Microservices vs Web Services: The Top Differences, Made Simple.


Application architecture is a vital part of building applications, getting more popular by the day. Microservices vs web services form a big part of this starting phase. 

As it is with the creativity of any form, there is no ‘right way’ when talking about creating programs. It can be with or without the help of the two. Both of the topics in focus are tools that can clean up the program very well and make the process smooth. With that said, let’s have a look at what a microservice basically means.¬†

What are Microservices? 

The best way to explain how microservices work is to think of cells. No matter what kind of cell you’re looking at, there are many individual parts present. They carry out their own little functions to make the entire cell live. The same idea applies here. In the sense that microservices break down chunks of the program. This, in turn, simplifies it into unique processes.¬†

The only difference is that the many parts of the cells must communicate with each other. This is important to achieve stability and work towards a common goal. 

Click here to read a more in-depth study of how these differ.

What are Web Services (WS)? 

From the idea of a microservice, a network service is a bunch of them that exist in the form of an organized network. This allows the mini-applications to communicate with each other in a systematic fashion. For example, one mini application’s output is another one’s input. This is vital to make them run, which establishes dependencies.¬†

They become useful when your software components or other systems won’t be near one another and will have to be connected over the network. So,they are used to develop internet-based programs.¬†

The Top Differences 

As you can imagine, micro services carry out a very specific task, as it has been assigned by the programmer. So, they allow for many services to be accessed through a single major application. This is the most significant point of difference. 

A great way to understand the idea is to think of a restaurant. The backroom staff and the front staff are both essential in providing the service to the customer. 

Consider the restaurant to be an application and the backroom and front staff are two network services that interact with each other. Through this system, the two work and make the functioning of the restaurant (the app) smooth. They rely heavily on communication. 

The collapse of a singular microservice results in the failure of the bigger process as well. In both cases, though, the programmers can put in a circuit breaker to help detect the problem and potentially take care of it faster. 

Web Service vs Web Application 

A web application is essentially a site, while a WS has been discussed above. At this point, we can understand a website as a sum of different micro services, (or different microservices). With that said, let’s talk about the differences in an internet application vs WS.

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While an internet application has a GUI or an interface, a web service does not. Also, these are meant for use by humans. Web services, on the other hand, are meant to interact with each other on the back end to help present the site or web application. 

A major difference is that the WS uses HTTP commands like POST, PUT, DELETE and GET. Internet applications rely on human language inputs to operate such as text inputs or buttons. 

Lastly, WS components are platform-independent. The same is not applicable for web apps, which need some changes for different systems to use them and function properly. 

It is important to note that one leads to another and that all these concepts are interconnected. A combination of them makes for a rich experience for the users.

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