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Lead Image © faithie, 123RF.com

Revamp your software architectures with Domain-Driven Transformation


Article from ADMIN 78/2023
By , By
Domain-Driven transformation can refurbish a legacy system in increments while mitigating risk.

When greenfield teams start a software project, it's all fun and easy. The developers respond to new requirements at lightning speed, and the users are thrilled. Development proceeds in leaps and bounds. However, this picture changes over the lifetime of the system as the complexity of the software inevitably increases, making the system more prone to error, slowing progress and affecting maintainability.

When worst comes to worst, even the smallest change can take months to reach production. What was initially a flourishing green meadow has turned into a brownfield. "Legacy system," "old software," "big ball of mud," and "monolith" are the unflattering names teams use for these kinds of systems, but don't give up hope: You can bring flexibility, error resilience, and development speed back to aging systems. The core task is to control and break up the complexity.

Software systems suffer from different "diseases," and you need a variety of medicines to cure them. Four malaises in various permutations are observed in organizations and their legacy systems, whether monoliths or microservices.

Over time, a legacy system grows into a "big ball of mud," wherein unmanaged dependencies lead to everything being interrelated with everything else. Additionally, business cases become entangled in a large domain model whose parts don't genuinely fit together – or that even get in each other's way. In the third disease, the domain and technical source code intermingle. In such cases, replacing obsolete technology or expanding the business case have mutated into Herculean tasks. To make things worse, the stakeholders are bogged down in a team structure that does not lend itself to, or in fact prevents, fast progress.

Within the last 20 years, work with Domain-Driven Design (DDD) and legacy software has identified some cures for these diseases: refactoring, domain storytelling, event storming,

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