Monolithic Vs Microservices Architecture — What to Use When?

Nisarg Rami
3 min readJul 22, 2023

The life of an application developer has never been easy as tons of things are there to keep in mind. One such thing that keeps a developer busy most of the time is the job of choosing the right cloud architecture.

Two leading approaches are monolithic and microservices architecture. As easily one operates and behaves differently, developers may find them at a crossroads when they must pick one. Let’s bring some clarity.

Monolithic v/s Microservices Architecture — What Sets Them Apart

Before we talk about which is the right choice, let’s take a quick overview of the capabilities of both these architectures and what they mean.

Monolithic Architecture

A traditional development approach, Monolithic architecture involves building all the application components simultaneously and as a part of a single and self-contained unit. The application is not fragmented, and all other services or functionalities are dependent on each other.

The user interface, data access, business logic, and other components are deployed together and are tightly coupled. Now, why must one consider it?

Well, it’s preferred because:

● It’s simple

● Few development resources and technology stack is required

● Communication overheads are reduced

● Its management is less tedious

Microservices Architecture

While the monolithic architecture was loved by many for its simplicity, it lacks dependency on scalability. Then, the invention of microservices architecture took place. This inventive approach disintegrates an application and develops different components independently.

One team can work on the user interface while the other can develop business logic.

All these fragmented units use APIs to communicate with each other. This approach is now has become a norm for large-scale application development projects and is indeed a good choice because of its multiple benefits, which include:

● Easy scalability

● Amazing flexibility

● Easy testing and maintenance

Architecture type and Ideal Use

You need to pick monolithic architecture when:

● You need to develop a relatively small application with fewer components

● Your budget is tight, and you want to use only limited technologies

● The team is equipped with a limited understanding

● You don’t want frequent updates and feature-addition in the application

Microservices architecture, on the other hand, is the best choice to make when:

● You need to build a huge application in less time, as it allows different teams to work on distinct components without any disturbance

● The team can manage multiple technologies at the time

● You’re equipped enough to fund different development resources

Make a Right Choice

While there are multiple routes that you can take to reach your destination of having a highly functional application, monolithic and microservices architectures are the best possible options. They both bring different capabilities to the table.

Don’t get confused; hire a skilled application development service provider, discuss your requirements, and find out which option will work best for you.

--

--

Nisarg Rami

Nisarg Rami is a Principal Tech Lead and cloud evangelist. Majorly working in enterprise and mobile solutions for the clients from the US, Europe.