S. Haselböck, R. Weinreich, G. Buchgeher: Using Decision Models for Documenting Microservice Architectures: A Student Experiment and Focus Group Study, 13th IEEE International Conference on Service-Oriented System Engineering (SOSE 2019), San Francisco, California, USA, April 4-9, IEEE, 2019, doi: 10.1109/SOSE.2019.00016.


Microservice architecture focuses on splitting up software systems into a suite of services to support independence at the development, deployment, and operational levels. To support this independence, the introduction of a microservice architecture also requires changes to the team organization and operational infrastructure. As a consequence, introducing a microservice architecture requires decisions related to design, organization, and infrastructure in a number of different areas. We use the concept of decision models to support decision makers not only in the making but also in documenting microservice architectural decisions. To evaluate our approach for microservice decision documentation, we conducted an experiment and a subsequent focus group study with 44 graduate students in computer science and information systems. Our results indicate that using decision models enhances the completeness of the created decision documentation and is also perceived as being helpful by the study participants.