system’s communication protocols.
- Develop the architecture. This process involves writing code, building Docker images, and deploying everything to the cloud, so leave it to your team of developers.
- Test and deploy. You need to thoroughly test the system to eliminate any bugs and issues and ensure that it is working smoothly. Perform unit, performance, and integration testing, and then the system can be deployed.
- Monitor the performance. After the deployment, your task should be to see how the system is working, whether all elements are functioning correctly and meeting your requirements, and whether there are any issues.
Best Practices For Microservices Implementation
We’d like to help you make the process of microservices implementation easier, so we have prepared a list of tips and tricks to ensure that you take the most out of this architecture. Here’s what you can do:
- Use containers. Deploying microservices is a piece of cake when you use containers. They are super lightweight and scalable, so you will be able to deploy your architecture and manage it in the cloud.
- Use immutable infrastructure. This means deploying microservices as unchanging pieces of software that remain the same once they are deployed. As a result, you can make changes easily and roll back in case something happens.
- Use API gateways. When using API gateways, you can manage the communication between microservices and the client and ensure that all data is formatted correctly.
- Use a microservice registry. A registry is a hub for managing and tracking microservices in your system.
- Use an event-driven architecture. This type of architecture uses events to execute microservices, decoupling them and making the management process easier.
Being aware of possible challenges associated with microservices puts you at an advantage as you will be ready to face these issues in case they arise. Preparing beforehand is better than dealing with unexpected problems, wasting time and money.
- Security. Keep in mind that microservices are scattered across various servers, so security can be an issue. It’s much harder to ensure the system is secure if you have to manage individual pieces. You should also ensure that the communication between the microservices is secure and protected.
- Complexity. Microservice architecture is not simple; its complexity can be overwhelming, especially when the number of microservices grows. Prepare for managing and maintaining this system and be ready for the complexity to increase with time.
- Testing. The same goes for testing: the more complex the architecture, the more challenging it is to test it. Thus, prepare a testing strategy beforehand.
- Performance. Performance issues may arise once the number of microservices increases and they all start communicating with each other.
- Scalability. The main goal of microservices is to scale up whenever you need it. Therefore, you need to understand how to optimize the system for future scalability.
At IntelliSoft, we are huge fans of microservices architecture. It has proven to be a golden ticket to expanding business capabilities, scaling up, and attracting a wider audience.
Yet, we have to admit that moving to microservices can be too overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. That is why we have prepared this guide for you, hoping that it will help you decide on the programming language for your microservices.
Even though all five languages are awesome for this type of architecture, you need to pick your favorite based on your needs, requirements, and capabilities. In case you need help choosing, or you’re ready to start moving to microservices, let us know, and our experienced team of developers will help you.