Digital transformation means enterprises have to embrace new ways of thinking—from how they structure their teams to their application architecture. But it’s no easy feat to build an application; the decisions you make at the beginning can affect you years down the line.
Fortunately, enterprises have options when it’s time to choose the architecture for their next innovative application; it all depends on your needs.
To make the right choice for your company, you need to understand the differences between monolithic and microservices architectures, including their pros and cons.
Traditionally, all applications were built with monolithic architecture. Designed as a single unit, monolithic applications come in one big piece. If you want to make any changes to your code, you have to change the entire platform at once.
Monolithic architectures are better for small teams that have fewer engineers on staff. It’s also better if you have a simple application that you don’t plan on updating or upgrading very much in the future. You can always convert a monolithic application to microservice at a later date, but keep in mind that this requires a migration.
Although monolithic architectures are more traditional, they still have some benefits.
Although monolithic architectures may be faster and simpler, they’re not always the right approach for your enterprise. They do have some significant detractors:
Microservices are a more popular, modern alternative to monolithic architectures. They’re often more future-proof than monolithic architectures. Enterprises like Google and Amazon are migrating away from huge monolithic applications in favor of more agile, scalable microservices.
Microservices break large monolithic applications down into separate units for each service. The application still carries out the same functions, but separately. Every module has its own logic and database, communicating with other modules through APIs.
Microservices architectures require team expertise because it’s more complex. However, it’s a smart choice if you want to scale your enterprise application to add more users or features over time. There are plenty of benefits of microservices for your enterprise:
Microservices architectures can streamline a lot of problems, but they aren’t without challenges, too:
Many enterprises still use monolithic architectures, and sometimes that works in their favor. But it’s often worth the tradeoff in complexity to upgrade to a microservices approach instead.
Microservices scale with your enterprise’s changing needs. You can always start with monolithic architectures to build a proof of concept before migrating to a more robust microservices architectures.
Not sure what’s right for your application? Book a demo of Cortex to see how we can help you understand and improve your service architecture.