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Microservices.io is brought to you by Chris Richardson. Experienced software architect, author of POJOs in Action and the creator of the original CloudFoundry.com. His latest startup is eventuate.io, a microservices application platform.

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The patterns

How to apply the patterns

Core patterns


Deployment patterns

Cross cutting concerns

Communication style

External API

Service discovery


Data management




UI patterns

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Pattern: Decompose by business capability


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


How to decompose an application into services?


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


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.


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


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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