Microservices Vs. Monolithic: Which is the Better Architecture for Your Custom Software Development?

Could custom software development be just what your business needs in order to thrive? In today’s article, we will discuss whether micro services or monolithic is the better way for you to automate your manual procedures. If you are not sure what those terms refer to, don’t worry. We’re going to help you to know which method of software architecture is more efficient for your company’s clients.

Included in our custom software development process is the conversion of your existing desktop database or applications from MS Access or Visual FoxPro to scalable web-based solutions, making use of the MS SQL database engine. Our team can also offer remote DBA services and MySQL support.  By the conclusion of the article, your Dot Net developers will have the information needed to make a sensible decision that benefits the client and not just the software development team.

Micro services Vs. Monolithic and Which One Is the Best Option for Your Clients?

In the previous article, we talked about the Software Development Life Cycle. Now, we will talk about the third topic, System Design. It is a process that takes place before the software coding starts. There needs to be technical documentation that outlines how the finished project will function.

The most challenging part of this step is to decide the architecture. An excellent software product needs balance. Otherwise, you can waste your time and money. I want to explain this with a scenario. Say company XYZ will commence a new project, and they need to decide between microservices and monolithic architectures.

After Netflix demonstrated the value of the microservice architecture, it became a must-have design choice for some software developers. This is especially true among young developers who started to think of it as the only way to go for software architecture.

Netflix Architecture:

Netflix Death Star Architecture

It must be the best because big companies prefer it, right? That attitude completely misses the point of custom software development. If a developer’s clients are small to mid-size level, why would they assume architecture that works best for large corporations is that the right fit?

In the image below, we show the three types of software development. Today, we will narrow the discussion to Monolithic vs. Microservices development.

We show the three types of software development. Today, we will narrow the discussion to Monolithic vs. Microservices development.

What Is a Monolithic Application?

What Is a Monolithic Application? The monolith application strategy involves a single product that is responsible for everything. This product can contain many applications, but each application is unusable without the other applications in the collection. For instance, one of your applications may have access to and manage database operations, and another one makes business calculations. As you can see, the business application relies on the database application.

Because it is one application, there are fewer things to set up (such as login, testing, and monitoring). Deployment is less complex. That may sometimes make this a better architecture for smaller businesses.

What Is a Microservice Application?

On the contrary, in microservices architecture, each responsibility needs a separate application. Also, each application must work adequately in the absence of other applications.

The last part of this rule is not easy to accomplish. It has many challenges, but the most important one is that each of these applications needs its own database. When an application requires data or a calculation from other siblings, the developer should be prepared that the application may be out of service. It may seem like a Service Oriented Architecture to you, yet the most significant difference is that you can scale out each application individually in the microservice approach.

Therefore, the microservice process needs more attention, experience, and more know-how (albeit the microservices system is an excellent technique). Nowadays, we have been speaking of its evolved form, which is called nano services. However, that is a topic for another day. In general, it has a higher operational overhead.

Here are some differences between Monolithic and Microservices:

Functionalities Monolithic Microservices
Managing your data. One source of storage can be used for the whole application. You need to find a way to isolate your microservices from each other. In addition, you need to make sure that you can sync the data between the services.
Development. All developers who are part of the team should be familiar with the entire application’s architecture. Each microservice can be developed independently by a different team.
Deployment. You can only deploy and scale the entire application. Every service can be deployed on its own. You can scale the service you need independently. This makes upgrading services more affordable.
Getting the data. You can get any data that you need in one simple query. With microservices, you need to find different ways to query data from different services.
Cost Of Project. It is cheaper by far to develop, but it will cost more money to scale up your application. A careful design should be in place. You can host each service independently, and that can save you money. But maintenance and the overall efforts for development are much more expensive.

Starting the Project with the Proper Team and Experience:

Starting the Project with the Proper Team and Experience.

A good project starts with a reasonable requirements analysis. We have to know what the client needs and how our team will handle that. After that, we need to decide the final product's location in the "scope triangle" according to the requirements. The scope triangle shows us our trade-offs. Its corners are "quality," "time," and "cost." The position cannot provide more than one scope together. Hence, you cannot make a product cheap, efficient, and in a short time.

What Should Our Architectural Decision Be?

Now, we can go back to our scenario. For XYZ company, our goal is to develop a business application, part of which will have a contact management capability. Perhaps we will want to add new modules to this application later on, such as inventory management. It will be a multi-tenant application. That means we want to market this product to other clients as well without any alteration. Our target market is small to medium-sized businesses. We resolved other things with the client. Now we have a technical question. What should our architectural decision be?

How Much Risk Can We Tolerate?

We know the project, but we need to know ourselves too. What size is our team (not just headcount, the experience is also a determinant)? How extensive is their know-how? Have we completed a similar project in the past? Do we have the proper development tools? What is our vision for this project? How much risk can we tolerate?

Final Thoughts on the Microservices or Monolithic Development Decision:

If you are unsure of which approach to choose, carefully consider the pros and cons in this article. Microservices became a buzzword, and everyone seems to be chasing it, even though there is no logic behind it. However, someone who doesn't know much about programming might feel a little bit biased toward monolithic architecture. Since the cost is an important part of this decision, maybe it is worth noting that a microservices approach will probably cost you more to develop initially. However, it could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run because you can scale every service individually. You will need to be clear about why a microservices approach is needed and the benefits that you will accomplish for your client.

If the price is too high, you may lose the project or any bid you anticipate. If your team is small and their know-how for microservices comes only from YouTube tutorials, you had better stay away from the microservices development idea. Choosing monolithic will be a safer process. In addition, you can minimize any risk of bearing the cost for any additional efforts to correct mistakes for the client if a microservices methodology was selected.

You might still choose microservices, but only if you have enough time and budget. In addition, sufficient experience could help the success of this type of project.

Moreover, this argument is not only valid for the development timeframe. It will also raise the cost of your maintenance and any future development. If your team is reliable and experienced, you can take this risk. But remember, inexperienced developers may not be able to adequately estimate the time of development and the tasks involved.

Why Hire Database Experts for Your Custom Software Development?

At the Farber Consulting Group, we are more than just software developers who can create custom applications for our clients. We also have some of the top database experts in the NJ/NY area. As you can see in this article, custom applications and your database go hand in hand. This is even more crucial when it comes to using a microservices architecture when each application must be able to query data separately. That is why, besides just offering custom software development, we also provide the following services for our clients:

  • Convert MS Access to web – To create a scalable solution for your database, we can help convert an MS Access database to a MySQL database.
  • Convert Visual FoxPro to web – We can take your existing Visual FoxPro applications and convert them into web apps that provide greater accessibility for users.
  • Visual FoxPro maintenance – Not ready to take your desktop applications online yet? Our knowledgeable programmers can help you to maintain your existing software.
  • MS Access Software maintenance – Not ready to take your database online yet? Our database experts can help you to maintain your existing MS Access database.
  • Alpha AnyWhere Developers – We can replace your mission-critical legacy applications with scalable, web-based solutions.

If you are ready to automate business procedures, enhance productivity, and create scalable software solutions for the future of your brand, then contact The Farber Consulting Group Inc. today!

Doron Farber - The Farber Consulting Group

I started to develop custom software since 1985 while using dBase III from Aston Tate. From there I moved to FoxBase and to FoxPro and ended up working with Visual FoxPro until Microsoft stopped supporting that great engine. With the Visual FoxPro, I developed the VisualRep which is Report and Query Engine. We are also a dot net development company, and one of our projects is a web scrapping from different web sites. We are Alpha AnyWhere developers, and the Avis Car Rental company trusted us with their contract management software that we developed with the Alpha Five software Engine.


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