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Rajat Thakur
Rajat Thakur

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What is the difference between an API and Web services?

What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a software interface that allows two applications to interact without any user intervention.

API provides products or services to communicate with other products and services without knowing how they are implemented.
For example News API, Crypto news API, etc that is used to fetch required data from the database.

What is a web service?

A web service is a collection of open standards and protocols widely used for the exchange of data between systems or applications.

Software applications are written using a variety of programming languages ​​and run on multiple platforms. Allows you to use web services to exchange data over computer networks.

Key differences

Web service is a set of open-source protocols and standards used for exchanging data between systems or applications, while API is a software interface that allows two applications to interact without any intervention from the user. user.

Web service is used for REST, SOAP, and XMLRPC for communication while API is used for any style of communication.

The web service only supports the HTTP protocol while the API supports the HTTP / HTTPS protocol.

The web service supports XML while the API supports XML and JSON.
All web services are APIs, but not all APIs are web services.

Types of Web Services

Web services should be implemented in various ways. The two types of widely used web services are SOAP and RESTful web services.

SOAP β€” SOAP is a protocol that was designed before REST came into the picture. The main idea behind creating SOAP was to ensure that programs built on different platforms and programming languages could securely exchange data.

REST β€” This was designed specifically for working with components such as media components, files, or even objects on a particular hardware device. Any web service which is defined on the principles of REST can be called a RESTful web service.REST uses the normal HTTP verbs of GET, POST, PUT and DELETE for working with the required components.

Features of Web API

Here are some essential features of API:

  • Efficiency
  • Wider reach
  • Customizable
  • Personalization
  • Data ownership
  • Easy integration with GUI
  • Time effective
  • Language-independent

Features of Web Services

Here are some essential features of web services:

  • Loosely coupled
  • Synchronous or asynchronous functionality
  • Ability to support remote procedure calls
  • Supports document exchange

Difference between API and Web Services

Here are important differences between Web services and API.

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Advantages of API Services

Here are the pros/benefits of using API:

  • API supports traditional CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) actions as it works with HTTP verbs GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE.
  • API helps you to expose service data to the browser
  • It is based on HTTP, which is easy to define, expose in REST-full way.

Advantages of Web Services

Here are the main advantages and advantages of using web services:

  • Provides faster communication within and between organizations
  • Each service exists independently of other services.
  • Interoperability has the highest priority.
  • Using web services, your application helps you publish its message or feature to the rest of the world.
  • Web services help solve interoperability problems by giving different applications a way to connect their data.
  • Web services allow data to be exchanged between different applications and different platforms.
  • Allows applications to communicate, exchange data, and share services with each other.
  • Web Services are specifically designed to be used as a web page request and to assist in receiving data.
  • Serves as a building block that makes it easy to reuse, web service components in other services. Web services are distributed on Internet standards such as the Apache and Axis2 standard. Provides WSDL and HTTP-guided services.

Disadvantages of API

Here are important drawbacks/cons of using API services:

  • Creating API is a very time-consuming process
  • A fixed scale is necessary
  • Imprecise boundary delineation
  • To create API, programming knowledge is necessary
  • Maintenance cost is very high
  • It can crash when testing API

Disadvantages of Web Services

Drawbacks/cons of using Web services:

  • It does not access from the browser
  • Not leverage emerging Web developments (Semantic Web, AJAX XMLHttpRequest, etc.)
  • Some web services are simple to use, but there are some flaws in using them.
  • Any time one creates a service to handle a variety of customers, there is a demand for specialized machine requirements.
  • The HTTP protocol is not reliable, so it does not offer any guarantee of delivery of the response.

Original source: https://www.guru99.com/api-vs-web-service-difference.html

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