Monolithic architecture is a traditional approach where all components of an application are tightly coupled together and deployed as a single unit. On the other hand, microservices architecture is a modern approach where an application is broken down into smaller, loosely coupled services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. Transitioning from a monolithic architecture to a microservices architecture is a complex task that requires careful planning and execution. Here are the steps involved in this transition:

1. Understand the existing application: Before starting the transition, it is important to have a clear understanding of the existing monolithic application. Identify its functionalities, dependencies, and performance bottlenecks.

2. Define the boundaries: Determine the boundaries of each individual service in the microservices architecture. Identify the functionalities that can be independently developed and deployed as separate services.

3. Design the services: Design the services in a way that they are loosely coupled and independent of each other. Use APIs and messaging systems to communicate between services.

4. Identify the data model: Analyze the existing monolithic data model and determine how it can be split into smaller, manageable data models for each service. Decide on the approach for data storage and retrieval.

5. Break down the monolith: Start breaking down the monolithic application into smaller services one by one. Identify the low-risk and high-value functionalities that can be extracted into separate services.

6. Implement individual services: Develop and deploy each service independently. Use appropriate technologies and frameworks that align with the requirements of each service.

7. Decentralize functionality: Move the business logic and functionality from the monolithic application to the individual services. Keep the core functionalities in separate services and remove unnecessary dependencies.

8. Implement inter-service communication: Implement communication mechanisms between the services such as REST APIs, messaging queues, and event-driven architectures. Ensure proper error handling and fault tolerance.

9. Implement service discovery and orchestration: Use service discovery mechanisms like service registries and load balancers to manage the different services. Implement orchestration tools to handle requests and distribute them to the appropriate services.

10. Implement infrastructure automation: Set up automated deployment pipelines, containerization, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes to streamline development and deployment.

11. Test and monitor: Test each service individually and perform integration testing to ensure they work together seamlessly. Implement monitoring and logging mechanisms to track the performance and health of the services.

12. Decompose the monolith: Gradually remove the remaining functionalities from the monolithic application and incorporate them into individual services. Eventually, the monolithic application will be decomposed completely.

13. Continuous improvement: Maintain a feedback loop and continuously improve the microservices architecture based on user feedback and changing requirements.

It is essential to note that transitioning from a monolithic architecture to a microservices architecture is a significant undertaking. It requires careful planning, coordination, and resource allocation. It may also require changes to the development process, tools, and infrastructure. Therefore, it is crucial to have a well-defined plan and allocate sufficient time and resources to ensure a successful transition.