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The patterns

How to apply the patterns

Core patterns

Decomposition

Deployment patterns

Cross cutting concerns

Communication style

External API

Service discovery

Reliability

Data management

Security

Testing

Observability

UI patterns


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Pattern: Decompose by business capability

Context

You are developing a large, complex application and want to use the microservice architecture.

Problem

How to decompose an application into services?

Forces

  • The architecture must be stable
  • Services must be cohesive and loosely coupled
  • Each team that owns one or more services must be autonomous

Solution

Define services corresponding to business capabilities. A business capability is a concept from business architecture modeling. It is something that a business does in order to generate value.

Examples

The business capabilities of an online store include:

  • Product catalog management
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Logistics

The corresponding microservice architecture would have services corresponding to each of these capabilities.

Resulting Context

This pattern has the following benefits:

  • Stable architecture since the business capabilities are relatively stable
  • Development teams are cross-functional, autonomous, and organized around delivering business value rather than technical features
  • Services are cohesive and loosely coupled

Issues

There are the following issues to address:

  • How to identify business capabilities? Identifying business capabilities and hence services requires an understanding of the business. An organization’s business capabilities are identified by analyzing the organization’s purpose, structure, and business processes.

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