In the past few years there has been a lot of talks about Microservices architecture and service oriented architecture (SOA). It is important that businesses understand the difference between the two. If you have worked with service oriented architecture (SOA) before, then you might want to know about the new Microservices architecture.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

This is a type of architecture pattern using which the application components service the other components via a network using a communication protocol. The communication may comprise of simple data passing or could involve two or more services connecting and communicating with each other. The two main roles in the SOA are service consumer and the service provider.

Microservices Architecture

This type of software architecture pattern comprises of complex applications which in turn are composed of smaller and independent processes which communicate with each other using various APIs. Each of the services in the architecture is independent and function on its own, be deployed without affecting any other service, and also shut down without having any effect on the others.

Key Differences Between Microservices and SOA

It is important to understand the difference between the Microservices architecture and service oriented architecture before implementing in the software solution. To make things simpler, we have listed some of the key differences between Microservices and SOA here:




Component Sharing

Service oriented architecture enhances component sharing. It relies on several services to execute a business request. They are slower as compared to MSA

MSA tries to reduce component sharing as much as possible. It usually couples the component and its data as one unit with as low as dependencies as possible.

Remote Services

Service oriented architectures mainly rely on messaging (MSMQ, AMQP) and SOAP for most of the primary remote access protocols.

MSA mainly relies on simple messaging such as JMS and MSMQ. The protocol is usually homogenous.


The messaging middleware in SOA provides a series of additional capabilities like routing, mediation, protocol transformation, message enhancement, etc.

The Microservices architecture uses an API layer between the service consumer and the services.


In the service oriented architecture, one needs to coordinate with multiple groups to create the business requests.

There is hardly any coordination required in the MSA. Coordination, if needed, it is done through small applications which can be quickly deployed.

Contract Decoupling

This is the key to abstraction. SOA offers the highest degree of decoupling between consumers and services.

Microservices architecture does not support contract decoupling.

Service Functionality

Services within the SOA usually have much more functionalities and they are often executed as complete subsystems.

The service components in the Microservices architecture are usually single purpose components which provide one function in the best possible manner.


SOA encourages the use of several protocols in the heterogeneous form through its middleware component of messaging.

MSA simplifies the architecture pattern by lowering the number of choices it provides for integration.


If you are planning to use several systems in a heterogeneous environment using different protocols, the service oriented architecture is the preferred architecture to go to. If all the services can be exposed and accessed through the same remote access protocol, then Microservices architecture is the best bet.

SourceEdge’s Microservices experts can guide our customers’ team to meet their goals with Microservices adoption, including the rewrite of applications to a MSA-based architecture. We have the required skills to develop, test, and deploy your Microservices-based applications.