Cell-Based Architecture — Architecture Pattern

Cell-based architecture in computing involves designing systems that consist of interconnected cells, each cell capable of executing tasks independently. Like the cells in a biological organism, these computing cells have their own processing units, memory, and communication capabilities. They operate in parallel, exchanging information and collaborating to solve complex problems efficiently.

Architecture Design

Sep 4 2023

 How to do distributed locking

As part of the research for my book, I came across an algorithm called Redlock on the Redis website. The algorithm claims to implement fault-tolerant distributed locks (or rather, leases [1]) on top of Redis, and the page asks for feedback from people who are into distributed systems. The algorithm instinctively set off some alarm bells in the back of my mind, so I spent a bit of time thinking about it and writing up these notes.

Design Disributed Systems

Aug 20 2023

 The lost art of software design

“Big design up front is dumb. Doing no design up front is even dumber.” This quote epitomises what I’ve seen during our journey from “big design up front” in the 20th century, to “emergent design” and “evolutionary architecture” in the 21st. In their desire to become “agile”, many teams seem to have abandoned architectural thinking, upfront design, documentation, diagramming, and modelling. In many cases, this is a knee-jerk reaction to the heavy bloated processes of times past, and in others, it’s a misinterpretation and misapplication of the agile manifesto. As a result, many of the software design activities I witness these days are very high-level and superficial in nature. The resulting output, typically an ad hoc sketch on a whiteboard, is usually ambiguous and open to interpretation, leading to a situation where the underlying solution can’t be communicated, assessed, or reviewed. If you’re willing to consider that upfront design is about creating a sufficient starting point, rather than creating a perfect end-state, you soon realise that a large amount of the costly rework and “refactoring” seen on many software development teams can be avoided. Join me for a discussion about the lost art of software design, and how we can reintroduce it to help teams scale and move faster.

Design Video

Aug 13 2023

 An Introduction to Residuality Theory

Residuality theory is a revolutionary new theory of software design that aims to make it easier to design software systems for complex business environments. Residuality theory models software systems as interconnected residues - an alternative to component and process modeling that uses applied complexity science to make managing uncertainty a fundamental part of the design process.

Architecture Design

Jul 5 2023

 Transactions in a Microservice World

Typically, microservice-based applications distribute data widely, especially in cloud-based applications, resulting in distributed applications. This impacts the transactions within these applications. This white paper refreshes the concepts of classical and distributed transactions. Next, we explain how cloud-based applications are affected by distribution. Finally, we present compensation-based transactions as a reliable method for microservice-based application transactions, even in the cloud.

Design Microservices

Jun 16 2023

 How do committees invent?

When I think about design, I more naturally think about it the other way around: how to decompose the whole into a set of parts that will work together to accomplish the system goals. But of course Conway is right that those parts do have to fit together to produce the intended whole again.

Design Philosophy

Jun 14 2023

 How to design software architecture: Top tips and best practices

You wouldn’t want to jump into a project without a solid plan, and software architecture design is no different. By making this process more effective, you can account for all of your requirements properly and give stakeholders the opportunity to provide their input. Using technical visuals and a careful planning process, you can outline your software architecture and design before you get started on a prototype.

Architecture Design

May 21 2023

 Aligning Bounded Contexts with Subdomains in Legacy Code

One way or another, each system contains some kind of boundaries. I would go so far and claim that even the dreaded Big Ball of Mud systems consist of parts that could be perceived as separate though undoubtedly only under deep scrutiny. The difference is in the “thickness” of the boundaries and the measure of interrelationships between the different parts of the system, the frequency and amount of data that is passed across the fences. It is the latter that leads to increased coupling resulting in systems that are hard to maintain and hard to change. This presentation will present a story of an attempt to achieve an alignment between perceived subdomains, logical boundaries and source code structure in a legacy system. Based on the use case from healthcare we will go into technical detail on concrete steps that were followed to create a new bounded context using strategic Domain-Driven Design and 4+1 Architectural View Models.

Architecture DDD Design Video

Dec 22 2022

 Balancing Coupling in Software Design

We are used to treating coupling as the necessary evil. Hence, we aim to break systems apart into the smallest services possible, in the ever-lasting quest of decoupling everything. But what results are we getting by following this reasoning? — Instead of the promised land of evolvable systems, many such “decouple everything” endeavors lead straight into the chains of distributed monoliths. Can we do better? What if there is a better way to handle coupling in distributed systems? Or even, what if instead of fighting coupling, we can use it as a heuristic for designing systems that are actually evolvable and maintainable? That’s exactly what you will learn in this session: what coupling is, and how you can use it as a design tool. We will start by taking a journey through time, and explore the different models of evaluating coupling. Next, we will combine the existing knowledge into a coherent model — a simple function for evaluating a system’s decomposition into components. This function will allow you to assess the expected effort for evolving a system and use it as a heuristic for optimizing architectural design decisions.

DDD Design Video

Dec 22 2022