Self-contained system (software)
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In computing, self-contained system (SCS) is a software architecture approach that focuses on a separation of the functionality into many independent systems, making the complete logical system a collaboration of many smaller software systems.
Self-contained system characteristics
SCS have certain characteristics:
- Each SCS is an autonomous web application.
- Each SCS is owned by one team.
- Communication with other SCSs or third-party systems is asynchronous wherever possible.
- An SCS can have an optional service API.
- Each SCS must include data and logic.
- An SCS should make its features usable to end-users by its own UI.
- To avoid tight coupling an SCS should share no business code with other SCSs.
- Shared infrastructure should be reduced to increase availability and decrease coupling.
Implementations create larger systems using this approach – in particular web applications. There are many case studies and further links available.
Self-contained systems and microservices
While self-contained systems are similar to microservices there are differences: A system will usually contain fewer SCS than microservices. Also microservices can communicate with other microservices – even synchronously. SCS prefer no communication or asynchronous communication. Microservices might also have a separate UI unlike the SCS that include a UI.
There are quite a few known usages of SCS – e.g. at Otto and Galeria Kaufhof.