S. Haselböck, R. Weinreich, G. Buchgeher: Decision Models for Microservices – Design Areas, Stakeholders, Use Cases, and Requirements, 11th European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA 2017), Canterbury, UK, September 11-17, 2017, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-65831-5_11.
Introducing a microservice architecture is a complex task, which requires many decisions on the system architecture, organizational structures, and system infrastructure. Decision models have been successfully used in other domains for design space exploration, decision making and decision documentation. In this paper, we investigate the use of decision models for microservice architecture. As a first step, we identified different areas of microservice design and created decision models for some of the identified areas. We then used the created models as part of a technical action research (TAR) process with partner companies to identify important stakeholders and use cases for decision models in this context, as well as requirements on decision model elements and presentation. Results indicate that decision models for microservices are perceived as useful by practitioners. Challenges are the large number of interlinked knowledge areas, the need for context-specific adaptations, and the need for processes to manage the decision space over time.