What is meant by monolithic application?

The term "monolithic" is used to refer to applications that are designed as a single unit. These applications have all the functionalities of an individual application and are not designed to be broken down into smaller applications. Instead, these applications are deployed as one unit on a single server or platform.

Traditionally, each application consisted of three layers:

  • Presentation

  • Application/business logic

  • Database

These layers were built in a single tech stack on a monolithic service. When the user interacted with the presentation layer, the interaction was sent through the business logic to the database. The response traveled back via the same path to the user.

Why is monolithic architecture considered bad?

Monolithic applications are complex to build and difficult to maintain for the developer. Any changes made in one part of the application can cause unexpected problems in other parts of it. Additionally, if a new feature is added to the application, all components must be re-deployed and tested together.

This architecture can create two major problems for a business:

Long outages: Any failure (code bug, hardware failure, etc.) along the path from presentation to database and vice versa results in long downtime which can only be fixed through human intervention.

Difficult scaling: Scaling on any of these three layers demanded new resources for the monolithic application, which often ran on a totally new server. Needless to say, data management was a serious concern as new acquisitions created the potential of silos of user data, or required complex information architecture to ensure data-sharing among functions while maintaining security.

What do you consider a monolithic/legacy application?

A legacy application is an application that has been around for a long time. The term can be used in three ways: (1) to describe applications that have no clear separation between their individual functions, (2) to describe applications that are difficult to change because of their structure and design, or (3) to describe software that represents an outdated business logic or way of operating.

In the first case, a monolithic application is one that has no clear separation between its various parts. It may contain multiple components that perform similar actions on different data sources; this means it's not possible for each component to be easily reused by another part of the system without making changes across many locations in the codebase. This makes it very difficult for developers working on different parts of an application to work independently from each other; they must coordinate changes over time so they don't break anything else within the system.

In practice, this means there's often no way to test new features without introducing bugs into old ones—and there's also no easy way for users who want new features added later on down the line!

Micro-services architecture vs. monolithic architecture?

Microservices, a software architecture pattern that’s been around for more than a decade, has become the standard for building modern web applications. The main advantage of microservices is its granular componentization of an application into small services that can be independently developed, deployed and scaled.

A monolithic architecture is where all the parts of an application are bundled together in one package. This means that if you want to change any part of your application, you need to update all other parts as well which increases risk during development and maintenance phases.

Can we divide a monolithic architecture into microservices?

Yes, you can divide a monolithic architecture into microservices. This separation allows you to scale your application more easily because you don't have to worry about scaling your entire system. You can scale individual services as needed without affecting other parts of it. It also makes it easier for teams to work on different features without having to coordinate with each other before making changes or deploying new versions of code (which would make things much slower).

How can I migrate from monoliths to microservices?

Monoliths can be migrated into microservices using the following steps:

  • Analyze your legacy application and break it down into high-level functional components that can be replaced by dedicated microservices. For instance, instead of having one big web app, you might have a separate search engine service. This helps ensure that each service is responsible for only one thing and does it well; it also makes it easier to scale up certain parts if needed.

  • You can also identify areas which are priorities, for instance promotions, and think about what features will be required in the short-to-medium term. Then look for a SaaS tool that will enable you to gain the functionality you need. A hybrid model, where you operate from a primarily 'monolithic' legacy system, but augment it with progressively more microservices, is a common halfway house for enterprises engaging in a replatforming towards microservices.

What is cheaper, monoliths or microservices?

Microservices are more scalable than monoliths, but they can also more expensive to build and maintain, if you are using a large number of premium microservices.

However, according to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. If you are not building your system to be as robust as possible, then you are jeopardizing your business’s ability to operate at peak efficiency. This is especially important if you are looking to scale your company quickly and efficiently.

How can I migrate from monoliths to microservices?

Scalability is one of the primary motivations for moving to a microservice architecture. .

A typical microservices migration framework involves the following steps:

  • Identify the functional parts of your system.

  • Flatten and refactor those into simpler, more understandable components

  • Identify dependencies among different components so you can make them all work together reliably.

  • Find ways to break up big, complex pieces into smaller ones—the idea here is to keep good stuff but hide complexity from end users/clients by making interfaces as simple as possible

  • Migrate macroservices to microservices.


When it comes down to it, there’s no one answer that fits every company. What we can say is that if you’re looking at re-platforming your company’s tech stack or considering a move towards microservices, then taking a strategic approach will be key when deciding what tools are right for your business.

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