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Monolith vs Microservices Architecture

The Differences Between Monolith And Microservice-Based Software Architecture

Monolith vs Microservices Architecture – Suppose you are new to software development and just developing your understanding of the trends within the field. In that case, you will have come across two terms over and over again: monolith and microservice. In essence, these terms are simple ways of summing up two different ways of structuring the overall architecture of software as it is developed. This article aims to simplify the differences between the two without the need for complex graphics and jargonistic terms. It is vitally important that you understand what monolith and microservice-based software architecture actually are before seeking to develop software of your own.

Software Architecture

Before getting into the monolith and microservice-based systems, it is worth running over the software architecture itself. Software architecture is the underlying structure that lies beneath all development. An architectural plan takes into account all of the known individual developmental requirements and maps their relationships to one another – creating a ‘whole’ picture of the eventual product.

The architecture of a piece of software essentially acts as a kind of blueprint; – allowing developers and maintenance professionals the ability to work with software as if it was a physical structure. Without software architecture, it would be very hard to develop any part of a software application safely in the knowledge of how any change would impact another part of the application.

These plans specify how subsystems contribute to the overall performance of a piece of software. And allow developers to work on creating a product that eventually serves its intended purpose. Here are quick definitions of a monolith and microservice-based software architecture types.

Monolith vs Microservices Architecture:


Traditional software development is monolith architecture based. Monolithic software is self-contained and isolated from other applications. All code that goes into monolithic software impacts all other code within the application. This architecture is secure, easy to map, and useful for creating software that does not have to interact with other applications or receive regular updates. With that being said, however, it does have its problems when you consider modern development trends.

One of the main reasons for the continued rise of microservices adoption is the awkward way in which changes need to be made when improving software built using monolithic architecture. Monolith-type architecture can only be changed if the entire code stack is updated because each function will necessarily impact the whole.


Microservice architecture works using a different principle from monolith architecture. In software developed along microservice lines, the many ‘parts’ of an application are developed as separate units; which constantly interact with each other to create a software ecosystem.

The payment function of Netflix, for instance, is contained within a separate architectural node from the streaming function. This allows each area of an application to be updated and refined without necessarily requiring a full stack update.

Microservice-based applications can be quickly and automatically improved without clients having to update their software fully. In theory, areas of an application can be completely replaced without impacting the functionality of the entire thing.

Also, you can check: How To Create A Better Website Architecture? 8 Tips To Improve It!