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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2021-04-20
SOA vs Microservices - Explain the key differences

To develop and deploy apps in the best way is important to think over for today’s business enterprises in this data-driven world. In this blog, SOA vs Microservices, we will discuss the key differences between both and check which approach will be flexible to build and running apps. Although, it may be difficult to understand which approach is the best between the two and suitable for the business.

Both approaches sound very similar but with a deep analysis, you can find the major differences among them. Let us learn the key points that help us to know the differences between SOA vs Microservices in detail.

SOA vs Microservices differences 

There are many key points to mention the SOA vs Microservices differences in different areas. Before going in-depth in this comparison, it would be better to know what is what among these approaches. Let us have a brief idea of SOA and Micro-services.

SOA vs Microservices

What is SOA?

SOA is nothing but Service Oriented Architecture built in the response to conventional and monolithic approaches useful in building apps. The major function of SOA is to break up the components into several individual service modules. These apps contact each other to carry out particular business objectives. Moreover, these components offer various services to other components through reporting generally over a network. 

Hence, SOA makes it easier for components to work with other software components through different networks. There are many web services that are built through SOA structure. They tend to build dynamic web services individually. 

In addition to this, SOA services also delivered through the cloud and include the services for apps, platforms, and other infra. SOA also uses the ESB or Enterprise Service Bus services for coordinating and controlling all the services it offers. Moreover, there are four types of important services that SOA handles- Functional, Enterprise Level, Application, and Infra services.

What is Microservices?

Microservices are also considered as an SOA pattern or evolution of SOA that is more granular and independently functions. The apps built through this approach are a group of different individual service units. Even if any one of the services fails in an app, then also the app will continue its functions without break. Here each service has a different purpose to serve. 

The services within these generally contact through APIs only. Further, these services integrate with each other to develop complex apps.

To get more details on Service Oriented Architecture in real-time, go through the Oracle SOA Online Course with ITGuru. This learning can enhance your existing Oracle SOA skills to an extent.

Now we will understand the key differences between the SOA vs Microservices architectures.

SOA vs Microservices comparison

Both approaches SOA and Micro-services have some similarities and differences as well. They also have a cloud ecosystem useful for building and running various apps. Moreover, they are designed in a way to develop and use apps effectively by breaking them into small services.  It makes them more smoother and flexible to organize and deploy. Hence, the following points will help us to know the key differences between the SOA vs Microservices architecture. 

  • SOA or service-oriented architecture is designed to share different resources beyond services. But Micro-services built with an approach to host services that function independently.
  • Micro-services generally are not involved in sharing components whereas SOA frequently shares the components.
  • SOA services are larger and comparatively modular also but Micro-services provide fine-grained services. 
  • In the Micro-services model, each service has an individual data storage but in SOA structure services share frequent data. 
  • SOA appl uses a simple and straight approach for contacting among services. But Micro-services uses complex API services to communicate between different services.
  • Microservices focuses on the decoupling of services where SOA focuses more on app service reusability.
  • SOA is full-stack and Micro-services is monolithic in nature.
  • Microservices need good alliance among teams whereas SOA governs general protocols across teams. 
  • SOA services are best suitable for large-scale apps and Micro-services are best suitable for small and web-based apps.
  • Micro-services use REST and JMS for remote service delivery but SOA uses SOAP and AMQP like protocols in this regard.
  • Moreover, Micro-services offer easy and faster deployment service of apps but SOA services are less flexible in this approach.
  • In SOA structure, the enterprise units are dependent on each other whereas in Micro-services these units function independently. 
  • The Software size is comparatively smaller in Micro-services whereas in SOA software size is larger. 
SOA vs Microservices- Architecture

SOA has a less scalable architecture as it serves larger and modular services that are dependent in nature. Hence, they share resources usually with each other as possible. The Micro-services structure is highly scalable as it is based on small and granular services. This functions individually and focuses on a single purpose mainly. 

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SOA vs Microservices- Granularity

In SOA, the services are of large scale and serve more modular apps that look like monolithic apps. They generally concentrate on a wide range as their services have good scalability.

Micro-services service is more granular in nature that results in excellence in performing individual tasks. By integrating these tasks also results in a single app for better servicing.

SOA vs Microservices- Component Sharing

Micro-services are more independent in nature that makes component sharing much harder. Due to this, the services here are impenetrable to failure. But in SOA structure, sharing of components is more common than others. And in case of failure of one service in relation to ESB, it may affect the efficacy of related or linked services.

SOA vs Microservices- Data Storage

When it comes to data storage, in Micro-services each service includes independent data storage. In SOA structure all services share the same database for storing data. By sharing the same database for data storage enables SOA to reuse the shared data across services. This is a great benefit to this approach. 

SOA vs Microservices- Size, and scope

The size and scope of Micro-services are much fine-grained to offer various services that automatically minimize the scope of any project. Further, it offers much smaller services that suit best for developers in the long run. But in the case of SOA, it has a large scope and size to integrate with complex structures of different services. Hence, it links various services for the cross-business platforms alliance with higher integration efforts. 

SOA vs Microservices- Communication

In Service-oriented architecture, the communication is managed by Enterprise Service Bus that acts as a medium for services that interact.  The microservice on the other side depends upon a simple messaging system similar to API for contact. 

SOA vs Microservices- Remote service

Both architectures use a different protocol in accessing remote services. Hence the major protocols that the SOA structure uses for remote access are AMQP, SOAP, and MSMQ. 

The AMQP denotes Advanced Messaging Queuing Protocol. And the MSMQ stands- Microsoft Messaging Queuing and SOAP stand- Simple Object Access Protocol. 

In Microservices the general protocols that are useful in remote service access are REST and JMS.

SOA vs Microservices- Coupling & Cohesion

SOA structure is based on sharing components that make the process slower and also prone to failure. Micro-services are based on the term “bounded-context” which means coupling of components. Here data doesn’t have many provinces and also minimizes the sharing components needed.

Hence, this kind of coupling results in higher cohesion where specific services are separated in case the service fails. On the other hand, SOA services coupling is less cohesive and leads to failure on a whole if one service fails. 

Thus, these are some of the key differences between the two approaches SOA and Micro-services. These services are useful to scale the various business services in different areas globally. There are many different approaches available in the globe of IT ecosystem but these are very special in nature.

Let us know the important advantages of SOA and Micro-services in further context.

SOA vs Microservices-Advantages & Disadvantages

There are many advantages and fewer cons of both structures in the service field. Let us start with the advantages of both in the SOA vs Microservices difference.

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SOA Advantages

Using SOA any business unit can get a good number of benefits. Such as-

  • It makes it easier to edit and update any service.
  • The services that it offers are of small size rather than a full-size app. Hence, it is easier and simpler to test and debug individual services. 
  • All services of SOA exist within the same directory. So it is easier for consumers to access service data every time from the same place.
  • The services of SOA are platform-independent as they contact other apps through a common language.
  • SOA structure allows reusability of the current services where it builds a new system alternatively.
  • In this service structure, you can easily enhance system upgrading, service functionality, and performance improvement.
  • Moreover, it can easily modify the various external ecosystems easily.
  • Further, the business entities can develop apps in a better way without deleting the existing apps.
  • Also, SOA provides very reliable apps that help to test and debug many individual services.
  • SOA also offers to update existing facilities to grab the latest business needs.
Advantages of Microservices

The following are the important points that denote the benefits of Micro-services.

  • This service is very easy and simple so that developers can understand it well.
  • Within this service, the IDE works much faster that makes developers efficient to deliver faster results.
  • In this service, the web container runs much faster that makes the developments and deployments much speedy.
  • This approach enables team members to develop, deploy, and scale services independently.

Hence, these are the few benefits of both services in this battle of differences. Now let us know the various cons of both services in brief.

Disadvantages of SOA

The below points are the various cons of SOA services.

  • Here, all the inputs need validation before they are sent for service.
  • This service is very costly in terms of human resources, development, and so on.
  • There is some web service that needs to send and get messages regularly. Thus, there are a million requests reach/day easily.
  • Moreover, the investment cost of SOA service is also very higher.
  • The increase in response time while interacting with other services is the big overhead here.
  • Further, this service is not useful for GUI apps. Here it will become more complex when the SOA needs larger data exchange.
Disadvantages of Microservices

The below points denote the Micro-services cons-

  • This service approach is built for creating monolithic apps. Hence, it doesn't offer support in the development of distributed apps.
  • Applying good use cases that spread to different services needs good team coordination & support.
  • In this service structure testing an app is more difficult. 
  • This needs much investment to use this service well. Because it is always required to maintain a large server space for various business job execution. 
  • Also, developers must need to apply the inter-service contact mechanism in this type of service approach. 

Hence, learned about the various benefits and cons of both service and we are going to conclude it well.

Which architecture is better among SOA vs Microservices?

The Micro-services approach is best suitable for small and web-based systems that work faster and easy to understand for developers. SOA services are ideal for large and complex business apps which integrate with diverse apps easily. Small apps are not best suitable for SOA as they don’t need any middle message components.

Hence, the services they provide are absolutely very useful for different business units. But there are some issues also with them in usage. So, businesses need to apply the right approach to their needs in the SOA vs Microservices.


Both service-oriented patterns in SOA vs Microservices are useful in this data-driven world. The difference is that both serve different purposes in different ecosystems but somewhere they commonly serve. In the SOA structure, the services are good for large & critical apps but installing needs are costlier. 

Also, it enhances response time while it meets with other service apps. Micro-services are better for small web-based apps that work faster. But maintenance costs are higher where it needs huge storage for different tasks execution. Hence, it depends upon the business users and the type of business that needs to utilize such services. 

I hope you got the basic idea of both approaches in detail but there are many things to know about them practically. This is only possible through Oracle SOA Online Training with the ITGuru platform where industry experts will guide in real-time.