How to Choose Software Architecture

Goal for this Article: If you are like me, navigating the vast landscape of software architectures can be overwhelming. But fear not! This article aims to be your compass, guiding you through a comprehensive and unique source of disambiguation. We’ll break down complex technical jargon and put everything in real-life terms that you can visualize. Whether you’re choosing the perfect software architecture for your projects or simply satisfying your tech curiosity, we’ve got you covered!

By providing clear examples, a handy comparison table, and a guided ChatGPT prompt, you’ll have all the tools you need to make an informed decision tailored to your specific requirements. Let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the secrets of Microservices, Serverless, SOA, and more!


Selecting the right software architecture is crucial for the success of any project. However, with various competing technologies, it can be confusing to make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore some popular software architecture comparisons with straightforward examples to help you discern between them. From Microservices vs. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to Serverless Architecture vs. Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), we’ll paint a clear picture using real-life analogies. Additionally, we’ll provide a comparison table to offer a quick overview of the key differences between these architectures. Let’s dive in and find the perfect fit for your project!

Microservices vs. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA):
Microservices: Imagine each part of your project as a little island, operating independently and free from interference. This approach allows for agility and scalability, making it perfect for projects where you want different teams to focus on specific tasks without stepping on each other’s toes. SOA: On the other hand, if you’d like a more organized setup with specific departments handling different aspects while sharing some common resources, then SOA is the way to go. This architecture promotes reusability and interoperability, making it ideal for enterprises dealing with complex and diverse systems.

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Serverless Architecture vs. Function-as-a-Service (FaaS):
Serverless: Picture yourself on an all-inclusive vacation, where you pay a single price and enjoy everything the resort offers – no worries about infrastructure or maintenance. Serverless architecture works similarly; it abstracts away server management, allowing you to focus solely on building your application. FaaS: On the other hand, FaaS is like dining à la carte – you pick and pay only for the specific functions (activities) you want to enjoy. With Function-as-a-Service, you can have more granular control over your application logic and pay only for the computing resources used during the function execution.

Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) vs. Publish-Subscribe Pattern:
EDA: Think of EDA as a carefully choreographed dance performance, where each dancer knows their moves and timing. It requires some planning and coordination upfront, making it suitable for scenarios where events drive the system’s behavior, and various components react accordingly. Publish-Subscribe: On the flip side, Publish-Subscribe is like a casual party where the host announces something, and everyone just reacts without needing to know what others are doing. This pattern is simpler and useful for scenarios where you need to broadcast information to multiple recipients.

Monolithic Architecture vs. Modular Architecture:
Monolithic Architecture: Picture a one-stop-shop where everything is in the same building. If you have a small project with a limited scope, a monolithic architecture might be sufficient and straightforward to manage. Modular Architecture: However, if you plan to expand to a shopping mall with multiple stores, it’s better to have a modular architecture. Modularization allows you to break down your project into smaller, manageable components, promoting better organization and scalability.

Single Page Applications (SPAs) vs. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs):
SPAs: Imagine binge-watching your favorite series – you stay glued to the screen without interruption. Single Page Applications provide a seamless user experience by loading content dynamically without refreshing the entire page. PWAs: In contrast, Progressive Web Apps are like your personal assistant, always there to assist you, even if your internet connection occasionally takes a coffee break. PWAs are designed to offer app-like experiences, with features like offline access and device integration.

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Containerization vs. Virtualization:
Containerization: Containers are like individual cubicles in an open office – everyone has their workspace, but they all share the same office facilities. Containerization enables lightweight and isolated environments, making it easier to package, distribute, and run applications consistently across different environments. Virtualization: On the other hand, virtualization is more like renting private offices – each person gets a whole room with separate facilities, but it requires more resources. Virtualization virtualizes the entire hardware, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical host.

Conclusion: By following these simple steps, you can gain a clearer understanding of the differences between competing technologies and architectures. Remember to analyze your project’s specific requirements, scalability needs, and your team’s expertise to make the right choice that aligns with your long-term goals.

Architecture Comparison (table 1)

Architecture Comparison (table 1)

ChatGPT Prompt:

Copy and paste the following ChatGPT prompt and run it in the ChatGPT bot. It was tested on both 3.5 and 4.0. Feel free to use (MIT license –essentially, do whatever you want with this prompt, just don’t sue me).

Welcome to the IdeaVortex Architecture Selection Assistant!

To help you choose the best software architecture for your project, I will ask you the following questions one message at a time. For each question, please choose one of the letter options provided. When you are done, I will generate a recommendation for the most suitable software architecture for your project!:

What are your primary architectural goals for the project?
a) Agility and independent deployment
b) Interoperability and service reuse

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How do you envision the components in your project interacting with each other?
a) Each component operating independently like little islands
b) Specific departments handling different aspects and sharing common resources

What kind of infrastructure management do you prefer?
a) An all-inclusive package where you focus only on building your application
b) More control over your application logic and resource usage

How do you want your system to respond to events?
a) With a carefully choreographed dance performance, where each component reacts based on events
b) Like a casual party where the components react to broadcasted events without needing to know others’ actions

Is your project relatively small with a limited scope, or do you expect it to grow significantly in the future?
a) It’s small and straightforward, and I don’t foresee major expansions
b) I expect it to grow, and scalability is a significant concern

How do you want to deliver the user experience?
a) A seamless experience, with content updating dynamically without refreshing the page
b) An app-like experience with features like offline access and device integration
How do you prefer your application components to be isolated and managed?
a) Like individual cubicles in an open office – lightweight and share the same resources
b) Like renting private offices – each has its own isolated environment but requires more resources.

Let’s start with the first question!

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