Sep 30, 2022 2:51 AM - Jack Dalton
In August of 1991, the World Wide Web was born. It was not anything like it's far these days. It became gradual and entirely exposed, with hardly ever any websites online. If you had your personal internet site, you would have been one of the few available! At that time, we barely had this many facilities, but now we have plenty of them. With other evolutions on the Internet, we got two terms Web Services and API.
Web services and API are two of those overlapping terms that people might mix most of the time. Due to their somewhat similar functionality, the terms are regularly confused. With some overlapping properties, web services and API are different concepts. However, both are used as a means of communication.
To understand the difference between both terminologies, some key points will help you understand the concept clearly.
API stands for Application Program Interface, a set of instructions and protocols allowing different applications to communicate with each other. APIs provide a more standardized way to talk between two distanced entities. In short, they act as a glue that holds the internet together. API's are not only accessible over the internet. They can also be exposed through local files like JAR FILE IN A java PROGRAM that allows two local applications to communicate.
API can also be packaged in SDK (Software Development Kit), but the SDK and API are not the same. So in such cases, no network is required because both communicating applications will be in a single device.
The main advantage of using different types of APIs is its flexibility and easy control. When access is provided to an API, the controls are generated automatically, and every channel can access it. This feature makes it easily shared and distributed quickly.
However, APIs do stand with some disadvantages. The main disadvantages of APIs are:
A web service is a collection of different open-source protocols that are used for the sake of exchanging data between systems or applications.
For a simple understanding a web server is a resource used over the internet to generate requests from the servers.
These web services are provided by an electronic device to communicate with other electronic devices via the internet. Web services are so easy to use as they are self-contained, self-described, and language independent.
The key advantage to using web service is its low cost and ability to easily and quickly drive results. Web services provide quick results of searches, and the cost is reduced because new systems are developed by using packaged web services. So the saved cost becomes beneficial for both the customer and the service provider.
Now reading everything about both individually, you must be wondering about those things that define these terminologies differently.
Contrary to your thinking, make sure that API and WEB SERVICES are not mutually exclusive.
1st of all, keep in mind that
All web services are APIs (as it exposes an application's data), but all APIs are not web services.
|All web services are hosted on IIS.
|API can be hosted either on IIS or within an application
|The source is not open for web services; however, if any client knows about XML, he may use it.
|The source for API is open, and it can also be used with a bit of knowledge about XML or JSON.
|It only supports HTTP protocol.
|It supports HTTP Protocol: URL, Request/ Response Headers, Caching, Versioning, Content Formats
|It uses only three styles of communication: SOAP, REST, XML-RPC
|It uses any style of communication.
|A SOAP protocol is needed to send or receive data over the network.
|API's have a lightweight architecture.
|So there's no need of having a lightweight architecture.
|A web service works like advanced URLs.
|API uses only the Programming Interface.
As we see, both (web services and APIs) have some major advantages that will surely help manage your business activities. However, it's still difficult to only choose one.
Let's have a look at the use of both in business.
API interfaces offer businesses the opportunity to unleash their potential and attain their business. Because of their major advantages, companies can advance their growth and compete effectively in the current digital era.
APIs in business:
The evolution of the internet has seen the integration of modern web-based applications into business operations.
Here are some main advantages of using web services in businesses.
With each second, the digital World is changing. A well-growing business accepts all the changes. Nowadays, Web Services and API are taking most of the digital World. These are two things that serve from totally different perspectives. So the opinion is to make use of both to grow your business.
There you go with a clear view:
API is an interface that is used to build on the data and functionality of another application. At the same time, a web service is a network-based resource that is used to communicate between two distanced devices.
In the end, facts showed that for the growth of the business, no one could deny the importance of APIs and web services. For the enablement of new technologies, APIs are great, and for having costless and rapid communication over the internet, web services play their major role.
YES! REST API is a type of Web Service APIs. It is a standardised architecture style for creating a Web Service API.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a standard-based web services access protocol. It's an XML-based protocol for the access of web services. It was developed before REST to ensure that programs built on different platforms and programming languages could securely exchange data.
It's a W3C recommendation that is used for communication between two applications. The use of SOAP makes it easy to interact with other programming language applications.
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