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The problem I have with the multi-app approach is that it's really hard to change apps once you've defined them; migrating a model from one app to another is a massive PITA. Because of this, in my experience you pay a high price if you don't define the service boundaries correctly first try. The whole idea behind the "build the monolith first" advice is that in general you don't really know what the appropriate boundaries are going to be ahead of time, so I view this as problematic.

Also over the last few years I've hit multiple schema-migration bugs that only occur on relations spanning apps, and no such bugs within single apps, so there's definitely a "less well-trodden path" argument against multiple apps.

Finally migration squashing didn't work well when I tried it on my multiple-app project; it wasn't able to squash past the first foreign key to another app. This might have improved in the last couple releases.

I've not worked on a project as large as the one you describe, so I'm open to the possibility that at that scale there are new problems that crop up (e.g. managing a single migrations directory could be fun with that many developers), but I'd guess that most developers won't hit that scale, and yet the common wisdom for getting started is to try to split out small apps early, which I consider harmful.

(I'm working on a big Scala Application, but this was migrated from a large Django Application) well in a large project the migrations folder is not your problem. no matter if it is big or small. It's mostly the seperation of concern that can kill your ability to add code to your application. Once your application gets big it's really hard to have a good structure to scale further. The correct "app layout" is pretty important and I think the app structure is a good way to structure __most__ applications.

> Once your application gets big it's really hard to have a good structure to scale further

Agreed - I would note that there is nothing stopping you from having good structure (with multiple independent/encapsulated services/apps) inside a single Django "app" (as the OP suggests).

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