SOA Vs Microservices: What’s The Difference?

Lately, there has been fuss about the differences or similarities that both SOA Vs Microservices have. Also, you will be aware of how service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Microservices work. If you work in the IT or cloud computing field. 

There are several factors to consider about these applications. But do you know Microservices has been trending upwards over the years? The best way to understand the development and deployment of these architectures for any data-driven organization is important in today’s business.

At first, you will find similarities between these two in some way.  Because both of these has the same valuable flexibility for building and running applications that traditional monolithic approaches don’t. To identify which suits your business. We have curated a detailed guide and basics of SOA vs Microservices. 

Moreover, you will be able to find the differences between the two and find out however service has its responsibility which differs from traditional and monolithic architecture. Also, a closer examination reveals some important facts with their key commonalities.

What is SOA?

Service-oriented architecture is a collection of essential services to create software applications. That focuses on reusability and ensuring all the services are communicating with each other. In SOA software architecture, each service consists of two or more services coordinating some activity. Also, they rely on messaging protocols such as AMQP or SOAP to communicate between services. SOAs interface is based on loose coupling or decoupling. Where the services are coordinated with each other. In SOA there deliver four different types of services such as

  • Functional services are usually used for business operations.
  • Application services are used to develop and deploy apps.
  • Enterprise services help in implementing the functionality.
  • Infrastructure services are backend processes such as security and authentication.

The two main roles of SOA are the service provider and the service consumer. Where the software agent may play dual roles within the SOA, these SOA services are combined to create higher-level services and applications with its three components. 

They are interface, contract, and implementation in each service. Usually, SOA involves an enterprise service bus (ESB) which means the services are coordinated and controlled by them. Service-oriented architecture is more about how to compose and modularize an application by its integration. By distributing separately and maintaining and deploying software components. Where the services are enabled by technologies and standards to make it easier for components over a network.

What are Microservices?

Microservices or Microservices architecture is a sort of evolution or extension of SOA. It is an architectural style with a particular way of developing software, mobile or web applications. It is a collection of small autonomous services modelled around a business domain. Although they are loosely coupled and lightweight, they have multiple independent components. 

Microservices use a high degree of cohesion, organised around specific business outcomes by a network. They communicate through APIs or application programming interfaces that bridge system functions as a product or service.

Microservices allow programmers to update code easily to build individual applications independently of each other and use different stacks for various components. Because it reduces the waste and cost associated with scaling entire as single features face the complex load.

Since Microservices is an independent service, it produces more fault tolerance than other application development methods. Then this architecture scales better than different application building and deployment approaches.

Microservices vs SOA: Identifying the Differences:

The main difference between SOA and Microservices is scope. As most of their chief characteristics are similar. So to make you understand in a simple way, here we are. The architecture in Microservices produces an application scope. While service-oriented architecture it provides an enterprise scope. The three major aspects that differ between these two are

  • Scope
  • Granularity
  • Technical implementation

But you may note that if you accept the differences in scope. You will eventually realize that you will complement each other rather than compete. Here are a few use cases where the distinction comes to play.


SOA is more focused on maximizing the application service reusability. It is one of the primary goals in striving for some level of reuse which is essential. Where the component sharing also increases the scalability. While Microservices it focuses more on decoupling. As the component is reused throughout the application time, which limits the resilience and agility in dependencies. Also, they accept data duplication to help improve decoupling.

Data Storage:

SOA is designed to share data storage units across services. While Microservices hosts its services so that it can function independently using individual data storage.

Data Duplication:

The basic purpose of providing services in SOA is for all of their applications to have one updating data which is their primary source. So that it can reduce the necessity of maintaining complex data synchronization patterns

But for storage applications, it has access to data. However, there is some duplication of data in other systems, which causes complexity. But their deployment is straightforward and requires less time.

Key Differences Between SOA and Microservices


In Microservices architecture the communication is used straightforwardly and less elaborately. As each service is independent of one another. With SOA, each service has a basic communication mechanism called enterprise service bus (ESB). However, if a single service slows down, it will affect the whole system.


Microservices uses lightweight protocols like HTTP, REST, or Thrift APIs by keeping things simple. While SOAs are open to diverse messages and protocols. Such as SOAP, MSMQ, AMQP.

Service granularity:

While SOA has coarse-grained services, which include small, speciality services to those of wide-enterprise services, the service granularity is made up of highly specialized services in Microservices architecture. That is designed to do one thing very well by combining the task results in a single application.


By leveraging the advantages of sharing a common architecture. SOA has a slower deployment speed and troubleshooting, which tends to operate slower than microservices.


Because SOA is based on the notion of sharing resources, it has common governance and standards across all the services. While Microservices doesn’t enable uniform data governance due to its independence of services. Also, it has relaxed governance where individuals deploying microservices have freedom of choice to choose their governance. Thus it results in a collaboration between the teams.


In SOA, it involves sharing data storage between services. Because it typically includes a single data storage layer shared by all the services within an application. While in Microservices architecture, each service has its own independent data storage that needs it.

Migration From SOA to Microservices:

For complex and large applications, SOA is an ideal architecture method. That is most suited for environments, but they don’t need to address the specific needs of individual businesses. Also, a business can use DevOps to transition from SOAs to Microservices architecture for addressing specific needs.

Conclusion: Which is Best for You?

Though Microservices architecture has come a long way by avoiding the issues in the early days, but both SOA and Microservices allow the choice of program languages that suit best for each service. 

Also, Microservices has an advanced technology that has developed over the years. Both the architectural styles are collections that are focused on performing specific functions. On the other hand, it also provides great options depending on key differences in each organization. But using a Microservices architecture you will be able to develop web and mobile applications which don’t require a robust communication layer.

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