Pattern: Self Registration


You have applied either the Client-side Service Discovery pattern or the Server-side Service Discovery pattern. Service instances must be registered with the service registry on startup so that they can be discovered and unregistered on shutdown.


How are service instances registered with and unregistered from the service registry?


  • Service instances must be registered with the service registry on startup and unregistered on shutdown
  • Service instances that crash must be unregistered from the service registry
  • Service instances that are running but incapable of handling requests must be unregistered from the service registry


A service instance is responsible for registering itself with the service registry. On startup the service instance registers itself (host and IP address) with the service registry and makes itself available for discovery. The client must typically periodically renew its registration so that the registry knows it is still alive. On shutdown, the service instance unregisters itself from the service registry.

This is typically handled by a Microservice chassis framework


The Microservices Example application is an example of an application that uses self-registration. It is written in Scala and uses Spring Boot and Spring Cloud as the Microservice chassis. The application uses the Eureka Service Registry, which is a Netflix OSS component.

Service registration is configured using the @EnableEurekaClient on a Java config class:

class EurekaClientConfiguration {

This annotation causes the service instance to be registered with Eureka.

Resulting context

The benefits of the Self Registration pattern include the following:

  • A service instance knows its own state so can implement a state model that’s more complex than UP/DOWN, e.g. STARTING, AVAILABLE, …

There are also some drawbacks:

  • Couples the service to the Service Registry
  • You must implement service registration logic in each programming language/framework that you use to write your services, e.g. NodeJS/JavaScript, Java/Scala, etc.
  • A service instance that is running yet unable to handle requests will often lack the self-awareness to unregister itself from the service registry

About is brought to you by Chris Richardson. Experienced software architect, author of POJOs in Action, the creator of the original, and the author of Microservices patterns.

Chris helps clients around the world adopt the microservice architecture through consulting engagements, and training classes and workshops.

New virtual bootcamp: Distributed data patterns in a microservice architecture

My virtual bootcamp, distributed data patterns in a microservice architecture, is now open for enrollment!

It covers the key distributed data management patterns including Saga, API Composition, and CQRS.

It consists of video lectures, code labs, and a weekly ask-me-anything video conference repeated in multiple timezones.

The regular price is $395/person but use coupon BNCDVUNB to sign up for $295 (valid until November 16th, 2021). There are deeper discounts for buying multiple seats.

Learn more

Signup for the newsletter

LEARN about microservices

Chris offers numerous resources for learning the microservice architecture.

Training classes

Chris teaches comprehensive workshops, training classes and bootcamps for executives, architects and developers to help your organization use microservices effectively.

Avoid the pitfalls of adopting microservices and learn essential topics, such as service decomposition and design and how to refactor a monolith to microservices.

Delivered in-person and remotely.

Get the book: Microservices Patterns

Read Chris Richardson's book:

Example microservices applications

Want to see an example? Check out Chris Richardson's example applications. See code

BUILD microservices

Ready to start using the microservice architecture?

Consulting services

Engage Chris to create a microservices adoption roadmap and help you define your microservice architecture,

The Eventuate platform

Use the platform to tackle distributed data management challenges in your microservices architecture.

Eventuate is Chris's latest startup. It makes it easy to use the Saga pattern to manage transactions and the CQRS pattern to implement queries.

ASSESS your architecture

Assess your application's microservice architecture and identify what needs to be improved.

Consulting services

Engage Chris to conduct an architectural assessment.

Self assessment

Alternatively, conduct a self-assessment using the Microservices Assessment Platform.

Join the microservices google group

Copyright © 2021 Chris Richardson • All rights reserved • Supported by Kong.