Is it essential to redesign every monolithic application to Microservices?

Decades ago, organizations were busy in computerizing their manual business process to utilize the resources in a better way and reduce the turnaround time to serve their customers better. These applications developed during that period have done well to improve the customer experience and continued to be an important factor in generating revenues for organizations. It also helped the organization to increase the customer satisfaction index and keep them engaged with their services which eventually helped to grow profit margins. But the applications developed during that period, whether Windows or Web applications, were mainly based on the monolithic architecture. These applications were deployed on production systems as a single unit having all its modules packaged together as shown below:

These applications were easy for developers to understand and maintain the fact that all the modules were part of a single solution. Performance and response time of these applications was good because all the functional modules were tightly coupled with each other and the interaction with each other had zero latency time. These applications were enough for any business to serve customers better in the era of desktop computers, but the scenario changed with today’s new devices in market and social media users. 

As of today, there is a big pressure on every organization to have an edge on competition to exist and grow further. For any organizations to be relevant and effective, their existing software application requires to change and enable new business models to hold the customer base with them. Adopting a new business model on an existing monolithic application would need the existing business process changes. Modifying the existing business processes running on monolithic applications is not easy and would have challenges like:

  • Even a small change forces full application release
  • Long bug fixing cycles due to the tight coupling of application modules
  • Wide testing scope to zero in any bugs in production 
  • Longer release cycles even for a small change
  • High cost of change implementation 

Another issue encountered in the case of monolithic applications is scaling it up and down due to seasonal loads on applications, key factors are as below:

  • No flexibility to scale a priority module up & down
  • Scaling all application modules i.e. priority & nonpriority due to tight coupling is an added cost

Microservices is the design approach which is being considered widely to have a futuristic design and a solution to mitigate all the above-mentioned monolithic application challenges. Therefore, the point which should be noted is whenever a Microservices design for a given monolithic application is being proposed there should be proper reasons for it. A well-designed monolithic application always performs much better than loosely coupled application as it has all the functionality packaged within a single deployable unit. A given scenario should meet all the conditions for a monolithic application to re-designed as a Microservices application. To know more about these suitable scenarios, watch out for my next blog.

For more details, please contact me.

Amarjeet Singh

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TOGAF Level1 & Level2 certified Enterprise Architect having 17+ years of experience in end to end Solution Design / Architecture, Design Reviews, Integration experience using best practices in design ensuring performance and scalability of the Systems.

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