Integration points

Learn about the butterfly and spider patterns of a project with their pros and cons, also how integration points can be a system's biggest killer.

The Butterfly pattern

We haven’t seen a straight-up “website” project since about 1996. Everything is an integration project with some combination of HTML veneer, front-end app, API, mobile app, or all of the above. The context diagram for these projects will fall into one of two patterns: the butterfly or the spider. A butterfly has a central system with several feeds and connections fanning into it on one side and out of it on the other side, as shown in the figure that follows.

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