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Reduced Integration Surface #

Note: This post is part of the series Lessons (re)learned.

Integrations with third-party systems are also sources of nondeterminism. We should always strive to keep our dependencies at a minimum. The essence of sustainable software development is dependency management. Internal and external.

We must approach integrations from our needs' perspective. With that in mind, we can design interfaces – upon which our system depend on – that satisfy those needs. Then, instead of making remote calls or using the provider’s SDK directly from where we perform business logic, we can hide this integration behind concrete implementations of those interfaces. With this approach, we can create test doubles to excercise our business logic with different scenarios and makes changing providers, from a coding point of view, a relatively simple task – granted these interfaces are well thought out and designed.

Another important quality to strive for when designing these interfaces is to communicate only one intent per method. This will guide the concrete implementations to have a single code path per method – no if/else branches. This minimizes the need for complex integration tests at this layer. We might as well decide to not test these concrete implementations directly and let the higher level end-to-end tests excercise them.