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Understand the Basic Difference between API and Web Services

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API is considered the Application Programming Interface and it is a software interface that permits a couple of applications to have interaction with one another minus a user intervention. APIs proposed a product or service that has communication with other items and services minus knowing their implementation. 

On the other hand, a web service is considered an accumulation of open standards and protocols that are used widely to exchange data between applications of systems. Some software applications get written through the use of different programming languages and they run on several platforms and it provides users the flexibility to use web services for exchanging data over a computer network, similar to playing their favorite online poker game, dominoqq.

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Benefits of using APIs

  • Automation – Through APIs, an agency can update workflows for making them more productive and quicker.
  • Application – As APIs can access the components of the app and the delivery of information and services tend to be more flexible.
  • The availability of new data – An API permits all the information which is generated obtainable to every citizen in place of some only.
  • More scope – The API helps in the formation of an application layer which can be useful for distributing services and information to the new audiences that can be personalized for forming custom user experiences.
  • Integration – APIs permit content to get embedded from any application or site more easily and this ensures high fluid delivery of information plus a combined user experience.
  • Efficiency – At a time when access is proposed to an API, then the content which is generated can be automatically published and happens to be obtainable for all the channels.

Benefits of using web services

  • Linking various applications – Web services permit various applications to have an interaction with one another besides sharing services and data amongst themselves.
  • Standardized protocol – A web service uses standard industry-standard protocol intended for the communication and this standardization of the stacking of protocols provides businesses numerous advantages.
  • The low price of communication – For communication, web services use SOAP and so, a person can use his present low-cost internet to implement web services.
  • Provide support for various other means of communications – Besides SOAP, web services are also implemented on various other dependable transport mechanisms and so, they provide flexibility. 
  • Sharing of web services – Today, because of the business’ complexity, organizations use various technologies, such as B2B, EAI, EDI, Portals, and much more to distribute computing and web services do support all these technologies. So, they help businesses to make use of the present investments.

The basic difference between API and web services

Both API and Web services act as means of communication but the difference lies in the fact that web services facilitate interaction between a couple of machines over a network whereas an API works as an interface between a couple of distinct applications for turning their communication process easily. Through an API, third-party vendors do write programs that interface with other programs easily. The web services are designed for having an interface that is illustrated in a machine-processable format which is commonly specified in WSDL (Web Service Description Language)

Commonly, HTTP is used as a common protocol to communicate and web services also use REST, XML-RPC, and SOAP as means of communication. However, API might make use of any other means of communication for initiating interaction between various applications. 

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The job of an API is defining the processes for a software program for interacting with another and when this action comprises sending data, web services march in. Commonly, an API includes calling functions from a software program. When the matter comes to web applications, then the API that is used happens to be web-based. Some desktop applications, like word documents and spreadsheets, make use of COM-based APIs and VBA that do not comprise web service.

A web service needs a network but APIs can be offline or online. The web services should also make use of a network. APIs happen to be protocol agnostic. Though APIs can make use of any protocol, commonly, web services use SOAP, though, at times, they use XML-RPC, REST and UDDI too. 

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The big distinction between APIs and Web Services is numerous public APIs happen to be transparent with self-service portals and open documentation for fast developer onboarding. On the contrary, web services do not enjoy such a kind of open history. In place of that, they tend to propose particular functionality or data to particular partners.

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Okii Eli
Okii Eli
Okii Eli is the CEO and Co-Founder at Ecorest. Follow him on Twitter @nextstevejobs or read his posts here. He lives in Nairobi and loves entreprenuership and blogs about start-ups in Africa.

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