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Communications of the ACM


Tracking and Controlling Microservice Dependencies

man peering into locked car

Credit: Vershinin89

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In search of a cappuccino, cheese bread, and a place to check her email, Silvia walked into a coffee shop. Upon connecting to the Wi-Fi hotspot, a captive portal prompted her to log in and offered a few third-party authentication options. When she clicked on one of the access token providers, her browser showed a "No Internet Connection" error. Since she didn't have access to the network, she could not get an OAuth token—and she couldn't access the network without one.

This anecdote illustrates a critical detail of system design that can easily go unnoticed until an outage takes place: cyclic dependencies.


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