Lego Logic: Building Scalable E-commerce with Modular Microservices

Lego Logic: Building Scalable E-commerce with Modular Microservices
Lego Logic: Building Scalable E-commerce with Modular Microservices

Pranu Dhyani

Brands & Communications

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E-commerce is undoubtedly becoming the future of business as we know it. Virtually every industry with a physical (or even digital) product can now enter the digital selling landscape. All it takes is an e-commerce website fully equipped to make your products available worldwide. But how do you build an e-commerce website? 


Most people go for services that all come in one package. But there are cases where you might need a building option with more flexibility and scalability. In these cases, you should consider using modular microservices instead. What are modular microservices, and how can they serve you? We’ll look deeper into this e-commerce solution and help you understand how to use them to your advantage.

What Are Modular Microservices for E-commerce Websites?

In a nutshell, modular microservices represent an architectural approach to developing e-commerce websites. These are an alternative to traditional monolithic architectures that come as one ready-to-use package. A modular microservice is a collection of smaller applications interconnected to work as a whole.
Each service in this setup is a distinct module focusing on a specific business capability or function. For instance, in an e-commerce context, you might find separate microservices handling user authentication, inventory management, payment processing, and order management. This modularity enhances the flexibility and manageability of the website.

Independent Microservices Working as One

The most important key characteristic of this approach is having microservices work independently. A setup like this allows for more agile development processes. Despite their independence, these services are supposed to be interconnected, usually communicating through APIs or messaging systems. Here are some examples of notable companies who switched to modular microservices: 

  • Amazon: Transitioned from a monolithic structure to microservices, significantly improving site functionality and leading to the development of Amazon AWS.
  • Netflix: Adopted microservices in 2008 to address scaling challenges and service outages, resulting in increased API requests and a robust streaming service.
  • Uber: Moved to microservices to enhance performance and smooth business operations amid global growth.
  • Groupon: Underwent a year-long migration to microservices in 2012 to improve website efficiency and user satisfaction.

The Main Advantage of Modular Microservices

The significant advantages of modular microservices are their scalability and technology diversity. According to your demand, you can increase your microservices’ capacities one by one, which is especially useful for e-commerce sites that experience varying levels of traffic. During peak shopping, specific services like payment processing can be scaled up without affecting the entire system. Accordingly, the popularity of modular microservices has been rising. A reported 63% of enterprises now use microservices architectures.

Pros and Cons of Using Modular Microservices

Using modular microservices in e-commerce websites has its advantages and challenges. Here's a comprehensive look at the pros and cons:


  • Scalability: Microservices allow scaling specific parts of an e-commerce website independently, accommodating varying loads efficiently. This is particularly useful during high-traffic periods like sales or holiday seasons.
  • Flexibility and Speed of Deployment: With microservices, you can quickly develop and deploy new features or updates without redeploying the entire application, enabling faster response to market changes.
  • Resilience: The isolated nature of microservices means that if one service fails, it doesn't bring down the whole website. This isolation enhances overall system resilience and uptime.
  • Technology Heterogeneity: Microservices allow the use of different technologies and frameworks for different services, enabling the best-fit technology for each specific function.
  • Ease of Maintenance and Updates: Updating or fixing a specific application part is easier and less risky with microservices, as changes are confined to individual services.
  • Enhanced Team Productivity: Microservices enable multiple development teams to work on different services simultaneously, potentially speeding up development processes.


  • Complexity: Managing multiple services, each with its own database and inter-service communications, can be more complex than managing a monolithic architecture.
  • Increased Resource Requirements: Each microservice might need its own set of resources like databases and caches, which can increase the overall resource footprint of the application.
  • Network Latency and Load: Inter-service communication over the network can introduce latency. Additionally, the network load can increase due to the chatter between services.
  • Difficulty in Testing: Testing an application built with microservices can be more challenging due to testing each service individually and the interactions between services.
  • Data Integrity and Management: Ensuring data consistency across different microservices can be challenging, especially when transactions involve multiple services.
  • Operational Overhead: Deploying and operating an application composed of many microservices can require more sophisticated tools and processes, such as containerization and orchestration platforms like Kubernetes.
  • Security Concerns: More endpoints and inter-service communications can increase the security attack surface.

How to Set Up an E-commerce Website with Modular Microservices?

So how does this process go about? Setting up an e-commerce website using a modular microservices architecture involves several key steps. Following this format will require careful planning, a good understanding of microservices principles, and technical skills in software development and system administration. 
Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Step 1: Define Business Requirements and Microservices Architecture

Before anything, you should determine your ecommerce site's key features. Some common features that companies want in their e-commerce solutions include the following: 


Break down these features into individual microservices. Each microservice should be responsible for a single business capability. Decide how these microservices will communicate with each other, typically through RESTful APIs or message brokers.


Step 2: Choose Your Technology Stack

Using modular microservices requires that you have a team knowledgeable in certain programming languages and frameworks. Choose appropriate programming languages and frameworks depending on each microservice's requirements.
Some popular choices you might want to consider are Java (for its robustness and ecosystem), Python (for its simplicity and data capabilities), and Node.js (for lightweight and fast I/O operations). Choose based on your team's expertise and the service's specific needs.
You’ll also need to decide on the database technology you’ll use. SQL databases like PostgreSQL are suitable for complex transactions, whereas NoSQL databases like MongoDB are ideal for flexible data models and scalability.

Step 3: Set Up Development Environment

After you have your tech stack in place, the next step is to determine and set up your development environment. Set up the development tools, databases, and other necessary software on your local machine. Use a version control system like Git to manage your codebase.

Step 4: Develop Microservices

Once you have your tech and development environment, your tech team will be ready to develop microservices. Start with the core microservices like user authentication or product catalog. Develop, test, and debug each service before moving on to the next. Running a microservice with as few issues as possible is always better before moving to the next.
We highly recommend implementing an API gateway to route requests to the appropriate microservice and handle cross-cutting concerns like authentication.

Step 5: Database and Data Management

Your microservices will need reliable databases to run on. Each microservice should have its own database. Set these up and ensure they are properly connected to their respective services. Implement strategies for maintaining data consistency across microservices.

Step 6: Testing

Before launching your microservice, run a few tests to ensure it operates without issues. Perform unit tests for individual microservices and run them as a whole. You want to test the interaction between microservices to ensure they work together as expected.
The last testing phase will involve an end-to-end process. Simulate user behavior and test the entire system from front to back.

Step 7: Deployment

You’re ready to deploy your e-commerce service with its modular microservices at this stage. Package each microservice into a container for deployment.
Don’t forget to set up CI/CD pipelines. Implement continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines to automate the deployment process. Lastly, depending on your preference, you’ll want to deploy your microservices to cloud or on-premise servers. Use solutions like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud for cloud services.

Step 8: Monitor and Maintain

Once your system is up, keep an eye on them. You’ll likely need a tech team to continue doing this, preferably teams who picked up a computer science degree online or have experience maintaining digital systems. Use tools to monitor the health and performance of your microservices. If you plan to scale your operations and system, set up auto-scaling for your microservices to handle load changes efficiently. Regularly update and improve individual microservices without affecting the entire system. Use customer and system feedback to make continuous improvements.

Preparing for an E-commerce-Driven World

There are a few business trends we can bank on with full confidence. One is that e-commerce is not going away. In fact, 24% of retail transactions will likely occur online by 2026. You can create a sales-generating machine by creating an e-commerce store now. And if you want to be ready for an influx, modular microservices are the way to go.

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