Difference Between API and Web Service

Difference Between API and Web Service

Lot of times I have seen people easily got confused between Web Service and API.

So, in this article we are going to discuss some of the important difference between them.

Before looking into the actual differences let’s check out some basics of web service and API.

What is an API?
API (short for Application Programming Interface) is a protocol that serves as a means of data transfer between different applications or program functions. Basically, it’s a set of rules that tell your application how to behave and where to go. This technology is fast and convenient for users.
For example, you are using an API when paying for your new clothes online with a credit card. The Ecommerce platform sends you to your bank’s website to confirm the card data, and then right back.
What is Web Service?
A Web Service is defined by the W3C as "a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network"
All Web Services are API.

All API are not web services.
Web service uses only three styles of use: SOAP, REST and XML-RPC for communication.

API may use any style for communication.

Web Services are self-contained.
API are open source and can be used anywhere.

It can only be hosted on IIS(Internet Information Service).

It can be hosted within application or IIS.
Web Service might not perform all operation that an API would perform.

API can perform all task that Web service can do.
It requires a SOAP protocol to receive and send data over the network, so it is not a light-weight architecture.

It is light-weight architecture and good for devices which have limited bandwidth, like mobile devices.
It needs network for its operation.

API does not need network for its operation.



My Name is Ankur Jain and I am currently working as Automation Test Architect.I am ISTQB Certified Test Manager,Certified UI Path RPA Developer as well as Certified Scrum Master with total 12 years of working experience with lot of big banking clients around the globe.I love to Design Automation Testing Frameworks with Selenium,Appium,Protractor,Cucumber,Rest-Assured, Katalon Studio and currently exploring lot in Dev-OPS as well. I am currently staying in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Please Connect with me through Contact Us page of this website.

Previous Post
Next Post