Monolithic vs Microservice Architecture

October 17, 2022

Pros, cons and differences, both the architecture easily explained. ✔️


It is necessary to understand monolithic applications and what led to the recent move from them to microservices in order to fully understand the differences between them. So you can comprehend microservices in a better way. 

Table of Content
Monolithic architecture
Advantages of Monolithic Architecture
Disadvantages of Monolithic Architecture
Microservice Architecture
Advantages of Microservices Architecture
Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture
Migrating from Monolith to Microservices?
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Monolithic Architecture?

A monolithic application is made up of only one component. There are three main components to enterprise applications:

  • A database, typically in a relational database management system, is made up of numerous tables.
  • A browser-based client-side user interface made of HTML pages and/or JavaScript.
  • A server-side program that manages HTTP requests, carries out domain-specific logic, gets data from the database, updates it, populates HTML views that are provided to the browser, and more.
Flow chart showing monolithic architecture

One logical executable is what distinguishes a monolithic design from other types of architecture. Making any changes to a system requires an updated server-side program to be created and deployed by a developer. A monolithic application is one whose entire functionality is contained within a single codebase. At some point in their lives, all developers must have created a monolithic program. That means their task was to create a system with a variety of functionalities based on a problem description. They divide the coding for the application into layers for appearance, service, and persistence before deploying it as a single jar or war file. This program is purely monolithic, with “mono” denoting a single codebase including all necessary functionality.

Advantages of Monolithic Architecture

  • Development: Comparatively simpler and more straightforward to create than microservices architecture.
  • Deployment: Simpler to deploy because only one jar or war file must be uploaded.
  • Performance and security: In contrast to a microservices architecture, network performance and security issues are much less likely to become concerns.
  • Ease for developers: Developers can retain their attention on one application without having to master other applications.
  • Simple testing: Final testing can be carried out more quickly with a monolithic application. Because it is a singular, centralized unit.

Disadvantages of Monolithic Architecture

  • Deployment issues: It’s challenging to deploy continuously. Each update demands a complete application redeployment.
  • Flexibility: The application is too large and intricate to completely master and make changes quickly and accurately. Hence it is not flexible.
  • Testing issues: Typically, the impact of a modification is not fully known, which usually involves thorough manual testing.
  • Complexity: This uncomplicated method has a size and complexity constraint. The application’s size may increase startup time.
  • Reliability: Reliability is another challenge with monolithic apps. Any module bug, such as a memory leak, can crash the whole network. Additionally, because every instance of the application is the same, the bug will affect the accessibility of the whole system.
  • Scalability: When multiple modules have diverging resource needs, monolithic programs can be challenging to scale.
  • Adaptability: A hurdle to implementing new technology is posed by monolithic apps. Since modifications in frameworks or scripts would affect a complete app, it is incredibly disruptive in both effort and finances.

What is Microservice Architecture?

A collection of separately deployable services are the foundation of a microservices architecture, commonly referred to as microservices. These services have a special objective for their core functionality and database. Each service undergoes upgrading, debugging, deployment, and scalability. Main organizational concerns and domain-specific issues are decoupled into different, independent code bases via microservices. By breaking down activities into smaller processes that run independently of one another and benefit the whole system, microservices make any complexity observable and easier to manage, without reducing it.

flow chart diagram showing microservices architecture

Since microservices are the foundation of continual delivery processes, which enable teams to swiftly adjust to user requirements, the adoption of microservices frequently goes along with DevOps.

Advantages of Microservices Architecture

Teams may change code more quickly and speed up release cycles with microservices using continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD). To know what it exactly means you need to know the difference between Agile and DevOps. Let’s look at the advantages of Microservices.

  • Lowered Complexity: By breaking down an app into a collection of manageable services, it addresses the issue of complexity. These services are much quicker to design and substantially simpler to comprehend and sustain. It allows a team that is concentrated on each service to build it separately.
  • Increased adaptability: As the developers are not restricted to the decisions made at the project’s outset and are independent to select whichever technologies fit their service, it lowers the obstacle to adopting new technologies. Even remote developers can work easily with microservices architecture.
  • Ease in implementing changes: Each microservice can be launched separately thanks to microservice architecture. Therefore, it enables continuous deployment for sophisticated applications.
  • Higher Scalability: Each service can be scaled dynamically thanks to the microservice architecture.

Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

  • The absence of standardization: When there is no standard platform, a variety of languages, logging conventions, and monitoring techniques may multiply.
  • Limitations with debugging: Because each microservice has its own set of logs, troubleshooting is more difficult. Additionally, a single business process may execute on several devices, which makes debugging even more challenging.
  • Increased organizational overhead: Teams are required to put in more effort to coordinate improvements and interfaces.
  • No distinct ownership: Growth is accompanied by the introduction of more services and, consequently, the number of teams managing those services. The ability to leverage available services and contact the right people for assistance becomes difficult with time.

When to Migrate from Monolith to Microservices

Many projects begin as monoliths before transitioning to microservice architectures. With new features being added to a monolith, having numerous developers working on the same codebase can become burdensome. Code conflicts rise regularly, and there is a higher chance that modifications to one feature will break another. If these unfavorable patterns start to appear, it may be time to migrate to microservices.

In a nutshell

Microservices architecture is not a solution that works for everyone. A monolith provides substantial and long-lasting advantages that make it ideal for many scenarios even though it is becoming less and less common. Monolithic applications will be simpler to create, modify, deploy, and test. Apps that are complicated and forever evolving benefit tremendously from the microservices architecture. Within a single application, it provides efficient solutions for managing a complex system of many operations and services. However, it would be impossible to apply this approach without the relevant microservices’ experience and understanding. You can work with a software partner who has first-hand knowledge of creating a microservices architecture. Many prosperous IT firms contract with overseas IT suppliers to implement microservices. If you think about adopting their tactic, just get in touch with us to find out more information.


What are the use cases of monolithic architecture?

A monolith might be the best option for you if you’re producing a simplistic application, like an online forum or basic eCommerce store, or if you’re building a proof of concept before starting a more complex project. Monoliths may also be preferred for small teams or individual developers.

What are the use cases of microservices architectures?

Microservices can be useful for sophisticated apps when there is a need for them. Future time will be saved by a team with deployment experience for microservices. Even though the early costs of developing microservices are frequently substantial, they can save money as an application grows in the future.

Which is better, monolithic or microservices?

It always relies on the project’s requirements and budget. When it comes to solutions that support numerous user journeys and workflows, microservices are excellent. Start with a monolith if you have a brand-new business idea and want to validate it. Microservices are not necessary when working with a small technical team to create a basic, lightweight application.


Jinesh Shah



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