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How to Build Microservices With NodeJS


Building applications is not just meeting the client’s requirements but also integrating complex features along with dynamic programming, maintaining the user experience and the code quality as well. Talking about large-scale applications loaded with features, it is important to ensure that the application runs smoothly.

This article will review the microservices architecture, its benefits, and how to develop microservices with nodejs.

What Are Microservices?

Microservices is a type of service-oriented architecture (SOA). It is a component-based model, where an application is structured with well-defined protocols such as HTTP and a combination of independent components. In simpler terms, it is an architecture used for developing a distributed application using containers, where each function integrated into an application acts as an independent service for your business. The most important characteristic of microservices is their array of APIs.

Additionally, developing apps with microservices enables improved modularity along with the benefit of deploying each part of the application independently and also testing the units individually.

Some well-known corporate giants that use this architecture in their applications include Netflix, Amazon, Uber, SoundCloud, and many other brands. And to develop apps with microservices, some of the best programming languages are Golang, NodeJS, Python, Java, and many more.

Now that we have demonstrated what microservices architecture is in the simplest terms, it is also important for you to learn whether it is beneficial or not and which programming language you should choose for developing microservices.

Advantages of Microservices

Using microservices for developing an extensive and dynamic business application is already a benefit. But besides that, there are innumerable benefits to count on and help you decide better. Here are some of the advantages that we have listed for your reference.

  1. It has a smoother deployment process, with parts of the application without affecting the entire application as it is deployed service by service.

  2. Easy to understand since the function is isolated and independent.

  3. Microservices architecture helps in building highly resilient and reliable applications.

  4. A failure in one particular service in the application remains within itself; it does not affect the entire feature and functionality of the application.

  5. One added benefit is that the code for different services can be written in different languages when developing apps on the microservices architecture.

  6. Applications that are built with the microservices architecture usually have no downtime.

  7. It provides scalable applications based on the resources required by the individual architecture instead of the entire application.

  8. Another added advantage is for the developers; it provides a simplified experience, as they do not have to understand the complete system; they only need to understand the function or the service they are working on, which in turn saves time and money and increases productivity.

The above mentioned are just some of the important benefits of developing apps with microservices, and there are many more on the list that you will come across during the development process of your application. But make sure you also learn about the drawbacks of microservices. Although there are not many drawbacks, these drawbacks can be excluded when the work is done with efficiency.

The primary drawback is that if the process is not architectured correctly, it might cause problems for the developers with an overly fragmented system. And also, monitoring the microservices architecture gets complex sometimes since there are multiple points of failure across the system, which in turn also increases the testing complexity of the application.

Reasons for Building Microservices With NodeJS

Among all the programming languages used in the development of microservices applications, NodeJS is widely used by almost every developer for its characteristics and the benefits it provides. Here are a few reasons why Microservices with Node.JS is the best choice.

  1. It improves the execution time since NodeJS runs on Google’s V8 engine, compiles the function into native machine code, and also carries out low-latency CPU and IO-intensive operations.

  2. The event-driven architecture of NodeJS makes it highly beneficial in developing event-driven apps.

  3. The NodeJS libraries support non-blocking calls which continue working without waiting for the previous call to return.

  4. The apps built with NodeJS are scalable, which means the execution model supports scaling by assigning the request to other worker threads.

The above mentioned are a few reasons to build microservices with NodeJS, and since we have reviewed the primary reasons to choose NodeJS, now you should also be taught how to build microservices with NodeJS.

How to Create Microservices with NodeJS

Building microservices with Node.JS is easy as it has innumerable benefits. Below we have mentioned a step-by-step guide on how to build microservices applications. So here we go.

  1. The primary step is to determine the business needs, which implies that you need to understand the requirement of your services for developing microservices.

  2. The second step is installing NodeJS into your system and installing the Node Package Manager to install dependencies. 

You can find Ubuntu and Debian-based compatible packages of Node.js binary distributions from NodeSource or  Node.js snaps. And to manage these packages, you will need fnm – a fast and simple node.js that manages all the released versions of Node.js and allows you to automatically install, uninstall, and switch versions depending on the currently used directory. You can install from using the install script.

3. The next step is to set up the server and identify and allocate routes, create and insert controller logic, and establish connections with the external service.

4. After creating the routes, controller logic, and establishing connections, the next step is to build the external API call to deal with the third-party APIs.

To illustrate the use of NodeJS in microservices, we will use the AccuWeather API service. You can create a free AccuWeather account.

Create a new folder on your system and name it Accuweather-microservice and open it in your code editor and ensure that your system has pre-installed Node.js by running the command below:

If it is not installed, you can download it from the NodeJS official website.  In Accuweather-microservice, run the command to initialize the package.json:

Run npm init or npm init -y

With npm init, you can customize the fields to create a package.json file with npm init -y; you can use the default fields to create a package.json file.

Now to install all the required dependencies, you need to run the command below:

run npm install Express nodemon request

After following the above-mentioned steps, your file will look similar to the code below – 

{
  "name": "Accuweather-microservice",
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "private": true,
  "description": "Build a microservice using nodejs with AccuWeather Data Service",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1",
    "start": "node app.js",
    "dev": "nodemon app.js"
  },
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "bcryptjs": "^2.4.3",
    "cookie-parser": "^1.4.6",

5. After creating the package.json file, you will need to create an index.js file that will be the main file of the application and create a folder called api_source inside the Accuweather-microservice folder that will contain the controller and routes to handle requests.

6. Now, you can create a service folder inside the main one to build a weather.js file that connects with an external API and handles requests/responses.

7. And now the final step is the execution, where the application is ready to run.

The above-mentioned steps are just a brief process of building a microservices app with NodeJS that will help you with your project.

Now that we know about microservices, their benefits, and how to build them using NodeJS, the next thing you can do is start working on your project. Although microservice might seem confusing if you are not familiar with it, with proper guidance, you will definitely be able to develop scalable and top-notch applications.



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