SOA versus Microservices: What’s the difference?

To understand these two application architectures, we will go through a brief introduction.

Microservices is an application development architecture where you develop small autonomous components of the larger software and merge them in the later stages of development.

According to Wikipedia, Service Oriented Architecture is a style of software design where services are provided to the other components by application components, through a communication protocol over a network.

The basic principles of service-oriented architecture are independent of vendors, products and technologies. A service is a discrete unit of functionality that can be accessed remotely and acted upon and updated independently, such as retrieving a credit card statement online.

Being that the Service Oriented Architecture typically works in one server, the various components of the development can communicate with one another easily.

Instances where Microservices could be your choice

  • If your project employs different programming techniques to come up with the overall product, then Microservices is the way to go. This is because it allows you to autonomously develop the different app components then merge them later.
  • If you have a team in charge and well experienced in integration, then you should consider the microservices too.
  • If your development team knows how to use containers and how they would use them in integrating the final product into one useful app.

Instances where SOA would be Ideal

  • Now, when your software development does not involve several components, then you could have no reason of using the Microservices architecture.
  • Similarly, if the app you intend to develop is unstructured and complex, you may just end up messing the whole project. In these instances of complex apps, the best way to go is the SOA way.

The Service Oriented Architecture has some major benefits to developers too in the comparison of SOA vs Microservices.

  • When the application is developed as a single entity, it becomes easier to integrate functionalities, determine the relationship between the components and harmoniously coordinate them.
  • Because you will use one server, the start-up time becomes minimal as opposed to having different servers running various components.
  • It is also easier to monitor issues of compatibility and address bugs with the SOA. It ensures you develop apps faster than when you have individual components developed and debugged separately.

The Downsides of Service Oriented Architecture

  • It is difficult to scale different parts of the application without interfering with the other adjoining components. In microservices, you are capable of singling out individual app components and solving issues affecting their performance.
  • When you combine all the components of an app into a single monolithic architecture, it becomes complex and this reduces usability.
  • Apart from not being able to use agile development strategies, you could experience app problems whenever one component of the app fails.


Choosing between Microservices Architecture and the Service Oriented Architecture is a daunting task. This is partly because these architectural approaches could be used conveniently for certain circumstances as we have seen in their advantages and disadvantages.

If you want to be careful with every component of your app, then you should consider using Microservices. However, if all you want is to develop an application faster and efficiently the SOA is ideal


Application development architecture largely informs how your apps become resilient and adaptive to issues of scale and resolving internal inefficiencies. With this simple guide, you are sure to be in the know about the difference between SOA vs Microservices.

Leave a Reply