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How Service Fabric Nodes, Applications, and Services Fit Together

April 16, 2018

Having a useful “mental model” of the platform upon which one develops code makes software development go much faster. I recently found the following set of documents to be very helpful in building my own mental model of key aspects of the Microsoft Service Fabric (SF) platform. Namely a model of how SF nodes, applications and services relate to each other via concepts and artifacts (mostly manifests). This model has facilitated me in developing services hosted on Azure SF.

Read the following 3 documents and you will have a useful mental model that you can use both in design and implementation software hosted on Service Fabric:

If you desire a wider view of SF, into which the above application model, hosting model and manifests fit, I have found the following highly useful as well:

Finally, SF has a desktop version of the SF Explorer that I like. The SF Explorer lets you visualize the nodes, applications, and services running in a cluster.  Plus it provides an easy-to-use UI to instantiate and delete applications and services, monitor their health, and more.

The above materials and the SF Explorer removed a lot of the mystery about how SF deals with apps and services, and its interfaces to developers via SF Explorer, PowerShell, service and app manifests, and code, plus how they all fit together.

I hope this spurs you to further investigate the awesome capabilities of Service Fabric, how it can be useful to you, and how to develop services upon the Service Fabric platform.

George Stevens
Software Architect, Sr. Software Engineer at Solid Value Software, LLC.

Creative Commons License

dotnetsilverlightprism blog by George Stevens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

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