Testing Challenges Related to Microservice Architecture
Architecture emerged to be on top of conventional SOA. Microservices architecture brought many benefits, which is what you will learn about in this article.
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If you are living in the same world as I am, you must have heard the latest coding buzzer termed “microservices”—a lifeline for developers and enterprise-scale businesses. Over the last few years, microservice architecture emerged to be on top of conventional SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). This much more precise and smaller architecture brought in many benefits. Enough to make the business more scalable in a fly-by paralleling development, testing, and maintenance across various independent teams. Considering how different this approach is from the conventional monolithic process, the testing strategies that apply are also different. With different testing strategies emerge different testing challenges.
By far, everyone in the tech world is aware that microservice architecture is useful in delivering a more responsive and agile application. Some major organizations, such as Netflix, Nike, Facebook, etc., have backed their performance based on this architecture.
Key Challenges for Testing Microservices
1. Integration Testing and Debugging
To write effective integration test cases, a quality assurance engineer should have thorough knowledge regarding each of the various services that a software is delivering. Analyzing logs across multiple microservices can be very twitchy and mentally taxing.
2. Struggling Coordination
With so many independent teams working simultaneously on improving different functionalities, it becomes very challenging to coordinate the overall development of the software. For instance, it is tough to spot an idle time window for extensive testing of the entire software.
3. Decoupling of Databases
Each microservice helps to establish a single business capability and should have its separate database. However, if that isn’t feasible, then you may also know that in some applications, there may not exist a necessity for decoupling databases. So, a sound evaluation is required to judge which microservice needs decoupling and which doesn’t.
4. Re-Architecturing a Software Product
It can be very tiresome for a software architect to redesign the working of an application following microservices, especially if we are talking about an enterprise with gigantic and compound systems.
The complexity of software is directly proportional to the number of microservices the product is delivering or adding.
6. Performance Tracing
If you are transitioning from monolithic to microservice architecture, a large number of tiny components are bound to be generated. These components should communicate consistently. Performance tracing for business transactions could turn out to be humongous.
7. Difficult to Visualize After Effects
Involving numerous distinctively functioning teams requires a top-notch interface for communication. If all interfaces aren’t properly updated in the software, then it may doom the collaboration. It becomes very strenuous to consider the after-effects of bringing any enhancement to the existing communication platform.
8. Increases Flexibility
Microservices indeed provide developers the freedom to not be dependent on a specific programming language, increasing their flexibility. However, you would have to face the hassle of maintaining multiple libraries and database versions.
9. Cleaning Up Software Libraries
As quoted by Fowler-Rigetti, “You have some script running on a box somewhere doing God knows what, and nobody wants to go clean that up; They all want to build the next new thing.”
With a variety of developers from different microservice teams, there are numerous ways for performing a single action. Deploying custom scripts from different languages happens very often that we forget about a piece of code. This results in recreating that feature by some other custom script belonging to some other language. Effective maintenance and management are needed to overcome this.
Having a great number of microservices at your disposal becomes vital to prioritize these services in terms of resource allocation. You cannot afford to launch an unnecessary number of resources in a microservice team that is responsible for a relatively small functionality.
How To Overcome Such Challenges
- Specific API endpoints: API endpoints must be provided by every microservice to communicate synchronously or asynchronously with other microservices. These endpoints work on HTTP verbs like
DELETErequests, etc. Each microservice has to let the other services know exactly what pattern should be followed for the appropriate routing of the request. Usually, it is a REST endpoint for facilitating synchronous communication, but it could also be a WSDL endpoint for facilitating asynchronous communication. The formats of these APIs have to be published to other microservice teams, so they know how to connect to your microservice.
- Once the routing is published and passed on to every microservice team, then a standardized communication takes place among the system, boosting the efficiency of the integrated software.
- Every microservice is responsible for its own data model. Ideally, each database model should be 100% decoupled from another. The idea behind this is to know what persistence model is needed for the team working on facilitating a single microservice.
- Autonomous selection of technically sound staff for every microservice. Hiring effective developers, testers, quality analysts, business analysts, and project managers will bring you the key to success.
- Not all microservices are bound to provide some form of UI. Some are there to support the integrated interaction, such as the middleware team.
- Standardized development practices along teams call for a bigger investment on a platform basis. This is where cloud-based providers come into the picture, like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Heroku, Google cloud, etc. Therefore, if you are planning a small-scale organization and not envisioned to go for scalability anytime soon, then you are better off with microservice architecture.
- Make it a necessity to correlate calls with the help of various methods like IDs, tokens, or headers. Also, when logging in to locate a bug, we need to make sure about correlating events across all platforms to avoid ambiguity in this stateless, independently distributed architecture.
- DevOps need to be more integrated than they ever were. Security needs to be more robust and unbiased as the diversified structure provides hackers the opportunity to hit the soft target of your system.
- Fault tolerance should be optimized, and consistent monitoring must be performed. Effective use of caching would also help speed up response times by reducing the number of requests the software will aim to meet.
- Also, if you are planning on developing a feature to aid your respective microservice. You need to make sure it doesn’t affect the functionality that is being delivered by some other microservice team. Your enhancement must support the entire pre-existing functionality of the application.
You need to have excellent monitoring tools to display the working of your software. Effective logging and documentation may seem exhausting but are indispensable for software maintenance and enhancement. We don’t intend to criticize microservice architecture; however, we want you to be aware of them in detail before it gets deployed into your organization. Microservice architecture will definitely boost the scalability of your business development, bringing a top-notch product to the market. All you need is a little precaution regarding the pros and cons of its implementation. Remember, prevention is better than cure!
Published at DZone with permission of Harshit Paul, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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