Microservices – Not Just for the Big Guys Anymore

Microservices software architecture has boomed in recent years among large companies that have the capabilities to implement and manage the complexities of enterprise applications built on a microservices model. But small and midsize companies almost universally do not use microservices today, which is a real lost opportunity for improved operational efficiency and a better user experience once the system is built.

Smaller organizations have less (or zero) expertise and fewer resources than large companies to develop and manage a microservices infrastructure. Can they still gain the many benefits of microservices? Absolutely.

What are Microservices?

Microservices architecture is an approach to application development that uses many small, independent, and lightweight services to form a single software application. Since each service is independent, the whole system is very scalable and flexible.

We should point out that not all applications are complex enough to require a microservices architecture, and many categories of software are in that bucket. But here are a few application types that usually do fit well with microservices: ERP, CRM and xRM systems; OSS/BSS (operational support systems / business support systems); and applications for tracking multiple types of entities (customers, inventory, work orders, etc.) – that is, a “complex” of entities. 

Microservices vs. Monolithic

Microservices contrasts with monolithic architecture, which is software built on a single codebase using components that can be thought of as being “glued together” as a single unit. Monolithic software was the original (and only) style of architecture for decades, until microservices arrived on the scene in the last decade. Both microservices and monolithic software have advantages and disadvantages depending on the specifics of the case, but today’s software development experts in large organizations lean toward microservices as the preferred model for creating large applications.

Monolithic software can be good for small applications where scalability is not important, or for the first iteration of an application before refactoring to microservices. It is generally not good for complex software or modeling multiple aspects of business operations. Monolithic software can be hard to change and adding features or extending functionality can be difficult. Downtime is a real problem when one component fails or needs updating, as the entire system is interconnected. Many applications using monolithic architecture are badly designed from the onset, requiring herculean efforts to fix the foundations of the system.

Microservices Pros and Cons

Microservices is great for applications that need to scale up or down quickly, with practically no limit to the upper end of scaling. Compute resources can be scaled up fast for individual modules for as long as you need, without having to scale up the entire application. Also, each individual service can be developed and deployed independently, and updates are seamless as the whole system doesn’t have to be interrupted or taken down to implement changes. The perception to the user is that the system is never down.  

However, microservices architecture requires a lot of infrastructure build-out that can be very complex and time consuming, and testing and debugging across multiple services adds to the complexity. It also makes prototyping or building quick Minimum Viable Products a challenge.

This makes for a lot of headaches for small and midsize companies who don’t have the level of expertise to properly set up and manage microservices. Large companies using microservices typically have teams of 4-5 developers managing each service and can have dozens of teams with hundreds of developers throughout the IT organization. This level of support is not feasible for small companies.

But the long-term benefits for companies of any size are unquestioned. Once implemented, microservices enables better scalability, improved technological and organizational management, fewer mistakes and faster deployments, among many other benefits.

But how can a small or midsize company tap into the superpowers of microservices if their team is too small or not experienced enough to manage it?

B3 Makes Microservices Attainable for Everyone

The B3 platform is a turnkey solution for organizations looking to build new applications or retool existing ones with a modern systems architecture. We give you access to top technologies with microservices integrated into one platform. B3 is entirely built on a microservices architecture, so the infrastructure you need is already built with no set up time required for your applications.

We transformed the complexities of microservices into speed for our customers, delivering applications faster while reducing the risk companies face in building and managing their own infrastructure. You don’t have to worry about overprovisioning your IT department to manage dozens of services, and your team doesn’t need to be experts in the microservices structure of your software.

No matter the size of your business, whether small or large, we can provide the technology and management structure you need to modernize your systems and position you for growth with no limit to scale. Don’t let the size of your company prevent you from gaining the power of microservices.

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