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  • Writer's pictureKamil Zawadzki

Monorepo - advantages and disadvantages of the serverless architecture

Webchefs_Software _for_humans_monorepo_article

If you're familiar with programming, you've likely heard of serverless architecture, which is becoming increasingly popular for its efficient approach to data processing. When adopting serverless, there's a decision to be made between using a monorepo or multirepo for data storage. This choice has sparked much debate among developers.

The monorepo approach has recently gained traction and has been adopted by major industry players such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Despite its growing popularity and numerous benefits, the monorepo approach has drawbacks. Let's explore the pros and cons of using a monorepo in serverless architecture.

What is monorepo?

The concept of "monorepo" has become widely recognized in English-speaking regions. This technology enables the storage of various source codes for a domain within a single (mono) repository, as implied by its name. It's crucial to differentiate monorepo from a monolith, a term that some may mistakenly associate with it. In a monorepo, source codes are not intermingled. Instead, the organization of directories can be tailored to the programmer's preferences. Specialized tools are available to help keep the repository orderly and optimize its structure, eliminating the need for manual sorting.

Advantages of monorepo

Adopting the monorepo concept by major corporations such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft highlights its significance. Monorepo is now considered one of the most contemporary methods for managing large-scale applications. The benefits of using a monorepo include:

  • Centralization: Everything is stored in one location, eliminating the need to duplicate or clone resources. Configuration settings are kept in a single place, simplifying usage across various parts of the system without the need for constant adjustments.

  • Ease of Modification: It allows multiple system parts to be updated through a single change request.

  • Improved Visibility: The organization of directories is clear and straightforward, facilitating the discovery of previously used solutions.

  • Enhanced Collaboration: It enables better cooperation among different team segments.

  • Efficient Dependency Management: Managing dependencies becomes more streamlined within a monorepo.

  • Simplified Refactoring: Restructuring existing code is made easier within a unified codebase.

Disadvantages of monorepo

Despite its appealing benefits, opting for a monorepo approach introduces notable challenges that need careful consideration before deciding between single or multiple repository setups. The primary drawbacks include:

  • Risk of Poor Project Organization: Maintaining a well-organized project structure becomes critical with all elements housed in one location. Neglecting organization can significantly impede workflow.

  • Accessibility Concerns: Sharing specific project parts becomes difficult as there's no choice but to share the entire repository, posing security risks.

  • Potential Performance Issues: The size of a monorepo can lead to longer loading times due to the vastness of the environment.

  • Risk of Unnecessary Dependencies: There's a heightened chance of creating dependencies that are not needed, complicating the project unnecessarily.

The decision to use a single or multiple repository structure hinges on the specific requirements of a project. However, an increasing number of companies are favoring the monorepo approach. This method offers numerous advantages, though it has its challenges. Thankfully, the market provides various programming tools designed to manage data packages within a single repository efficiently. These tools can significantly enhance workflow efficiency and mitigate the potential drawbacks associated with monorepo.

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