CQ-Shop – Architecture, Environment, and Tools

From the very beginning, the CQ-Shop project was meant to be a big mix of buzzwords – microservices, event-driven, AI, and many many more. Even though the final application is a bit different than the planned one, it is still pretty impressive. In this post, I describe the architecture, development environment, and tools that I used.

Event Storming

I started the development with the series of Event Storming workshops. They helped me to understand the business problem better. One of the outcomes of these workshops was a draft of dependencies and initial communication structure.

It was the first time when I prepared an analysis before I started the actual development. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it very much. I don’t find that time as wasted. It helped me a lot in the next stages.

Here you can read more about Event Storming.

 

Application Architecture

I developed the CQ-Shop application as a microservice system which utilizes the event-driven architecture.

The final system consists of 9 small applications. Four of them are strictly related to infrastructurelogging-service, api-gateway-service, config-service, eureka-service. The other five are the services that implement the domain tasksuser-management-service, notification-service, cart-service, warehouse-service, order-service.

All of them are Spring Boot services developed in Java. Every application has a dedicated H2 in-memory database instance. As you can see in the diagram below, the schema consists of four smaller schemas.

Kafka

I always wanted to learn some basics of Kafka. It was an ideal time to do so. I decided to use Kafka as the message broker that handles all the generated events. It is responsible for managing the whole communication that the CQ-Shop application generates. I used all the events transported by the message broker as data for anomaly detection.

There are six application groups – 1 group per service. There are also six topics – 5 of them are domain topics, and the other one handles application commands.

Here you can read more about events in CQ-Shop.

Development Environment

The whole infrastructure consists of two more services – Schema Registry and Zookeeper. It adds up to 12 concurrently running applications. It is way too much for a single laptop with 8GBs of RAM. Not to mention at least one instance of IntelliJ IDEA.

I decided to move some of the applications into Virtual Machines on Google Cloud. To avoid latency related to the slow startup, I have selected only rarely redeployed applications.

I was able to work faster after I moved some part of the infrastructure into the cloud. The local machine was no longer overloaded.

Machine Learning

The whole idea behind my master thesis was to detect anomalies in event-driven architecture. I planned to use TensorFlow for implementing the ML algorithms. I ended up using standard Python libraries – NumPy, Pandas, scikit-learn. The only new library was Renom. It provided me abstraction over LSTM Network implementation.

I used Jupyter Notebooks for developing and running the scripts. I prefer it to PyCharm or any other Python IDE.

Here you can read more about events anomaly detection.

Summary

As you can see, there were plenty of technologies, solutions, tools, and buzzwords used. Developing such an application solo was an excellent opportunity to learn new things. I was able to face issues that I have never spotted. In the next post, you will find a summary of challenges, learnings, and plans.

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