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But conversely, how much of the purported benefits of microservices are really the benefits from having well-defined contracts between components? Are microservices mostly a forcing function for good architectural practices, that could be applied equally in a monolithic design (with internal component boundaries) with enough discipline?





I think that's a fair starting point, but once you start enforcing better boundaries, you are actually able to access the microservice benefits (i.e. independent failure, component-variant scaling, independent update deployments, etc) because there's no risk of failure from a boundary break - and those benefits are definitely inaccessible to even the best-designed monolith.



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