Microservices, Continuous Architecture, and Technical Debt Interest: An Empirical Study

Valentina Lenarduzzi, Davide Taibi

Continuous Architecture (CA) is an approach that supports companies in decreasing the time between deliveries. Migration to microservices is one of the most common situations when companies adopt continuous architecting processes [4]. Companies commonly adopt an initial migration strategy to extract some components from the monolithic system as microservices, making use of simplified microservices patterns [5][4]. As an example, companies commonly directly connect the microservices to the legacy monolithic system and do not adopt any message bus at the beginning. When the system starts to grow in complexity, they usually start re-architecting their systems, considering different architectural patterns. Some companies introduce API gateway patterns to simplify the management and load balancing of the different services, while others also consider a lightweight message bus [4][5][6]. All these architectural changes require deep refactoring of the system, thereby increasing the risk of new faults being introduced. In this paper, we report the preliminary results of work in progress, where we monitored the TD of an SME (SMEs = small and medium enterprises) that adopted a CA approach while migrating a legacy monolithic system to an ecosystem of microservices. To the best of our knowledge, no studies exist on the impact of postponed activities on the TD, especially in the context of CA and microservices. This work will help companies understand how TD grows and changes over time while at the same time opening up new avenues for future research on the analysis of TD interest in continuous architecting processes.

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