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Microservices Resources and Positions


Three rather different positions can be observed, both online and in print:

  1. Microservices as a new architectural style competing with SOA.
  2. Microservices as a synonym to SOA ("nothing new"), see e.g. this blog post and this one.
  3. Microservices as a substyle, variant, and/or implementation approach to SOA ("SOA done right"), see e.g. several positions from SEI SATURN 2015 microservices workshop.

Position 3 is supported in a vision/overview paper presented at SummerSoC 2016 (slides) and published in Springer Computer Science - Research and Development (online access, authors copy). The paper compares definitions and identfies seven microservices tenets: 1) fine-grained interfaces (to independently deployable services), 2) business-driven development (e.g. domain-driven design), 3) IDEAL cloud application architectures, 4) polyglot programming and persistence, 5) lightweight container deployment, 6) decentralized continuous delivery, and 7) DevOps with holistic service monitoring. One of the CSCUBS 2017 keynote presentations confirms this position, discusses loose coupling and service granularity, and reports on related research and development effort as well as miscellaneous projects lessons learned. An earlier and shorter version of this talk was presented as an invited talk at the HPI FutureSoC 2017 conference


A Jan./Feb. 2017 interview with James Lewis, Mike Amundsen and Nicolai Josuttis in IEEE Software contains a side bar that comes to a similar conclusion. The article also discusses the relationship of Domain-Driven Design and microservices as well as other service design issues. Part 2 of the interview was published in the March/April issue and covers architectural and organizational concerns such as service composition, data integrity, and versioning.  


Introductions and Definitions

Start here:

  1. J. Lewis and M. Fowler, Microservices - a definition of this new architectural term
  2. C. Richardson, Microservices: Decomposing Applications for Deployability and Scalability (InfoQ) and Introduction to Microservices (NGINX)
  3. A Gartner definition is referenced in this TM Forum Open API discussion.

Reflection: What are the new facets in these definitions (in terms of business and design goals, principles, patterns, practices, and technologies)?


Case Studies

Exercise: Can you find the SOA principles and microservices tenets that have been applied?


Articles and Books

Many more articles can be found e.g. at InfoQ and DZone (note: be aware of "microservicification" of earlier material).


Related Research Venues

 More scientific conferences and workshops are expected to pick up the topic.


More Information and Related Topics

  1. Microservice Prerequisite and other microservices material on M. Fowler's bliki)
  2. DZone RefCard,
  3. InfoQ content,
  4. µCon 2014: The Microservices Conference (many slide casts)
  5. API Design and Management advice, see here


Contact for this page: Olaf Zimmermann.