Published on Sat Aug 07 2021

Design, Monitoring, and Testing of Microservices Systems: The Practitioners' Perspective

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Context: Microservices Architecture (MSA) has received significant attention in the software industry. However, little empirical evidence exists on design, monitoring, and testing of microservices systems. Objective: This research aims to gain a deep understanding of how microservices systems are designed, monitored, and tested in the industry. Method: A mixed-methods study was conducted with 106 survey responses and 6 interviews from microservices practitioners. Results: The main findings are: (1) a combination of domain-driven design and business capability is the most used strategy to decompose an application into microservices, (2) over half of the participants used architecture evaluation and architecture implementation when designing microservices systems, (3) API gateway and Backend for frontend patterns are the most used MSA patterns, (4) resource usage and load balancing as monitoring metrics, log management and exception tracking as monitoring practices are widely used, (5) unit and end-to-end testing are the most used testing strategies, and (6) the complexity of microservices systems poses challenges for their design, monitoring, and testing, for which there are no dedicated solutions. Conclusions: Our findings reveal that more research is needed to (1) deal with microservices complexity at the design level, (2) handle security in microservices systems, and (3) address the monitoring and testing challenges through dedicated solutions.