Best Practices for Building Software Architectures

Every software development project begins with the application architecture. An architecture that’s well-defined and clearly documented facilitates efficient development so new features and services can be delivered fast to end-users and customers.

An architecture approach that Tiempo strongly endorses with many of their clients is microservices. Microservices makes it possible to update and upgrade individual application services rather than the entire application—a requirement of monolith architectures that decreases the frequency of updates and is more likely to cause entire applications to fail after an update.

Microservices thus makes it possible to respond faster to end-user and customer requirements and enables constant software improvements through continuous development and deployment.

The architecture of applications essentially becomes interactive and totally responsive to constantly changing requirements and the discovery of new opportunities.

Supported by a DevOps environment, a microservices workflow is simple to express. The foundational architecture is coded by development and deployed by operations. Operations then rapidly collects feedback from the users and convey the feedback to the development team.

The developers can use that feedback to drive the next round of code improvements. Once tested and approved the new code is then deployed by operations and the cycle begins again.

Best Practices for Microservices Architecture

Best Practices for Building Software Architectures Infographic

Here are a few additional best-practice tips to help you leverage the microservices architecture approach to its fullest extent:

  • In addition to functional requirements, the application architecture should account for support of non-functional requirements.
  • It also helps the development process if the architecture follows a specific technology stack and utilizes enterprise-level frameworks.
  • The architecture should specify whether an application will be hosted on-premises or in the cloud; if a hybrid will be utilized, the architecture should specify how the various environments will be integrated.
  • Whether designing a single-purpose productivity tool or a broad operational platform system, define each function carefully in terms of purpose, operation, workflows and outcomes.
  • When defining the relationships between each function and all others, include how and what information will be passed from one function to another; also define how quality will be checked and how each function will be used by each segment or module.

“Before building the application architecture, define what you currently know about the application ecosystem in clear goals. Define multiple hypotheses and then test if they are true, and allow for the architecture and design process to evolve based on continuous feedback from various sources—including your development team, monitoring tools and end-users. Use this feedback to adjust your strategy based on facts so you can more efficiently focus your efforts on the architecture and provide better value to your users and stakeholders.” Jorge Gaona – Architect

Two Approaches to Microservices

As you apply these best practices, keep in mind there are really two different microservices architectures. The first is similar to the construction metaphor in that the underlying structure of the system must be delineated before any other work can commence. The second architecture never really ends—this is the ongoing activity of rapid and continuous improvements to the original code.

Any changes applied to the code should align with the overall architectural plan to fulfill the functional specifications of the system. The software must also be elastic, constantly responding to changes in the business and its markets. This is key because in some extreme examples, companies are now leveraging microservices architectures to deliver software updates several times each day.

Set Yourself Up for Awesome Success

Tiempo technologists deliver architectures that combine powerful functionality with resource- and cost-efficiency. We use such best practices as design layering to minimize dependencies, make business logic efficient, and improve the maintainability and robustness of your code. We also provide highly detailed documentation that your teams can rely on to take architecture and software development forward on their own. Contact us to learn more.