SOA vs. Microservices

SOA vs. Microservices: Know the Architectural Evolution

When comparing Microservices vs. SOA, both rely on services as the main component, but their characteristics vary considerably.

Many CIOs who have set up a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) are hesitant to take a step towards microservices. Know how the service-oriented architectural model SOA managed to pave the way for one of the most talked-about software development models today, microservices.

Before we discuss the SOA vs. microservices comparison, let’s recall some important concepts and clarify the differences between monolithic architecture, SOA and microservices to better understand the differences.

Monolithic architecture is similar to a large container in which all the software components of an application are tightly assembled. This application describes a multi-level software application in which different components are combined into a single program.

A service-oriented architecture is a set of services. These services communicate with each other. Communication can involve either a simple data transfer or two or more services coordinating an activity.

Microservices architecture is a style that structures an application in the form of a collection of small autonomous services modeled around a specific domain. However, the biggest difference between these technologies is the purpose and timing of their respective introductions.

Google Trends: Which is more popular?

Comparison of soa vs microservices past 5 years google trends

SOA vs. Microservices: Architecture & Benefits Compared

Service-Oriented Architecture

SOA is a software architecture in which distinct components of the application provide services to other components through a communication protocol over a network.

Communication can involve passing simple data or two or more services that coordinate the connection services with each other. These separate services perform some small functions, such as validating payment, creating a user account or providing social login.

A solution based on SOA generally has a standard-based architecture for the creation of an IT infrastructure, aiming to simplify the relationships between different systems, improving its operation and facilitating the incorporation of new elements.

Therefore, if there are changes in business needs, these factors allow the company to respond to them quickly.

Listed below are some of the benefits of using SOA in your projects:

  • The decrease in development time.
  • The low coupling between the parts of the system facilitates maintenance.
  • The isolation of a service structure brings flexibility during changes.
  • Ease of adding new technologies to platforms.
  • And the possibility of reusing components.

In order to successfully implement SOA, it is important to have a well-developed infrastructure, consolidated reference architecture and governance policy to direct the work.

Also Read: MVC vs. Microservices: Understanding their Architecture

Microservices Architecture

Unlike traditional monolithic architecture, microservice architecture is an approach in which the application is structured through several small autonomous services, which work together.

Each microservice is built around specific business capabilities, such as user interface, billing or customer service.
The service deployment process is carried out in an independent and automated way, allowing continuous deliveries even in large and complex systems.

Listed below are some of the benefits of using microservices in your projects:

  • Makes continuous and automated deployment possible.
  • Technological heterogeneity and code replacement.
  • Easy to integrate with third-party services.
  • Greater scalability & more efficient maintenance.
  • Allows developers to make appropriate and service-specific decisions.

Microservices do not share a data layer, each microservice is autonomous.

Is Microservice a part of SOA?

When comparing Microservices vs. SOA, both rely on services as the main component, but their characteristics vary considerably.

SOA services are managed in the organization by a register which acts as a list of services. Applications should search the services in the registry and call the service. SOA is like an orchestra where each artist plays with his instrument while the music director gives instructions to everyone.

Besides, microservice is a form of SOA in which applications are built as a collection of different smaller services instead of an entire application. It is like a troupe in which each dancer is independent and knows what to do. So if they miss a few steps, they know how to get back to the right sequence.

Comparison of SOA & Microservices via Tabular Diagram

SOA vs. Microservices Comparison Via Tabular Diagram

You may also like to read:
Microservices vs. Web Services: How the two Software Development Architecture Differ?


Jason Hoffman

I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at Wisdomplexus, capturing market share with E-mail marketing, Blogs and Social media promotion. I spend major part of my day geeking out on all the latest technology trends like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, cloud computing, 5G and many more. You can read my opinion in regards to these technologies via blogs on our website.