Analysing changes in microservice-based systems

When it comes to computer science, we can develop large, complex applications as a single monolithic system, or we can split them into small, scalable components that work together using standard protocols. In the Internet cloud, these small components are often implemented as microservices. A new research project, funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, sets out to understand more precisely how changes in a single microservice affect other microservices and the application as a whole.

“Microservice architectures have considerable advantages. Because the individual parts are modularised, it is quite easy to add new functions quickly or to perform maintenance on the system in its individual components wherever necessary,” the lead investigator of the project, Martin Pinzger (Institute for Computer Science Systems), explains. In order for an application to remain up-to-date and effective, these changes need to be implemented with increasing frequency and speed. One of the main challenges is to keep track of the changes and their effects.

The project “Change Analyses in Microservice-Based Systems“ aims to develop a tool that can extract and classify changes in the implementation of microservices. The tool and the data extracted using it will subsequently support researchers in developing solutions for a faster and more accurate analysis of changes and their effects in microservice-based systems.

The project is being carried out jointly with the Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) and it is scheduled to run until 2022. Project funding will be provided by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).