The use of microservices architecture is already widespread among global companies. For instance, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Netflix started out as monolithic apps but have evolved into larger infrastructures. Such a choice benefited businesses and drew in even more customers.
The monolithic approach, in turn, is the typical strategy for developing software applications. At the same time, building a monolithic application brings a variety of issues, including managing a large codebase, adopting new technology, scalability, deployment, and applying new changes, among others. The tendency of transition to microservices architecture, however, does not imply that the monolith is obsolete. Following newfangled trends naively does not mean making the best business decision. Therefore, it is critical to consider which architecture is most effective for your solution and how switching to it is safer. This article will compare monolithic and microservices architecture to help you choose the one that is best for your needs.
Monolithic architecture is regarded as a conventional method of developing apps. A monolithic application is made up of a single, indivisible piece of software. This type of solution usually involves a client-side application, a server-side application, and a database. It is unified, with all functions handled and served from a single location.
Monolithic applications are characterized by a single big code base and a lack of modularity. Developers use the same code base when they have to update or modify something. As a result, they make changes to the entire stack at the same time.
Advantages of monolithic architecture
Drawbacks of monolithic architecture
A monolithic application is a single cohesive unit, but a microservices architecture divides it into smaller autonomous components. Every application process is handled by these units as a separate service. As a result, each service has its own logic and database, as well as the ability to perform specialized operations.
The functionality of a microservices architecture consists of independent modules that communicate with each other through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
Advantages of microservices architecture
Drawbacks of microservices architecture
Here are a few pointers to help you choose the right software architecture for your needs.
In our practice, we have applied both approaches for our clients. We decided on the architecture of the upcoming project throughout the process of collecting functional and non-functional requirements.
We have successfully designed a variety of microservices for financial transaction processing, data standardization, and different data collectors. These solutions facilitated the resources management and monitoring, as well as the load decomposition.
We used a monolithic approach to build a large e-commerce website. This approach simplified the deployment of a scalable application, which effectively closes all business phases. Thus, we enabled the system administrator to configure and manage the complete infrastructure in a few simple steps.
When choosing architecture, you shouldn’t stick to one option. It is quite common to have ready-made monolithic solutions and need to adjust their functionality. This is fairly difficult within the existing application due to technology constraints (tech stack, technical process) or organizational constraints (resources, skills). In such cases, it’s worth considering the hybrid approach: you create an entirely abstracted application using a microservices architecture that is totally independent of a monolithic service, which is one of the prerequisites of microservices architecture in general. Following that, you connect your new microservice as a third party to the monolithic application. Therefore, you retain the benefits of a monolithic architecture while extending the functionality of the program as a whole via the usage of microservices. Oftentimes, such microservices can be used by several applications; for instance, we used our image processing service in multiple applications. Although neither the service nor the apps are not connected to one another, they both benefit from the potential to enhance functionality through integrations. Read Also: All You Need To Know About eCommerce Ecosystems
As with any other solution, microservices architecture cannot be applied to all applications. Microservices architecture adoption is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Despite its decreasing popularity, a monolith provides a number of strong and persistent advantages that make it superior in a variety of use situations.
If you have a fresh idea and wish to validate it, you should begin with a monolith. Microservices are unnecessary when a small technical team is tasked with developing a simple and lightweight application. This way, a monolithic application will be far easier to build, modify, deploy, and test.
Microservices are more advantageous for complicated and changing systems. It provides efficient solutions for managing a complex system of distinct tasks and services contained within a single application. Microservices are great for platforms that span several user journeys and workflows. However, without sufficient microservices skills, this paradigm would be impossible to implement.
No solution works for everyone
Always remember to consider your specific business environment in addition to the above advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to begin with a monolith or microservices architecture. Try to also focus on your business’s unique demands, not just the architectural approach.
Can’t decide which type of architecture is best for your project? Contact us, and we will provide you with a solution based on an approach matching your business needs.
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