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Web Services vs API vs Microservices

December 19, 2022

Web-Services-vs-API-vs-Microservices

It’s never easier to build a system, especially when a plethora of technologies are buzzing around.

It’s quite obvious that every company looks forward to adopting the latest technology to satisfy their clients.

In addition, with the persistent change in customer needs, the dire demand for increased technological software solutions is the need of the hour!

Earlier, the traditional software architecture was considered the only viable option for software solutions.

However, it was more of a tedious and challenging process to juggle as it came with severe complexity to make instant changes in the software.

One such is the microservice that was created from a real-world case.

A successful application must comprise functionalities, the latest features, and improved changes to thrive in the market and meet the desired customer requirements.

Microservices are a discrete bunch of small services that communicate with each other and work together in a single integrated application.

It facilitates the businesses’ easy adoption of trending technologies.

In contrast, web services are the services that can be discovered on the internet and are created using advanced technologies.

In a world where software-based services are heavily relied upon, a company does have certain alternatives to modernize its applications.

Undeniably, most app architectures are based on APIs that make it easier to interchange data and services.

Wondering how? This blog will decode these concepts to give you a brief view of these hailing technologies and the way they complement each other.

Microservice

It’s a software architecture that separates the various functions of an application into more components. These small components are referred to as “services.” If an application follows this chronology, it’s said to use the microservice architecture.

What benefits does Microservice Architecture add?

Before breaking the microservice architecture down, it’s crucial to decode its basis, which is a monolith.

Monolithic applications are the complete flip of microservices, as in the former the different assigned tasks aren’t delegated to each self-continued service, and instead, each function is managed by a single program. On the latter, the assigned tasks are delegated.

It would make sense to put in the effort to develop an application and rely on multiple programs when one single program can manage.

It may sound perfect; however, it isn’t easy to count on the monolith as the resultant application may result in complexity as flooding each aspect of the application into a program will end up with many challenges such as being hard to release updates, fixing problems, keeping track and assigning the tasks to developers, and deciphering the code.

This monolithic architecture made it difficult to disentangle and arose the need for new architecture in microservices.

 If an application is dynamic, it’s always a cherry on top. It works best when developing an application.

A versatile application that can be used anywhere. The benefit of using microservices is that they allow the use of programming languages and easily get along with any framework and library until they receive the best support.

Another advantage of using microservices is the high scalability that it offers. It incorporates a loose coupling effect and also separates the data access layer, database, and business logic.

If you deploy the microservice more distinctly, it ends up having high scalability.

A successful application is always backed by intense security. Who doesn’t want to access a secured application?

Here, microservices offer high security to applications, making them more secure.

The development process gets far easier if a bunch of application services can be broken down into vast modules. Microservices have modularity, which reduces further complexities.

It’s crucial to always ensure that the development process of an application is getting better. I know it sounds rigorous.

However, it’s not burdensome for developers to develop, test, and deploy minor services with microservices and make it a highly efficient and functional application.

One such example is Uber.

Uber

Initially, at the launch of Uber, the application witnessed many obstacles related to its architecture as it struggled to launch additional features, upgrades, and fix bugs.

It faced quite a backlash from the users, and subsequently, the company decided to fix its monolithic architecture.

The developers worked diligently towards working with the existing application to add minor changes to the system.

Web Service

It comprises a bunch of standards and open protocols that are extensively used to interchange data between applications or computer networks.

As software applications are written in various programming languages and run on several platforms, it enables the use of web services to effortlessly exchange data between them.

Types

1.  REST

It’s specifically used for working with different files and media components on a hardware device.

If any web service runs on the principles of REST, it’s generally referred to as a “RESTful” web service. In addition, it uses the standard of HTTP to work with the required components.

2. SOAP

It’s a protocol that existed way before REST. It’s primarily used to ensure that the exchange of data between the applications is done securely without any hassle or breach.

What’s the function of Web Service?

The web service is yet another prominent component of a modern and efficient system.

While microservices assist better communication and business functions within the system by eradicating the dire need for redundant dependencies, this communication is enabled by web services.

The notable feature of web services is their web-based technology, which explicitly helps in effective communication in the standard format and with specific protocols. In essence, it enables integration, which is a great factor.

Nowadays, with the accelerated growth of technology, almost every digital system includes third-party integration. It’s a great help!

Besides, it’s also used regarding monolithic applications, microservices, and their components to develop a highly functional and comprehensive application.

Wondering what’s another incredible feature of web services? It can seamlessly function as a bridge.

It functions irrespective of the connection of server-to-server, server-to-cloud, cloud-to-premises, or premises-to-cloud.

This sets it apart by enabling the connection of a multitude of software components located in other geographies, increasing demand from enterprises.

API

It’s an application programming interface, which enables the applications to effortlessly communicate with each other without any external intrusion.

It allows products to communicate with each other without making them aware of their implementation.

Its group of methods and protocols defines how the applications share the data. If implemented, it can be an asset to the digital infrastructure as it allows efficient communication between indifferent applications.

API works in between the public and software’s main components, allowing developers to easily access the backend of an application without diving inside the application, which makes it different as a programming interface.

REST API

API is more of a comprehensive concept that enables developers to build API as they deem fit for an application and can also rely on frameworks.

REST APIs, unlike web services, use representational state transfer, which is used to develop APIs in compliance with REST, also referred to as REST APIs. It’s mostly used in cross-platform integration and microservices.

APIs can be external or internal, where internal is used to communicate within the application. Generally, it’s confined to certified developers.

What’s the function of API?

The flexibility is quite essential to necessitate communication in microservices. It’s provided by API and works well if implemented vigilantly.

API offers a standardized way to easily access the data, services, and applications without any necessity to access code and can be effectively used on one microservice to access the functionality of another.

However, the API does comply with a standardized format, but not all of it doesn’t comply with the same.

There has to be the application code and protocols, which comprise the object transfer protocol and representational state transfer.

But the best part is that the developers can create this environment by complicating the communication between the services and apps with anything.

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How do microservices and web services get along?

You’d be amazed to learn that web services and microservices, which have distinct features, get along well in the software development process.

In microservices, the monolith is divided into several components. Hence, the application is made up of running modules rather than a single piece of source code.

However, the modules can be separated indefinitely as they still need to interchange data, and developers assure that it’s done by connecting APIs to modules.

How do microservices and APIs get along?

It’s not wise to use an API to enable microservices for effective communication, as chasing several API ways between calling and several responding microservices is an invitation to disaster.

It’s much better for microservices to solely communicate with a single environment.

In fact, the API gateways can be a bonus, as they can easily manage the interaction between microservices through API calls and manage microservice security.

It seems quite perfect, however, since API gateways can accept all possible calls from various APIs by default, but it’s not possible to cover each of them.

The odds may get high given the necessity of using a connector to make the gateway work. However, it’s wise to not go ahead with it!

If you want to use APIs, you can use microservices to incorporate an API gateway in resonance with the organization’s requirements, such as scalability, API interoperability, and security.

Also, the gateway can assess all the API transactions with built-in microservices.

For instance, if all microservice interactions go through API gateways regardless of whether they are front-end, back-end, or web-based, it ends up offering immense flexibility to the API environment as well as the ability to monitor the interactions.

This architecture aids the organization in running the microservice environment.

Microservice VS Web Service Vs API

Microservices is an architecture that divides the larger components of an application into smaller components that are loosely coupled.

On the contrary, web services are application software that uses standard protocols to facilitate the interchange of data between the software and applications.

Microservices are self-contained services or programs that heavily focus on resolving issues. While web services are great for integrating apps quickly and easily,

Microservices architecture is a type of architecture that is centered on business operations and can be applied to web services.

On the flip side, web service is a layer that easily fits between the programming elements and helps to understand how the codebase works.

When it comes to microservices, most companies can easily combine technological advancements with them.

On the contrary, web services are based on internet technologies and can be easily accessed.

API is an application programming interface that facilitates data transmissions between software. It acts as an intermediary that allows communication. However, all APIs can’t be construed as web services.

The API of a piece of software defines a set of acceptable requests and responses to these requests.

A microservice is a method of developing applications that divide an application’s functions into modular, self-contained programs. Microservices simplify the development and maintenance of software.

Microservices and APIs are often interchanged as services within microservices utilize APIs to efficiently communicate with each other.

In addition, a private API is also used by a component to access another component in the same microservice.

It works similarly to how an application uses APIs to combine itself with other applications.

However, each microservice has its API. It helps to regulate the requests that it receives and its response. Generally, REST principles are followed by the APIs.

Some may assign multiple APIs to a single service, while others may use a single API to access multiple services.

APIs have applications other than microservices. As previously stated, web APIs allow data sharing between systems, which is required for many web applications.

APIs can also be used internally without requiring a microservice implementation.

Conclusion

It’s quite challenging to compare the microservices, APIs, and web services.

While APIs and Web services serve as communication interfaces for various architectural styles, microservices are a distinct method for developing software systems with well-defined interfaces and operability.

It also depends on what kind of services and architecture you’re looking for when developing an application.

You can hire an expert based on it to ensure that you end up reaping the most benefits.

If you are a business owner interested in developing an application based on either of these services and architectures, you can hire developers with relevant experience and expertise in the same field.

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