If you’re planning a new application, the first question that many developers ask is if one should start with a monolithic application or use a microservice. Both methods help build robust applications that serve various purposes and add backbone to an application. In addition, once an application is made, it becomes tedious and time-consuming to understand architecture. To build a new application, one should consider several factors. Here we have an outline to understand the critical difference between monolithic and microservices-based applications.

What is Monolith?

Monolith application is made up of a large codebase that includes application components covering backend code, frontend code and configuration files. One is often thought of as an older and traditional method to build an app, but in reality, some businesses benefit from using monolithic architecture. It comes with faster deployment and develops an application that uses microservices which is easier to manage. However, the application suffers from a lack of scalability and challenges with maintaining one codebase as the app becomes more complex.

Monolith pros

  • Simple to develop and deploy: All monolith components are centralized, whereas it’s relatively simple to create and get a faster time to market. Based on single developers or a small development team, users can create a monolith that helps to quickly create, test and launch applications.
  • Easier to test: Monolith tests are easier compared to microservices-based applications. As there’s one code repository, it keeps track of when testing and debugging.
  • Singular security management: There are a lot of security benefits that break an app into distinct microservices. Using monolith means one can handle security with ease rather than having to track vulnerabilities across microservices.
  • Require less specialized skills: The development team offer help to build a monolith app which require less skills while microservices app require more  technical skills and training.

Monolith cons

  • Becomes complex with time: As the app grows and adds functionality, a monolith codebase becomes extremely large and complex. Also, managing the team of developers who work on the individual codebase expansion becomes difficult.
  • Difficult to scale: To scale a monolithic app, the application is scaled all at once by adding additional compute resources called vertical scaling. It can be expensive and limits how much an app requires to climb vertically.
  • Tech limitation: To add or change the functionality of a monolith, it becomes challenging to interlock dependencies found in the monolith. The developers may be limited to a few features.
  • Single point of failure: As all parts of an app are tightly linked, an issue in the code comes down to an entire application.

What is a microservices application?

An app built on a microservices splits up each part of the app into an independent codebase that performs a specific task. Let’s say one microservices is used to manage users while a separate microservice calculates the cost. Each component deploys and scales independently of other modules. The module communicates with each other through an application programming interface to create a complete functionality application.

Microservices pros

  • Self-contained services: Each microservice is self-contained, which means independently debugging, deploying and managing modules. As the app grows, it brings benefits in one component that does not impact others.
  • Easy to Scale: Using the microservices, an app scales horizontally, increasing the size independently as the requirement changes. Additionally, horizontal scaling offers lower cost than vertical scaling, where there’s no limit to how much an application can scale.
  • More flexibility: The team adds new functionality and technology to a microservices-based architecture as needed. As the requirements for an application grows, several microservices are used to make the application grow quickly.

Microservices cons

  • Increased complexity: Using individual components, entire microservices are based on an incredibly complex application. Also, the microservices are linked together by adding a layer of complexity that isn’t seen in Monolithic applications.
  • Requires specialized skills: With building a microservices architecture, it needs special knowledge, which most developers do not have. Some teams build microservices without the proper training and run into a myriad of challenges by delaying market time and additional cost.
  • Extra cost: By utilizing the microservices, one can save costs that require additional development resources by managing each microservices and their dependencies.
  • Distributed security and testing: Each module has its security vulnerabilities and bugs. This helps prevent attacks, adding more potential vulnerabilities to track and debugging time-consuming individual elements.

As both monolithic and microservices architecture comes with various benefits and drawbacks, the developers utilize them to build an application. A few of them include:

  • Application complexity: The complex app benefits from microservices, where monoliths remain popular, adding simple applications. It’s easy to build and deploy. If you want to develop a simple application like a web forum or primary eCommerce store, embark on creating a more ambitious project.
  • The size and skills of team: The developers that work on your application and skill sets is an essential factor to consider. If your team does not have experience with microservices and container systems, then building microservices-based applications can be difficult for some. At the same time, monoliths are preferred for single developers and small teams.
  • Cost and time to develop: The price for building an app and timeline helps to deploy with consideration. At the same time, monolithic apps cost more as they grow and are more cost-effective in creating faster development.
  • Anticipated growth: Monolithic offers complexity and difficulty to manage an application with adding functionality. Expanding the functionality if you plan to grow significantly increases the number of app users. Additionally, microservices ensure to add easy scale by building limited use cases that help to find success using a monolith.

Bottom line

Some developers and businesses create a new app decision where the architecture app tickles down effects for many years. There are businesses like the online education platform, Atom learning with experience in challenging and scaling a monolith. Agile Infoways, help to create a microservices-based app that continues to grow with them. At the same time, microservices require skills and time that is overly complex for a few applications.


As a service solution, we support all types of apps, from basic websites to complex software. We help businesses to manage the complexity of distributed architecture as they scale. Connect with us to use all the tools you need to build and grow your applications quickly. Let’s discuss your requirements, Talk to our expert!

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