Many of people use web service and API as the synonyms of each other, but the thing that is required to keep in mind is that web services and the Application Programming Interface are two different concepts that are poles apart and can not be treated as the synonym. You will get to know about this api vs web service fight in detail when you will read further.
What is an Application Programming Interface?
How do you think your basic use applications interconnect with each other? A common person uses multiple social media handles; how do you think you can put the same picture on multiple handles? The notification to post the same photo on Facebook that you have put on Instagram is the result of the Application Programming Interface.
When you break the full form of the API word by word, you will definitely get to know the meaning behind it; Application Programming Interface, it means that the processing unit that helps to manage between the applications. This means that it can help you to create a connection between the applications. In simple words, the software program that helps the application to interact with different other applications.
An API helps you to allow access and to coordinate between different applications. In simple words, API is seen as the glue that holds the internet together. Ever since the first computer application was created, the developers got the sense of the requirement of creating an API system as it will be of great use in the future. And the same thing also happened for an average person; if you want to know what happens when an API works, the most common example is when you play a music application in the background while using any other service application.
Here are a few examples that can help you to understand what functions does and Application Programming Interface performs when used in your day to day life:
- When you log-in, into a website or any other application using your Facebook account.
- When you sign-in into your Netflix, amazon account and get hundreds of movies on your screen.
- When you search any type of data in your google application, and they show another application as a result.
What is a web service?
How do you think you get search results on your search engines? What do you think is the process of providing your website to the public called? All the things that you do using your internet connection, whether that is taking any sort of service from any service provider or purchasing any item that is of your use. these things are termed and characterized under the term that is called as a web service.
Any type of resource that is made available to the user over the networks of the internet is termed as a web service. The term web service highly relates on the points of W3C, which is termed as the World Wide Consortium.
Have you ever tried creating your own website using any of the desired platforms, or have you tried managing the content of your website? Yes, this is termed as one of the functions of web service.
Here are some of the examples of web services:
- Creating your website
- Using any sort of web service
- Searching a website over the search engine
- Making use of the platform that helps in using any type of web service, if any.
- Reading any content from the blogs
- Searching what is happening around us
- Searching the videos and movies over the internet.
These are some of the examples that can help you to understand the network of web service very easily.
The fight of api vs web service
From the above discussion, you might be somewhat clear about the fact that what is an API and what is a web service, but when it comes between the fight of api vs web service, let us go through some more points:
Both the API and the web service are not anything that is mutually exclusive; infact, one term can be seen as the subset of the other but not all the time.
Every web service that many people use in their day-to-day life can be termed as an API; this happens because it exposes the data of the application from one network to another, Whereas every API can not be a web service.
Another big thing that makes a difference is that a web service requires a network, whereas the API is a protocol-agnostic that uses SOAP and REST.