W. Hasselbring, M. Wojcieszak, S. Dustdar:
"Control Flow Versus Data Flow in Distributed Systems Integration: Revival of Flow-Based Programming for the Industrial Internet of Things";
IEEE Internet Computing, Volume 25 (2021), Issue 4; S. 5 - 12.

Kurzfassung englisch:
When we consider the application layer1 of networked infrastructures, data and control flow are important concerns in distributed systems integration. Modularity is a fundamental principle in software design,2 in particular for distributed system architectures. Modularity emphasizes high cohesion of individual modules and low coupling between modules. Microservices are a recent modularization approach with the specific requirements of independent deployability and, in particular, decentralized data management.3 Cohesiveness of microservices goes hand-in-hand with loose coupling, making the development, deployment, and evolution of microservice architectures flexible and scalable.4 However, in our experience with microservice architectures, interactions and flows among microservices are usually more complex than in traditional, monolithic enterprise systems, since services tend to be smaller and only have one responsibility, causing collaboration needs. We suggest that for loose coupling among microservices, explicit control-flow modeling and execution with central workflow engines should be avoided on the application integration level. On the level of integrating microservices, data-flow modeling should be dominant. Control-flow should be secondary and preferably delegated to the microservices. We discuss coupling in distributed systems integration and reflect the history of business process modeling with respect to data and control flow. To illustrate our recommendations, we present some results for flow-based programming in our Industrial DevOps project Titan, where we employ flow-based programming for the Industrial Internet of Things.

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