In light of the news that Prime Video moved from a microservice-based architecture to a monolith one, it might be worth breaking down what those two terms mean when building an application. Especially when you decide how you might build a digital-wallet-based application using mytalu’s APIs.
When it comes to designing software applications, one crucial decision lies in choosing the right architectural approach. Two prominent options are monolithic architecture and microservice architecture. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of each approach to help you make an informed decision when architecting your next project.
Monolithic architecture is a traditional approach where an application is built as a single, self-contained unit. Here are the key pros and cons of this approach:
- Simplicity: Monolithic architecture is relatively simpler to develop, test, and deploy since the entire application is contained within a single codebase.
- Performance: Inter-component communication within a monolith is typically faster than in a distributed system, as function calls and data transfers happen within the same process.
- Ease of Development: Developers have a unified codebase, making it easier to understand the application’s functionality and maintain consistency.
- Scalability: Monoliths can be challenging to scale horizontally since the entire application needs to be replicated, even if only a single component requires additional resources.
- Flexibility: Making changes to a monolithic application can be cumbersome, as modifications in one component may affect others. Scaling individual components independently can be challenging.
- Technology Stack Limitations: Monoliths often rely on a single technology stack, which may restrict the ability to adopt new technologies or frameworks.
Microservice architecture is an approach that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled, independently deployable services. Let’s examine the pros and cons:
- Scalability: Microservices allow for independent scaling of individual services based on specific needs, enabling better resource utilization and cost efficiency.
- Flexibility: Each microservice can be developed, tested, and deployed independently, allowing for faster iterations and the ability to adopt new technologies or frameworks.
- Fault Isolation: Failures in one microservice do not affect the entire system, enhancing fault isolation and overall system resilience.
- Complexity: Microservice architecture introduces a higher level of complexity, as it involves managing multiple services, inter-service communication, and data consistency across services.
- Operational Overhead: Maintaining and managing a distributed system requires additional operational effort, including deployment, monitoring, and coordination between services.
- Distributed Systems Challenges: Distributed systems are susceptible to issues like network latency, communication failures, and eventual consistency, which must be carefully managed.
Both monolithic and microservice architectures have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on the specific requirements of your project. Monolithic architecture may be suitable for smaller applications with simpler requirements, while microservice architecture provides more flexibility and scalability for larger, complex systems. Carefully consider the pros and cons outlined in this post and evaluate your project’s needs to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals.