Click here to close now.


Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Chris Witeck , Deep Bhattacharjee

Related Topics: Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, IoT User Interface

Java IoT: Article

Componentizing Applications with Layered Architecture

Componentization facilitates modularity and easy maintenance

A component is a reusable software entity that is developed and deployed independently. Component based software development has many architectural advantages. In the previous article Componentizing a Monolithic Application in Java, we learnt the need for componentizing applications for getting the benefits of reusability and modularity. In this article let us look at how multi layered application can be componentized. We take the example of a multi-layered POS (Point-Of-Sale) application and understand how the application can be componentized at various layers like presentation, business and persistence layers.

Point of Sale - An Example Application
Consider a Point-of-Sale (POS) application meant for tracking orders and payments in a restaurant. The POS is used to track the tables being occupied by the guests, orders being made from various tables, and to print bills. Apart from these operational features, the POS application can also be used for restaurant administration. Total number of tables in the restaurant, list of foods sold in the restaurant, their prices, and the associated tax rates can be managed. The use cases to be supported by the POS application are described in brief below:

  • Guests Check-in - This use case is invoked by the waiters when new guests arrive at the restaurant. POS displays a list of empty tables, and the waiter chooses an empty table and seats the guests in that table.
  • Place Order - When guests from a table order for food, waiter invokes this use case. POS prompts the waiter for the table number, food item, and quantity ordered. POS consolidates and maintains orders against each table.
  • Modify Order - Waiter can modify the quantity of any order already placed.
  • Cancel Order - Waiter can cancel any order already placed.
  • Pay Bill - Waiter invokes this use case to print the bill and collect payment for all items ordered from a table.
  • Guests Check-out - When guests from a table leave, waiter invokes this usecase to mark the table as empty.
  • Collections Report - At any point of time, the POS user can look at all the past payments collected.

Existing Implementation of POS
The existing implementation of POS uses a typical layered architecture pattern consisting of presentation layer, business layer, and data layer. The layered architecture is supported by the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern. In the MVC paradigm, Model is responsible to capture real world business information through software objects. View is responsible to present the business information captured by Model visually for human consumption. Controller is responsible to handle user inputs and mediate between View and Model.

Figure 1 - Existing POS Application Architecture


Figure 2 - Objects in POS Application Layers

In the layered architecture of POS, Views and Controllers belong to the Presentation layer. Information exchange across the layer borders is enabled by the Model objects carrying business domain data. The multiple layers of POS are shown in Figure 1. The arrow directions indicate the control flow, or in other words, direction of invocation across layers. Figure 2 expands on Figure 1 and provides the list of objects present in each layer.

Model Objects
Model objects carry the business domain relevant information. In the restaurant business domain, we have Food, Table, Order, Bill, and TableConfig model objects. In addition, there is a FoodCategory that each Food belongs to, an OrderItem, a collection of which makes up an order, and a BillLineItem, a collection of which belongs to a Bill.

Figure 3 - Model Objects

All the model objects are presented in Figure 3. Food object is responsible for carrying information such as food name, price, tax rate, and the food category. The table object is responsible for storing the table number and the status on whether the table is occupied or empty. If the table is occupied, the table stores an Order object associated with the table. The Order object captures items ordered from the table. Each OrderItem is an order for multiple quantities of a food item. The payment toward all the items ordered from a table is captured and persisted in the form of a Bill object. Each OrderItem in Order has a corresponding BillLineItem in the Bill.

Presentation Layer
The presentation is based on a console-based UI in the current POS implementation. The presentation layer consists of Views and Controllers. Each UI view is responsible for showing one screen to the user and collecting input from the user interactively. The controller objects are responsible for processing the input gathered by the UI view objects. In addition, the controllers also control the UI screen flow - they direct the next UI screen to be shown after each screen based on user input. To process the input given by the users, the controller objects depend on business objects in the Business Layer.

Business Layer
The business layer contains objects that implement the business logic rules. The controllers from the presentation layer make use of the services offered by this layer. There are  four business objects in the business layer, which are presented below:

  • FoodBiz - FoodBiz is responsible for business logic associated with food creation, modification, and categorization.
  • OrderBiz - It implements all the business logic associated with maintaining orders placed by guests in different tables, addition and modification of order items, and cancellation of ordered items.
  • TableBiz - It is responsible for maintaining total number of tables based on configuration, blocking and releasing tables based on guests check-in and checkout.
  • BillBiz - This object is responsible for printing bill, and persisting bill details for future reference.

Business objects that need to persist the model data objects depend on the persistence layer.

Persistence Layer
The persistence layer is responsible for transfering the state information stored in the model objects to a persistent storage and for retrieving it back to in-memory objects. This layer consists of Data Access Objects (DAO). DAO interfaces are defined for TableConfig, Food, and Bill objects. Concrete DAO objects implement these interfaces specific to the database used. The example code that accompanies this article uses Db4o database. Each of the generic DAO is implemented by the Db4o specific concrete DAO object.

Having analyzed the existing application in depth, which provides all the required functionalities, why should we componentize this application? Componentization in general helps in two different endeavors: (i) improve maintainability and (ii) extract reusable parts for storage and future reuse.

Let's investigate the maintainability aspect. Assume that there is a new business rule imposed in the POS application. The POS is supposed to charge a gratuity of 15% for any guest group consisting of eight or more members. On analysis of the existing application architecture, the BillBiz is the right object that can shoulder this new responsibility, because BillBiz implements the business logic that calculates the Bill amount. The BillBiz class diagram is presented in Figure 4.

Figure 4 - BillBiz Class Diagram

The BillBiz object has a payBill(Table table):Bill method. This method implements the business logic for billing. This method can be modified to accommodate the gratuity-related business change. In addition to this change, the calculated gratuity for each bill needs to be captured in some model object and persisted. The PayBillUI class in the presentation layer also needs to be changed to display the gratuity amount.

If we make these changes in the existing application as is, we need to recompile and redeploy the whole application, even though the application has a layered architecture. This is because these layers are logical and not physical. Moreover, to isolate the impact of the new business requirement, we need to isolate the Billing functionality from other functionality such as Order Management and Food Management functionality. Let's see how componentization can address this maintenance issue.

Componentized POS Application
Let's split the business layer of the POS into four different components as shown in Figure 5. By splitting the application into different components, the Billing responsibility is isolated into the Bill component.

Figure 5 - Functional Componentization of POS

In the componentized structure in Figure 5, when a new business rule for Billing is required, the Bill component can be replaced with a new Bill component without affecting rest of the application. In order to achieve the component structure proposed in Figure 6, we package the objects from the original implementation into different component packages as per Table 1.




























Business & Data




Business & Data




Business & Data




Business & Data

Table 1 - Mapping of New Components to Old Objects and Layers

As a general pattern, it can be observed that each UI component consists of necessary view and controller objects. Each business component consists of necessary business objects and DAO objects for persistence. Apart from these components, the objects from the Model are packaged together as an object library, which is referred by each of these components. The objects inside the Model library are listed in Table 2. These are the same model objects that were presented in Figure 3.

Model Object Library










Table 2 - Objects inside the Model Object library

Once we repackage the objects from the existing implementation into components as discussed above, we get component architecture for the POS application as shown in Figure 7. In the diagram the connector with a lollipop and a receptacle represents a component assembly between two components. In a component assembly, one component exposes a service and another component consumes that service. For example, the Table component exposes TableBiz service which is consumed by all the other components.

Figure 6 - Functional Componentization of POS

Figure 8 provides an expanded view of Figure 7, providing inside details of each component.

Figure 7 - Inside individual component

Replacing a Bill Component
As discussed earlier, we have a business rule change request that requires an additional gratuity amount to be charged to those guest groups whose size is eight or larger. We had reasoned in the earlier analysis that the business logic change can be implemented in the BillBiz class in the Bill component, in the payBill() method. Part of the code from this method is presented in Figure 8.

Figure 8 - Code Snippet from payBill(Table table):Bill method of BillBiz

As can be seen from the code snippet in Figure 8, the payBill() method obtains the Order object associated with the Table for which the Bill has to be generated. For each OrderItem in the Order, a BillLineItem is generated. For each BillLineItem, the base price, tax, and total price are calculated. All BillLineItems are kept in a collection that becomes part of the generated Bill object. The Bill object also has a total base price, total tax, and total payable amount. These values are calculated as sums of corresponding price components of the constituent bill line items. In the business logic change request, the total price of the bill should have an additional component called gratuity, if the number of guests is equal to or more than 8.

The current total price of the bill is given by:

Total Price = Base Price + Tax

With the introduction of gratutity, this would have to be changed to

Total Price = Base Price + Tax + Gratuity

Gratuity = 0.15 * Base Price (if number of guests >=8)

= 0 (otherwise)

The payBill() method code snippet shown in Figure 8 can be modified to accommodate the above change. However, we need to capture the new gratuity element in the model objects. In order to give least interference to other components, we introduce a new model object called as Gratuity. This object is responsible for storing the gratuityAmount and the Bill object to which the gratuityAmount is applicable. The class diagram of Gratuity is presented below.

Figure 9 - Gratuity Object in the Model

We shall call the modified Bill component as Bill2, and the modified BillUI component as BillUI2. The modified payBill method that implements the addition of a gratuity component to the bill is shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 - Modified Code Snippet from payBill(Table table):Bill method of BillBiz

As can be seen in Figure 8 and Figure 10, the new code has created a Gratuity object if the number of guests is equal to or more than eight. It has also added a necessary amount to the total amount in the Bill object. The BillUI2 component would retrieve the Gratuity object associated with the bill and display the gratuity amount if it is non-zero. To facilitate this retrieval, a new method called getGratuityForBill() is added to BillBiz class in the Bill2 component. The modified BillBiz class is shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 - Modified BillBiz Class in Bill2 Component

We reassemble the POS application by substituting Bill and BillUI components with the Bill2 and BillUI2 components. Of course, the new Model object library is to be used. With these changes, the component architecture of the application is presented in Figure 12.

Figure 12 - Modified Component Architecture of POS Application

At any point, the Bill2 and BillUI2 components can be replaced with the old Bill and BillUI components to change the behavior of the application back to the old. Thus evolution of the application with the insertion and removal of new functionalities can be done by changing components in the application assembly without changing the application code.

Componentization provides many benefits. In this article we demonstrated how a multi-layered POS application can be componentized. One of the important properties of a component is its pluggable nature. In the POS example, we saw how componentization facilitates modularity and easy maintenance through asimple replacement of pluggable components.

The authors would like to sincerely thank Anupama Nithyanand for her support and Nitin KL  for his valuable suggestions and reviewing this article. Authors are indebted to Soumya Bardhan, Shikhar Johari and Vishal Verma for helping in the development and testing efforts of the sample application.

More Stories By Piram Manickam

Piram Manickam works at Infosys Limited. He would like to acknowledge and thank Sangeetha S, a beloved colleague and friend, for her invaluable contributions in this work.

More Stories By Subrahmanya SV

Subrahmanya SV works at Infosys Limited. He would like to acknowledge and thank Sangeetha S, a beloved colleague and friend, for her invaluable contributions in this work.

More Stories By S Sangeetha

S Sangeetha is a Senior Technical Architect at the E-Commerce Research Labs at Infosys Limited. She has over 15 years of experience in architecture, design and development of enterprise Java applications. She is also involved in enhancing the technical skills of Architects at Infosys. She has co-authored a book on ‘J2EE Architecture’ and also has written numerous articles on Java for various online Java forums like JavaWorld,, and She can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
You may have heard about the pets vs. cattle discussion – a reference to the way application servers are deployed in the cloud native world. If an application server goes down it can simply be dropped from the mix and a new server added in its place. The practice so far has mostly been applied to application deployments. Management software on the other hand is treated in a very special manner. Dedicated resources are set aside to run the management software components and several alerting syst...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Naturally, new and exciting technologies and trends like software defined networking, the Internet of Things and the cloud tend to get the lion’s share of attention these days, including when it comes to security. However, it’s important to never forget that at the center of it all is still the enterprise network. And as evidenced by the ever-expanding landslide of data breaches that could have been prevented or at least their impact lessened by better practicing network security basics, it’s ...
Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more. The next BriefingsDirect DevOps thought leadership discussion explores the concept of continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications and systems. Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more.
This morning on #c9d9 we spoke with two industry veterans and published authors - James DeLuccia and Jonathan McAllister - on how to bake-in security and compliance into your DevOps processes, and how DevOps and automation can essentially help you pass your next audit.
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The annual holiday shopping season, which started on Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the end of December, is undoubtedly the most crucial time of the year for many eCommerce websites, with sales from this period having a dramatic effect on the year-end bottom line. Web performance – or, the overall speed and availability of a website or mobile site – is an issue year-round, but it takes on increased importance during the holidays. Ironically, it is at this time of year that networks and i...
Hiring the wrong candidate can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and result in lost profit and productivity during the search for a replacement. In fact, the Harvard Business Review has found that as much as 80 percent of turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions. But when your organization has implemented DevOps, the job is about more than just technical chops. It’s also about core behaviors: how they work with others, how they make decisions, and how those decisions translate t...
People want to get going with DevOps or Continuous Delivery, but need a place to start. Others are already on their way, but need some validation of their choices. A few months ago, I published the first volume of DevOps and Continuous Delivery reference architectures which has now been viewed over 50,000 times on SlideShare (it's free to registration required). Three things helped people in the deck: (1) the reference architectures, (2) links to the sources for each architectur...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
One of the most important tenets of digital transformation is that it’s customer-driven. In fact, the only reason technology is involved at all is because today’s customers demand technology-based interactions with the companies they do business with. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we at Intellyx agree with Patrick Maes, CTO, ANZ Bank, when he said, “the fundamental element in digital transformation is extreme customer centricity.” So true – but note the insightful twist that Maes adde...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.