Autonomy means that a service is alive.

Here are my sub-tenets:

  • It has its very own, independent view on data. That may or may not result in fully owning its own data store (I think it should, but that's all a matter of scale and use case), but it certainly shall never share its own view on a shared store with others. The service's public interface(s) provide(s) the only way to manipulate its view on data.
  • It controls its own lifetime. It can do periodical tasks, spin its own threads and should not be forced to shut down because its hosting process model thinks it's idle for the sole reason that it hasn't seen inbound traffic for a while.
  • It has its own identity and carries a security responsibility. It identifies itself with a service-unique principal against other services and through of its own authorization rules it takes the responsibility upon itself that no user gains illegitimate access to backend data or services. It identifies and takes responsibility for those that invoke it, but never assumes their identity.

The PEACE tenets for SO are a composite set. Autonomy is architecturally the most far reaching of the SO tenets and it is much more about the inside and fundamental behavior of a service than about its edge.