Architecture

The architecture of a microservice-based system divides the domain-based pieces of functionality among the microservices. To understand the architecture at this level, dependencies and communication relationships between the microservices have to be known. Analyzing communication relationships is difficult. For large deployment monoliths there are tools that read source code or even executables and can generate diagrams visualizing modules and relationships. This makes it possible to verify the implemented architecture, adjust it towards the planned architecture, and follow the evolution of the architecture over time. Such overviews are central for architectural work; however, they are difficult to generate when using microservices as the respective tools are lacking—but there are solutions. Section 7.2 discusses these in detail.

Architecture = Organization

A key concept that microservices are based on is that organization and architecture are the same. Microservices exploit this situation to implement the architecture. The organization is structured in a way that makes the architecture implementation easy. However, the downside of this is that an architecture refactoring can require changes to the organization. This makes architectural changes more difficult. This is not only a problem of microservices; Conway’s Law (section 3.2) applies to all projects. However, other projects are often not aware of the law and its implications. Therefore, they do not use the law productively and cannot estimate the organizational problems caused by architectural changes.

 
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