Main types of application architecture

In this publication, we will look at what application architectures are.

There are different ways to classify them: by the number of levels or layers, by the types of components and connections between them, and others.

Let's look at the main application architectures by type of components and connections. They are the easiest to interpret.

1. Monolithic Application architecture — an all-in-one application. 

Example: A web application that includes database interaction logic, business logic, admin interface and user interface.

2. Modular Application Architecture — Application components are divided into separate modules that can function as separate applications.

Example: let's take the same web application. If each of the 4 components is executed as a separate application, then we will have a modular architecture.

3. Architecture of microservice applications — Application components are divided into microservices, each of which consists of a small set of components and links supported separately. 

Example: imagine an online store. It should send notifications to users, make payments, form an individual selection, etc. All these are components of business logic. If you put each function of this component into a separate component, you will get a microservice architecture.

4. Cluster Application architecture — components and communications are distributed across a cluster of computers that are networked to ensure the best performance. 

Example: a large number of requests are sent to your application every minute. You want to reduce the load on the database server. To do this, run the database on several servers and use balancing to distribute traffic between them. 

In fact, I did not choose such a sequence of architectures for nothing. 

Imagine that you have launched a small startup with a small application. You developed it in a monolithic architecture. 

After several months of piloting, you have started active sales, active growth. There is a need to expand the functionality. Monolithic architecture is not suitable. Moving on to a modular or microservice architecture.

Now the startup has turned into a serious enterprise. The number of active users per minute has exceeded hundreds of thousands. It's time to switch to a cluster architecture.


The initial choice of architecture is a very important stage of design, which directly affects various factors. For example, how to support the product after launch. I recommend asking for a detailed justification of why the developer chose this or that architecture already at the architecture selection stage.



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