Microservices vs SOA | Know Their Differences and Which Should You Learn?
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Microservices vs SOA | Know Their Differences and Which Should You Learn?

Last updated on 27th Dec 2021, Blog, General

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To put it simply, service-oriented architecture (SOA) has an enterprise scope, while the microservices architecture has an application scope. Many of the core principles of each approach become incompatible when you neglect this difference.

    • What is SOA?
    • What is Microservices?
    • What is SOA Architecture?
    • What is a Microservice Architecture?
    • Features of SOA & Microservices
    • Microservices vs SOA: What’s the Difference?
    • Advantages of SOA & Microservices
    • Disadvantage of SOA & Microservices
    • Which Architecture is Better?
    • Conclusion

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      What is SOA?

      SOA is an architectural pattern in computer software design. In this type of application, components provide services to other components through a communication protocol, usually over a network. The principles of service-orientation are independent of any product, vendor or technology. The full form of SOA is Service Oriented Architecture.

      SOA makes it easy for software components on different networks to work with each other. Web services built according to SOA architecture make web services more independent.

      What is Microservices?

    • Microservices is a service-oriented architectural pattern in which applications are built as a collection of different small independent service units. It is a software engineering approach that focuses on decomposing an application into single-function modules with well-defined interfaces.
    • These modules can be independently deployed and operated by small teams that own the entire life cycle of the service.
    • The term “micro” refers to the size of a microservice that must be managed by a single development team (5 to 10 developers). In this method, large applications are broken down into the smallest independent units.

      What is SOA Architecture?

      Service-oriented architecture is a style of software design. An architecture is classified into two parts

      1.Functional Aspects and

      2. Quality of service aspects.

      Functional Aspects:

      Transport: This component transmits the service request from the service consumer to the service provider and the service response from them to the service consumer.

      Service Communication Protocol: It allows service providers and consumers to communicate with each other.

      Service Description: It explains the service and data required to implement it.

      Service: This is a genuine service.

      Business Process: This component represents a set of services called in a certain predefined sequence linked by specific rules to satisfy business demands.

      Service Registry: This registry contains the details of the data that is used by the service providers to publish their services.

      Quality of Service Aspects:

      Policy: It is a set of protocols according to which service providers conduct and provide services to the consumers.

      Security: It represents the set of protocols required for the identification and authorization process.

      Transactions: It provides a guarantee of consistent results.

      Management: This component of SOA helps you define the set of attributes that are used to manage the services.

      What is a Microservice Architecture?

    • It is an architectural development style that allows the creation of an application as a collection of small autonomous services developed for a business domain.

    • It is an architectural development style that allows the creation of an application as a collection of small autonomous services developed for a business domain.

    • Let’s take an example of an e-commerce application developed with microservices architecture. In this example, each microservice is focused on a single business capability. Search, rating and review, and payment each have their own instance (server) and communicate with each other.

    • In this monolithic architecture, all components are aggregated into a single module. But, in microservices architecture, they are spread across different modules (microservices) that communicate with each other.

    • Communication between microservices is a stateless communication where each pair of request and response is independent. Therefore, microservices can communicate seamlessly. In microservices architecture, data is federated. Each microservice has a separate data store.

      Features of SOA & Microservices:

      Here, the important features of SOA are:

    • SOA uses interfaces that solve difficult integration problems in large systems.
    • SOA communicates with customers, providers and suppliers using XML Schema.
    • SOA uses message monitoring to improve performance measurement and detect security attacks.
    • Since it reuses the service, the cost for software development and management is slightly lower.
    • Features of micro services.

    • Here, the essential features of microservices are:

    • Microservices are loosely coupled in modules.
    • Project management can also be modular.
    • The cost of scalability is low.
    • It is very easy to use multiple technologies as multiple features in an application.
    • It’s a perfect service for evolutionary systems where you can’t anticipate the types of devices your application might one day access.

      Microservices vs SOA: What’s the Difference?

      The differences between SOA and Microservices are as follows:

        Advantages of SOA & Microservices:

        Here, the advantages/benefits of SOA are:

      • Easy to edit and update any service
      • Services have the same directory structure, which allows consumers to access service data from the same directory every time.
      • Services communicate with other applications using a common language, which means it is platform independent
      • Services are usually of smaller size as compared to full application. Therefore, independent services are easier to debug and test.
      • SOA allows the service of an existing system to be reused, optionally creating a new system.
      • It offers to plug in new services or upgrade existing features to meet new business requirements.
      • You can enhance the performance, functionality of a service and upgrade the system easily.
      • SOA can accommodate or modify various outdoor environments
      • Companies can develop applications without changing existing applications.
      • It provides reliable applications in which you can test and debug services independent of a large number of codes.

      • Here, the advantages/benefits of using microservices are:

      • Simple architecture patterns that are easy for developers to understand
      • IDEs are increasingly making developers fast and productive
      • Web containers start up faster; It helps in speeding up the process of deployment and development.
      • This allows the team to develop, deploy and scale their service independently of all other teams.

        Disadvantage of SOA & Microservices:

        Here are the disadvantages/disadvantages of using a service oriented architecture:

      • All inputs must be validated before being sent to the service
      • SOA is an expensive service in terms of human resources, development and technology.
      • Some web services need to send and receive messages and information frequently, so it can easily reach up to a million requests per day.
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      • SOA requires high investment cost
      • Overhead is there when a service interacts with another service it will increase the response time
      • SOA service is not suitable for GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications, so it will become more complicated when SOA requires heavy data exchange.

      • Disadvantages of micro services:

        Here, are the disadvantages/disadvantages of microservices:

      • It is developed for building monolithic applications, so it does not provide explicit support for developing distributed applications.
      • Testing is more difficult
      • Developers should implement inter-service communication mechanisms.
      • Implementing use cases involving multiple services requires coordination between teams.
      • Microservices are expensive, as you always need to maintain different server locations for different business functions

        Which Architecture is Better?

      • SOA is an ideal architecture method for large and complex business applications. It is best suited for environments that require integration with many diverse applications.

      • However, workflow-based applications that have a well-defined processing flow are challenging to implement with the help of SOA architecture patterns. So even small applications are not ideal for SOA as they do not require middleware messaging components. On the other hand, the microservices pattern is suitable for small and well-partitioned web-based systems.

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      • SOA focuses on application service reusability, while microservices focuses more on decoupling.
      • SOA is monolithic in nature whereas microservices is full-stack.
      • SOA applications are built to perform multiple business functions, but microservices are built to perform a single business function.
      • SOA involves sharing of data storage between services whereas in microservices, each service can have independent data storage.
      • SOA is designed to share resources across services whereas microservices are designed to host services that can function independently.
      • In SOA architecture, DevOps and Continuous Delivery are becoming popular but not yet mainstream, while Microservices has a strong emphasis on DevOps and Continuous Delivery.
      • SOA is a less scalable architecture whereas Microservices is a highly scalable architecture.

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