Chapter 3. Microkernel Architecture

The microkernel architecture pattern (sometimes referred to as the plug-in architecture pattern) is a natural pattern for implementing product-based applications. A product-based application is one that is packaged and made available for download in versions as a typical third-party product. However, many companies also develop and release their internal business applications like software products, complete with versions, release notes, and pluggable features. These are also a natural fit for this pattern. The microkernel architecture pattern allows you to add additional application features as plug-ins to the core application, providing extensibility as well as feature separation and isolation.

Pattern Description

The microkernel architecture pattern consists of two types of architecture components: a core system and plug-in modules. Application logic is divided between independent plug-in modules and the basic core system, providing extensibility, flexibility, and isolation of application features and custom processing logic. Figure 3-1 illustrates the basic microkernel architecture pattern.

The core system of the microkernel architecture pattern traditionally contains only the minimal functionality required to make the system operational. Many operating systems implement the microkernel architecture pattern, hence the origin of this pattern’s name. From a business-application perspective, the core system is often defined as the general ...

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