What is Decoupled Architecture?
It is an architectural method that allows each computing component to exist and carry out tasks independently without depending tightly on one another and changing the component itself. It also allows the components to remain completely unaware and autonomous until instructed. In simple words, the components can be developed independently without having to wait for their dependencies to complete.
For instance, when it comes to UI development, decoupling UI from its dependent backend brings a lot of advantages as we can drive our web UI with well-defined APIs that return in our environment (for example, ATOM/XML, etc…). Thus, decoupling allows the UI and backend developers to produce their work in parallel.
Decoupling is Evolution in Software Design
Before decoupled architecture was introduced, monolithic architecture was the most widely used system design, it is a traditional model of a software program and all the functionalities of a project exist in a single codebase.
Then the second generation of software design is where the focus was on efficiency and re-useability. In simple words, it developed in layers separating integrations and functionalities. Decoupled architecture refers to the fact that each component has its own autonomy within the overall design.
From the figure above, the shapes and colors represent the layers or the components, the left side is the pattern of the architectural model of Monolithic architecture; the right side is an example of Decoupled architecture.
Decoupled architecture leads to pipelined development, resulting in more streamlined and faster development. There are a few advantages of decoupling:
- it helps to remove any implementation dependencies between them
- it improves the testability of the components
- Independent Deployments: Deployments are faster and smaller
- Deploy faster with segmentation without risking functionality
However, implementing a decoupled architecture for your organization probably will encounter certain issues. You should consider the following that could pose some challenges:
- Architecture and data complexity
Since decoupling architecture allows building the system independently that has saved a lot of time in waiting but the architecture relationship needs to be designed well to ensure it fits well with the other components. Besides, data needs to be interconnected through relations, and overall data architecture and governance need to be strengthened.
Decoupling architecture allows us to build the system separately, but when it comes to combination it becomes harder than monolithic architecture to implement the testing before integration.
Hence, it is clear that the decoupling technique must be carefully chosen and applied only where necessary.
Fortunately, Decoupled Architecture allows us to make our code more manageable, scalable, and consistent, all while lowering the total cost of ownership and delivering our solution to our users faster and with confidence.
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This article is written by Han Sheng, Technical Lead in Arkmind, Malaysia. He has a passion for Software Design/Architecture related stuff, Computer Vision and also Edge Devices. He made several AI-based Web/Mobile Applications to help clients solving real-world problems. Feel free to read about him via his Github profile.