Determining Microservice Boundaries: A Case Study Using Static and Dynamic Software Analysis

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12292)


A number of approaches have been proposed to identify service boundaries when decomposing a monolith to microservices. However, only a few use systematic methods and have been demonstrated with replicable empirical studies. We describe a systematic approach for refactoring systems to microservice architectures that uses static analysis to determine the system’s structure and dynamic analysis to understand its actual behavior. A prototype of a tool was built using this approach (MonoBreaker) and was used to conduct a case study on a real-world software project. The goal was to assess the feasibility and benefits of a systematic approach to decomposition that combines static and dynamic analysis. The three study participants regarded as positive the decomposition proposed by our tool, and considered that it showed improvements over approaches that rely only on static analysis.


Microservices Refactoring Software architecture 



João Paiva Pinto and Isabel Azevedo discussed different forms of this work with us. We thank them for all the precious feedback.

This work is financed by National Funds through the Portuguese funding agency, FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia within project UIDB/50014/2020.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.INESC TEC, FEUP CampusPortoPortugal
  3. 3.LIACC, FEUP CampusPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Institute of Software TechnologyUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  5. 5.University of Applied Sciences ReutlingenReutlingenGermany

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