How to Use Microservices to Build a More Flexible Enterprise Level Software System

So you’re looking to develop enterprise level software that can scale with your business. Is a microservices architecture the right solution?

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by Matias Emiliano Alvarez Duran


Choose the wrong foundations when building a house and you risk setting yourself up for failure. Software architecture is no different.

Developing an enterprise level software system with microservices could be the right choice. But you have to make sure it fits your organizational needs first.

In this article, NaNLABS developers break down what microservices are and how and when to use them.

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.

Table of contents 

What are microservices?

Microservices are a type of software architecture made up of small, independent services. These services communicate with each other through application program interfaces (APIs).They’re responsible for different, autonomous functions like chat, order processing, or user accounts management. 

Microservices are owned by small, self-sufficient teams and can be deployed independently. You can also write them in distinct programming languages and use different data storage methods.

What’s the difference between microservices architecture and a monolithic application?

The difference between microservices architecture and a monolithic application is that monolithic applications are built as a single unit, and microservices aren’t.

Large enterprise systems usually consist of three main parts: 

  1. A client-side user interface 

  2. A server-side application

  3. A database 

In monolithic applications, the server-side application is a single unit. So any changes to the system require building and deploying a new version. If you need to scale the server-side application you have to either create a replica of the monolith (horizontal scaling) or increase your server hardware (vertical scaling).  

In a microservices architecture, the server-side application consists of self-contained modules of services. This means you can build, adapt, and deploy services independently of each other and scaling can be done at a service level. You can deploy several instances of your most used services only.

Microservices architecture is becoming more popular than monolithic applications for enterprise level software development because of this flexibility.

This structure also allows software development teams to be neatly divided by service. Source: NaNLABS

How do microservices fit into enterprise architecture?

Many enterprise applications were originally built on monolithic architecture. Recently companies have started to break up these structures into smaller microservices. A 2020 report found that  77% of companies have adopted microservices, and have had a 92% success rate. 

The main reason for this shift is the complex nature of enterprise level software development vs. regular development. Microservices break down  custom enterprise software development into manageable modules of services. These services can be changed and scaled without affecting others and individual teams own one or more services.

What are the benefits of microservices?

Regardless of the type of enterprise software solutions and features you’re looking to develop, microservices have a lot to offer. 61% of developers say microservices give them greater flexibility to respond to changing conditions. 56% say it helps them to quickly scale up new features into large applications. Let’s break down why.

More flexibility

Unlike monolith systems, microservices enable you to develop each service independently. Each development team has the flexibility to use different programming languages and data storages that adapt best to their specific use-case. Plus, you can make changes to one service or add new features without it affecting the entire application.

Microservices also offer more flexibility with automations. Because services in a monolithic system are a single unit you have to apply the same automation tool to everything. This also means automated tests take longer to run which impacts overall deployment times. 

However, microservices take a modular approach to services. So you can apply a variety of automation tools to different services and your automated tests will run faster improving deployment times as well.

Increased scalability

In a monolithic architecture you’re forced to duplicate the entire application if you want to scale your business with enterprise software. Microservices, on the other hand, optimizes each service so you can scale it independently. That means you can use the hardware that best matches a service’s resource requirements.

Simplified development

Microservices break up enterprise applications development into manageable chunks. Each service has a well-defined boundary in the form of a remote procedure call (RPC) or message-driven API. Individual services offer a better Development Experience (DevEx) by allowing developers to isolate modules they want to work with. Which makes services faster to develop and much easier to understand and maintain than a monolithicapp.

Continuous deployment (CD)

CD is an Agile software development and DevOps process that prioritizes the constant release of individual application features. Unlike monolithic applications, microservices architecture makes continuous deployment easier, meaning you can deploy each service independently. As a bonus, developers don’t need to coordinate the deployment of changes as long as they do not break their API contracts with its service clients.

Higher reliability

Because all modules in a monolithicapp are generally running within the same process, a bug in any part can potentially bring down the entire process. In contrast, microservices architecture can withstand issues at the service level, without causing a system-wide crash.

Microservices lead to a 92% success rate for enterprise applications. Source: NaNLABS

When should you incorporate microservices into enterprise software development projects?

It’s not only the system that needs analyzing when building enterprise applications. You also need to consider the context of your business processes and requirements, along with your organizational structure and team.

Domain-driven architecture

Microservices work best when you build on a domain-driven architecture. This models application development according to the organization's business challenges. A domain-driven architecture evaluates the enterprise infrastructure in relation to business logic. The software you’re developing, and its services, come from this modeling.

Team structure

Implementing microservices requires experience or training in architectural patterns such as:

  • Event-driven architecture

  • Domain-driven design

  • Aggregates

  • Deployment strategies

It also requires the team to see the bigger picture and make good decisions at a microservice level that will affect the overall project.


Microservices architecture isn’t necessary if the software doesn’t need to grow in the future. If you don’t really need to scale your enterprise software, you’re going to overcomplicate development and deliver software slowly.

Make sure to differentiate your “desire” to scale your business and software from “reality”. Not all software solutions need to support high-traffic and huge data volumes.

Infrastructure cost

Implementing microservices isn’t more expensive than monolith-based architecture. However, it requires other components and the cost is more complex and fuzzy to analyze. For example, you’ll need to use distributed events platforms and complex gateways.

Infrastructure support

Microservices have their own complexities, especially at large-scale. Developers need to handle:

  • Deployment strategies

  • A higher number of dependencies 

  • Disaster recovery

  • Security warranty

This might overwhelm the team, so consider hiring a site reliability engineer (SRE).

How NaNLABS helped HyreCar take advantage of microservices

HyreCar, a SaaS company based in California, was growing rapidly and needed resources to scale the business. When the team decided to move away from legacy architecture they contacted NaNLABS for help.

We decided that migration to a microservices architecture was the best route. This would help speed up product development and reduce defects in production.

Although HyreCar already used NodeJS and GraphQL, the NaNLABS team added their own ideas. We brought in TypeScript and recommended the usage of certain AWS services to simplify test automation and environment deployments.

With NaNLABS on board, HyreCar was able to successfully migrate from a monolithic application to a microservice architecture. This resulted in improved velocity without impacting day-to-day business capabilities.

Should your enterprise software have a microservices architecture?

Choosing microservices architecture over a monolithic system isn’t a simple case of cars replacing the horse and cart. Microservices architecture offers some pretty big benefits over monolithic applications—but there are factors to consider:

  • Are you working within a domain-driven architecture?

  • Is your team up to the task?

  • Is scalability a necessity?

  • Can you afford the infrastructure costs?

  • Do you have the bandwidth to support the Infrastructure?

If you lack the time or skills to implement microservices, get in contact with a software development agency like NaNLABS. We offer consultancy and team augmentation services to help you scale from rock-solid foundations.

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.

Frequently asked questions about enterprise level software system with microservices

  • What is microservice architecture?

    Microservices architecture is made up of small, independent services. These services are responsible for different, autonomous functions like a chat service, orders processing or user accounts management. 

  • What software is used for microservices?

    Most programming languages and platform have support for microservices development:

    • Java has its own microservices-specific frameworks.

    • Node JS is a JavaScript runtime environment useful for IO-bound tasks in microservices.

    • Python is a programming language ideal for microservices.

    • Golang is well known for supporting microservices concurrency and API support.

    • .Net is a framework that supports the building and deploying of microservices.

  • What’s the difference between SaaS and microservices?

    The difference between SaaS and microservices is that SaaS is a software sales model and microservices is a type of software architecture. 

    SaaS stands for Software as a Service, meaning consumers pay a subscription to use the software instead of buying it outright. Microservices are a system architecture made up of small, independent services.

  • What are the five components of microservices architecture?

    The five components of a microservices architecture are:

    1. Microservices. The specific pieces of business logic. 

    2. Containers. Executable software units where application code is packaged.

    3. Service mesh. A dynamic messaging layer that allows services to communicate.

    4. Service discovery. A mechanism that tells teams where each service instance is located.

    5. API gateway. A software pattern in front of an API or group of microservices that handles the request and delivery of data and services.

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