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Microservices vs SOA: What Is the Difference Between Them?

by campus44
Microservices vs SOA: What Is the Difference Between Them?

Microservices and Service-Oriented architecture (aka SOA) are two phenomenal software development architectural styles. Both architectural styles enable developers to easily develop and deploy complex software/apps in a very short time. However, many people believe that both architectural styles are identical. But this is not true and both of them are not identical. So, to end this discussion, once and for all today we are going to learn about the key differences between both architectural styles. 

Here are the key differences between Microservices and SOA architectural styles.

Basic difference

SOA is a marvelous architectural design for software development that encourages the reusability of software components/services. The architectural design uses service interfaces for making components of the software reusable. In this architectural design, every service features a code and data integrations that are essential for the execution of a particular business function. Furthermore, SOA features 4 different service types and each service type contains 3 components:

  • Interface
  • Contract
  • Implementation

Whereas Microservices architectural design encourages the development of a complex app as a collection of services (loosely coupled services). In this architectural design, all services are independent and have their codebase. Furthermore, all the services use API gateways for communication and the exchange of data between services. The architecture mainly features 2 components:

  • Management component: This component helps the developer in managing and configuring services.
  • API gateway: This component controls the communication between the services. To learn more about this component, feel free to enroll yourself in the Microservices Course in Gurgaon.


The biggest difference between both architectural designs is that both of them have a different scope. Microservices architectural style has an application scope. While on the other its competitor has an enterprise scope. Most of the important core principles of both software development architectures become incompatible if you neglect this big difference. However, when you accept this difference then you will see that both architectures can complement each other instead of competing against each other.


The main goal of the SOA architectures is to encourage the reusability of integrations. This makes it very easy for developers to scale up the apps that are built using SOA architecture. While Microservices does not encourage the reusability of components. Why? Because this may lead to dependencies that might affect the agility and functioning of the entire app.

Synchronous call

Reusable services in SOA architecture use synchronous protocols for communication. While the services in Microservices architecture do not use synchronous protocols for communication. Instead, they use asynchronous communication and API gateways for communication. Why? Because use of synchronous protocols may introduce real-time dependencies in the app which may impact the performance of the app. Besides this, these dependencies may also lead to latency problems. 

Other Differences

  • In the Microservices architectural design, all services of the app are built independently. Besides this, each service has its own communication protocol. While in SOA architectural style all services use a common communication mechanism.
  • Microservices architecture supports the use of lightweight messaging protocols like JMS, HTTP, and REST. While SOA architecture supports the use of messaging protocols like SOAP, AMPQ, and MSMQ. To learn about JMS, HTTP and REST messaging protocols in more detail feel free to enroll yourself in the Microservices Online Training program.
  • SOA services share a common architecture which makes the process of developing/troubleshooting services very easy. However, SOA services operate more slowly in comparison to the services in the Microservices architecture.
  • In SOA all the services share a common data storage layer. While on the other hand services in Microservices architecture have their separate database for storing data.
  • SOA architecture supports the use of common data governance standards for all services. On the other hand, its competitor does not support the use of common data governance stands for all services.


Both Microservices and SOA are stupendous software development architectures. Both the architectures come with lots of excellent features and make the process of developing apps a kid’s play. However, both architectural styles have different features and pros and cons. Thus, it is right to say both the architectures are not identical and are very different from each other. So make sure you don’t get confused and believe that both the architectural styles are identical.

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