What You Need to Know About Microservices Antipatterns ?

In a 2021 IBM survey, more than 55% of the respondents affirmed adopting the microservices approach in the coming two years. Around 78% of the users currently using microservices confirmed that they would invest more into their architecture.

Indeed, microservices’ adoption is already soaring through the ranks in the software industry and has become an effective intervention to enhance customer satisfaction, improve application performance, allow for greater scalability and flexibility, bolster the security infrastructure, and improve employee productivity.

However, microservices architecture also comes with its fair share of challenges. In this blog, we highlight several microservices antipatterns that any developer would want to avoid while designing their system integrations. 

Let us understand

  • What are microservices antipatterns?
  • Types of microservices antipatterns to avoid

What Are Microservices Antipatterns?

Microservices architecture helps resolve most of the issues encountered with monolithic application design. For instance, it helps create independent components and reduces the cost associated with downtime and development. However, it may not be a perfect fit for every company, and not every company can benefit fully from microservices; certain potential risks are involved. 

Essentially, microservices antipatterns correspond to practices that become the source of issues and prevent the successful adoption of microservices. As an analogy, they’re like being cooped up in a room with no air conditioning during a heat wave or confined to an elevator with someone who won’t stop talking.

Microservices Antipatterns are just bad news all around – and they can be more than just annoying. They can make it hard to focus on what matters most: building great products that delight your customers. That’s why we decided to take the time to write this guide so that we can help you avoid these problems before they become bottlenecks.

Types of Microservices Antipatterns to Avoid 


  • Premature Optimization


This is one of the most common mistakes in application development, in general. In microservices, utter optimization is key; however, it should only be pursued when the scenario stringently demands it. If you are doing premature optimization, you will end up with an over-engineered system that will eventually become hard to maintain and extend. 


  • Bikeshedding


Bikeshedding is another common microservices antipattern. The problem arises when developers spend too much time discussing and debating trivial things like naming conventions instead of focusing on what matters – functionality and features. 


  • Analysis Paralysis


Analysis paralysis is when an organization spends so much time analyzing and planning that they fail to take action. You might spend too much time designing and developing your services in a microservices environment before you actually deploy them into production. This wastes resources and leads to missed opportunities. 

It would help if you focused on implementing your service as soon as possible and then iterating the improvements based on feedback from users, customers, systems administrators, or other stakeholders. 


  • God Class


A god class is a single class that encompasses multiple responsibilities, and it’s not uncommon to see them in microservices. The problem with this pattern is it makes it difficult to test, maintain, and scale your code. If you have a god class, consider breaking up the responsibilities into smaller classes and making sure that each one does one thing well. 


  • Fear of Adding Classes


This is a mistake that many people make when they first start working with microservices. They’re worried about adding too much code and increasing the complexity of their codebase. On the flip side, this practice could prove to be highly effective in optimizing the codebase’s efficiency and stability. 


  • Inner-Platform Effect


This is when a microservice uses another service on the same platform. This can be done for convenience and efficiency, but it can also lead to problems if those services are not designed to work in cohesion. For example, if two microservices share the same database and one has an error that causes the database to become corrupted, then both microservices will be affected. 


  • Magic Numbers and Strings


Magic numbers and strings are a common microservice antipattern. They are hard-coded values into the code, making it difficult to change. The problem with magic numbers is that they are difficult to understand, so if you want to change them, you will have to go through the entire application and search for all instances of the magic number. 

Moreover, they may have multiple references throughout the code base, so you’ll have to update them in all those places too. 


  • Management by Numbers


Management by numbers is when the company overly relies on and leverages several metrics to measure success rather than looking at the value the team is delivering. This leads to teams being measured based on how many bugs they fix or how many features they add, rather than if these features create value for the business and its customers. 


  • Useless (Poltergeist) Classes


Useless classes store state across the system, but they don’t do anything. They’re called poltergeists because they’re like ghosts that don’t move around – they just appear to. 

The idea behind these kinds of classes is that you might have some kind of shared state across the system and if that shared state changes, you need to know about it.

Making the Most of Microservices 

Building applications based on microservices can be challenging. It involves a significant investment of resources and the need to manage infrastructure and platform support. 

However, by understanding the potential antipatterns involved in development and following a well-structured development plan, you can optimize the microservices initiatives to achieve operational agility and flexibility from your software systems.

Connect with experts at Heptagon to know more about making microservices implementation a success.

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