A pattern language and visual notation for messaging systems: Enterprise integration patterns by @ghohpe and @bobby_woolf

New public workshop: Architecting for fast, sustainable flow - enabling DevOps and Team Topologies thru architecture. Learn more and enroll.

One of the defining characteristics of the microservice architecture is that services are loosely coupled. Services should ideally be self-contained but some form of inter-service communication is inevitable. You should, however, be very careful about using synchronous calls (e.g. REST or gRPC) between services If you mimic the inter-module communication patterns in your monolithic you are likely to have a very brittle system due to the runtime coupling. To reduce runtime coupling, you should strive to use asynchronous messaging wherever possible.

My favorite book on asynchronous messaging is Enterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. I bought it back in 2003, so I guess it’s a classic.

It’s a pattern language and visual notation for messaging systems.

I find it useful to describe an application’s architecture in terms of patterns such as Message Channel rather than immediately leaping into the technical details of today’s fashionable message broker. Later you can map that abstract architecture to an actual implementation. For example, take a look at the diagrams in my posts about orchestration-based and choreography-based sagas, such as the follow:

This is a must read book if you are building applications that use asynchronous messaging. You can learn more about the book and the pattern language on the book’s website.

Copyright © 2024 Chris Richardson • All rights reserved • Supported by Kong.

About Microservices.io

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

New workshop: Architecting for fast, sustainable flow

Enabling DevOps and Team Topologies thru architecture

DevOps and Team topologies are vital for delivering the fast flow of changes that modern businesses need.

But they are insufficient. You also need an application architecture that supports fast, sustainable flow.

Learn more and register for my June 2024 online workshops....


I help organizations improve agility and competitiveness through better software architecture.

Learn more about my consulting engagements, and training workshops.

LEARN about microservices

Chris offers numerous other resources for learning the microservice architecture.

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

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 GIVLKECM to sign up for $145 (valid until June 19th, 2024). There are deeper discounts for buying multiple seats.

Learn more

Learn how to create a service template and microservice chassis

Take a look at my Manning LiveProject that teaches you how to develop a service template and microservice chassis.

Signup for the newsletter

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 Eventuate.io 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.

Join the microservices google group