Understanding the gap between Monolithic And MicroService World

Understanding the gap between Monolithic And MicroService World

After coming to the field of development, developers surely heard about the term monolithic and microservice. But we are not getting a proper resource to understand it in depth. Basically, this term always comes in the path of frontend and backend developers as well as full-stack developers.


So, take a long breath because I am going to make you understand these advanced topics in a very simple way. Firstly, we have to understand why these architectural things come into development. Is this really, required or we are just increasing the complexity of development. As I have just said “Architecture things”. Yes, It is a topic of development architecture or we can say arrangement for the server. I know so many examples who choose this architecture blindly and goes into a bad pitfall for the whole development process with the higher development cost or unable to manage the scalability.

Architecture for development decided based on two important things:-

  1. Scalability
  2. Project Size

That’s an important point which really an important factor for choosing the monolithic or microservice. I know you want to first understand what is monolithic before understanding the microservice and that’s really true without understanding the traditional one we can’t jump to the microservice because monolithic is the base for the microservice because monolithic changes with time and get a name as microservice. These small architecture improvements make thing’s really a big game-changer. So, without wasting the time let’s jump into the topic and start understanding monolithic architecture.

Monolithic Architecture

Mono is defined as one or alone and Monolithic means Single massive block. And In Monolithic Architecture, there is a single backend server that serves all the requests for different kinds of APIs. And I thought you may come from the background of programming. So, I’ll assume you would know the term APIs. There are two known terms in the development REST or RESTful API design (Representational State Transfer) and SOAP ( Simple Object Access Protocol). REST APIs work on the JSON format of data. And SOAP APIs work on the XML format of data.


In Monolithic Architecture, all the components reside as a single component. This means the whole application logic will going to be written in a single Backend Application and all the persistent data storage will be the same for storing. But multiple data storage can be there based on use-case. Like for logging, a time-series database is used and for relational data Relational Database is used and for unstructured data, you can use a Non-Relational Database. And although you can use all these types of databases in parallel. But it is still a Monolithic architecture.

You may wonder what?, we are using multiple databases and still, it is monolithic then what is a MicroService based Architecture. I know it looks confusing but Monolithic Architecture doesn’t mean using multiple databases. The monolithic architecture of the server can be easily identified by the Application layer. You can see the backend and frontend servers. If they are present as a single application or for handling all dynamic operations if there is a single backend server then it is a Monolithic Architecture.

Monolithic Application Architecture.png

You may or may not hear about Micro Frontend, which means we can convert frontend into MicroService kind of Architecture which is called Micro Frontend. MicroService is termed in the respect of the backend server. Now, you can able to visualize the architecture but we are going to learn them in depth and detail. Now, we are on the stage to visualize the monolithic Architecture.

So, the first thing that comes to mind that what makes the developer, bring a new Architecture for their development life cycle. There must be a need for new Architecture otherwise why developer will create a MicroService pattern. And another question is where Monolithic Architecture is a good fit for development. So, let’s jump to the first question’s answer to why the developer needs a new architecture.

Monolithic Architecture is not able to scale up for specific APIs. If I want to scale up then what I can do is scale up the whole application which also wastes the resources. I don’t want to suffer the extra server cost if I have to scale a single API Endpoint. Why should I scale the whole application if I need scalability for a single slow API EndPoint?

And another reason for the need for new Architecture is development speed. If I need faster development and deployment then I need to put multiple teams on a single project which has many modules for the different-different task. But it leads to more review and approval for the code merging. And for one module deployment, the developers/DevOps have to down all services for the deployment. But why should down the whole Application?

That makes developers think about the new architecture which gives faster development and non-dependent deployment. But when to use Monolithic Architecture? Is everyone needs to switch towards MicroService? The answer is No, Monolithic is a good fit for architecture for small projects. And it is also cost-efficient. If a project has a frozen requirement with a set of limited requirement instructions and doesn’t require separation logic for application in terms of a different kind of data operation then it’s a best-fit Architecture. Do not choose Architecture blindly otherwise it will be a nightmare for the development and management team.

So, now we are on the stage to start learning Microservice Architecture. Because we know where to use the monolithic and what’s the limitation for monolithic. But I wish you can visualize an architectural example so, we can understand it more clearly in my next post on MicroServices.