In today’s world of rapidly changing business requirements and fast-paced software development, migrating from a monolithic application to a Ruby on Rails microservices can bring several benefits.
Ruby on Rails microservices helps to improve scalability, maintainability, and flexibility and promotes faster deployment.
This blog post explores the benefits of migrating from a monolithic architecture to a Ruby on Rails microservices architecture.
By the end of this post, you will have a good understanding of the benefits of using a microservices architecture and then make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for your application.
What is Ruby on Rails microservices?
Ruby on Rails microservices refers to a software architecture style. While using Ruby on Rails microservices, an application is divided into smaller components, like modular services that communicate with each other through APIs. Each service runs in its process and communicates with other services through well-defined interfaces, typically using a lightweight mechanism such as an HTTP API.
To implement Ruby on Rails microservices, you can use tools such as Docker and message queues such as RabbitMQ.
Ruby on Rails is well-suited for building microservices because it provides several tools and conventions that make it easy to develop and deploy web applications quickly.
What is a Monolithic Rails App?
A monolithic Rails application is a single and large application that contains all the code, resources, and functionality for a web application.
Ruby on Rails web framework is used to develop this kind of application. Ruby on Rails was designed to make it easy to build and maintain web applications.
Since all parts of the application are tightly coupled and depend on each other, monolithic apps do not have the luxury of quick scaling.
Monolithic Rails App vs Ruby on Rails Microservices
There are several key differences between monolithic Rails applications and Ruby on Rails microservices:
|Factors||Ruby on Rails Microservices||Monolithic Rails Applications|
|Scalability||Microservices make it easier to scale different parts of your application separately.||In a monolithic application, scaling the entire application can be more difficult because all parts of the application are tightly coupled.|
|Architecture||Microservices are divided into smaller, modular services.||Monolithic applications have a single codebase.|
|Deployment||Independent deployment is the key to Microservices.||Monolithic applications are deployed as a single unit.|
|Resilience||Microservices can continue to function if one service fails, resulting in a more resilient system.||If a monolithic application fails, the entire application may fail.|
|Flexibility||Microservices allow for more flexibility by enabling changes to individual services.||It is difficult to make changes to a monolithic application.|
|Reusability||Microservices can be reused in other projects or applications.||Monolithic applications are generally not reusable.|
Ruby on Rails framework for microservices
Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework that provides tools and libraries to help developers build web applications quickly and easily.
Watch out our video on – Why Should You Choose Ruby on Rails for Web Development?
One of the main benefits of using Ruby on Rails for microservices is its focus on convention over configuration. This means that it provides a set of default conventions for file structure, naming, and coding style, making it easier to develop and maintain microservices.
In addition, Ruby on Rails provides a range of tools and libraries that can be useful for building microservices, including
- ActiveRecord: A library for working with databases that provides an object-relational mapping (ORM) layer, making it easier to store and retrieve data from the database.
- ActionPack: A library that provides tools for building web applications, including controllers, views, and routing.
- ActiveSupport: A library that provides a range of utility classes and methods for simplifying tasks in Ruby on Rails applications.
How to use Ruby on Rails Microservices? Explain with a Ruby microservices example
To use Ruby on Rails microservices in your application, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Identify the decoupled-worthy parts of the application:
The first step in using microservices is to identify the various components of an application that you can split into independent services.
For example, suppose you have a monolithic Rails application with a shopping cart feature, a payment gateway, and a product catalogue. You might consider breaking these components into separate microservices since they are relatively self-contained and don’t depend heavily on other parts of the application. You can also hire Ruby on Rails developers at affordable prices to make the best use of this framework and build powerful applications like AirBnB.
Define the boundaries of the microservices:
After identifying the decoupled components, define the boundaries of each microservice by determining the inputs, outputs, data and functionality it will be responsible for each service.
For example, the shopping cart microservice might be responsible for storing and retrieving items in the shopping cart. While the payment gateway microservice might be responsible for processing payments.
Extract the code for the microservices:
After defining the boundaries of the microservices, begin extracting the relevant code into separate repositories or codebases. It involves refactoring the code to ensure that it is independent and self-contained.
For example, you might extract the code for the shopping cart feature into a different repository, and update the code to use an external API to communicate with the payment gateway and product catalogue microservices.
Here is an example of how you might extract the shopping cart feature into a separate microservice:
Set up the infrastructure for the microservices:
Set up the necessary infrastructure to support the microservices, including deployment pipelines, monitoring, and logging. It involves setting up separate environments for each service and configuring the required infrastructure to support them.
Test and deploy the microservices:
The next step is testing and deploying the services.
It involves setting up integration tests to ensure that the services work together as expected and deploying services to production.
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Microservices architecture is a way of building and deploying applications as a set of independent, self-contained services that communicate with each other through well-defined interfaces.
In a microservices-based architecture, each service is responsible for a specific piece of functionality and designed to be independently deployable and scalable.
REST API with Ruby on Rails
A REST API (Representational State Transfer API) uses HTTP to allow different systems to communicate with others. REST APIs use a set of conventions for making requests and receiving responses, which makes them easy to use and understand.
Ruby on Rails is a popular web development framework that provides tools and libraries for building REST APIs. Here are some steps you can follow to develop a REST API with Ruby on Rails:
Set up a new Rails project:
To get started, you need to create a new Rails project using the rails new command. It creates a new directory with the necessary files and directories for a Rails project.
Define your API endpoints:
Next, you will need to define the endpoints for your API. It involves creating one or more controllers that will handle the different types of requests that your API will support.
For example, you might create a UsersController to handle requests related to user management.
Implement the API logic:
Once you have defined your API endpoints, you will need to implement the logic for your API. This will involve writing code in the controllers and models to handle the different types of requests that your API will support.
Test your API:
Once you have implemented your API, you will want to test it to make sure it is working as expected. You can use tools like Postman or cURL to send requests to your API and verify that it is returning the expected responses.
Deploy your API:
After testing your API and seeing it in action, deploying it to the production environment is the next step. Your clients can use it only after deploying.
Overall, building a REST API with Ruby on Rails is a relatively straightforward process, thanks to the powerful tools and libraries provided by the framework.
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Rails microservices authentication
In a Rails microservices architecture, it is important to consider how you will handle authentication and authorization for your services. There are several different approaches you can take to handle authentication in a Rails microservices architecture:
Use a central authentication service:
This service could be implemented using a framework like Devise, and it could store user credentials in a database. Your microservices could then use the central authentication service to authenticate users by sending requests to it.
Use JSON Web Tokens (JWTs):
JWTs are self-contained tokens that contain information about a user, such as their user ID and permissions. You can use JWTs to authenticate users in your microservices by sending a JWT along with each request and then verifying the JWT on the server side.
OAuth is a widely used protocol for allowing users to grant access to their resources to third-party applications without sharing their passwords. You can use OAuth to authenticate users in your microservices by having them authenticate with a third-party service, such as Google or Facebook, and then granting your microservices access to their resources.
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Ruby on Rails Microservices FAQ
What are microservices?
Microservices are a software architecture style in which a single application is composed of small, independent services that communicate with each other through APIs. Each service is responsible for a specific function and can be developed, tested, and deployed independently of the other services.
What is a microservice architecture?
Microservice architecture is a design pattern in which a single application is composed of multiple small, independent services. Each service is designed to handle a specific set of functions and communicates with other services through well-defined interfaces, typically using APIs.
The goal of this architecture is to improve flexibility, scalability, and maintainability by breaking down a monolithic application into smaller, more manageable components.
Why use Ruby on Rails for microservices?
Ruby on Rails is a popular choice for building microservices because it is a powerful and flexible web development framework that allows developers to quickly build and deploy web applications. It has a strong emphasis on convention over configuration, which means that developers can focus on writing code rather than spending a lot of time on boilerplate or configuration tasks.
How do I structure a Ruby on Rails application as a microservice?
There are a few different approaches to structuring a Ruby on Rails application as a microservice.
Approach One is to build a standalone Rails API that handles all the business logic and data persistence, then develop a separate front-end application (such as a single-page application) that consumes the API.
Approach Two is to build each microservice as a separate Rails application and use API gateways to manage communication between them.
How do I deploy Ruby on Rails microservices?
There are many options for deploying Ruby on Rails microservices. You can use containerization technologies like Docker or a cloud platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It is crucial to choose a deployment strategy that is scalable, reliable, and easy to maintain.
How do I monitor and debug Ruby on Rails microservices?
There are several tools and techniques available for monitoring and debugging Ruby on Rails microservices. Some options include using logging and error-tracking tools like Logstash and Sentry, as well as using tools like Postman or cURL to test and debug API requests. It’s also important to have monitoring and alerting systems in place to alert you to any issues or problems with your microservices.
What are the benefits of using Ruby on Rails for building microservices?
Ruby on Rails is a popular web framework that provides developers with tools and conventions for building web applications quickly and efficiently.
Some of the benefits of using Ruby on Rails microservices include:
- It is easy to learn and use
- It has a large, active community of developers
- It has a readily available wealth of resources and libraries
- It has built-in support for API development and tools and libraries for testing and debugging
- It has excellent performance and handles a high volume of requests
How do I test and debug my Ruby on Rails microservices built?
There are many tools and libraries available for testing and debugging microservices built with Ruby on Rails. Some popular options include:
- RSpec: A testing framework for Ruby that allows you to write tests for your application and verify that it is working correctly
- FactoryBot: A library for generating test data for your application
- Pry: A powerful debugging tool for Ruby that allows you to inspect the state of your application and step through the code line by line
- Postman: A tool for testing and debugging APIs that allows you to send HTTP requests and inspect the responses