Difference between API and Microservices

The process of developing an application using microservices partitions the program's functionality into a collection of separate modules. APIs are a component of an application that allows for its communication with other software programmes. Therefore, APIs may be utilised to facilitate the creation of microservices. As a direct consequence of this, you may simplify the process of developing software.

There are several microservices whose only purpose is to do internal work or to provide some assistance to API activities. But there are many ways to make an API without using microservices. This means that these technologies are more likely to work together than against each other.

Do not worry if it still seems a little puzzling to you; by the time you have finished reading this post, you will be able to discern between the two and understand when it is appropriate to utilise APIs in conjunction with microservices.

What is an API?

The term "API" stands for "application programming interface," and it describes the means through which two separate pieces of software may connect to and communicate with one another via their respective endpoints. For instance, your employment using APIs might be used to maintain communication with third parties (customers or company partners).

Most application programming interfaces (APIs) are set up according to rules or standards that have already been set, like REST or GraphQL. This makes it easy for anyone to use them.

Functions of an API

A request made by a user of an application is sent to the server using application programming interfaces (APIs). That data is retrieved by the server, which then performs an interpretation of it. In the end, it carries out the action that was asked for by the user.

This information is often sent to the programme in the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. The programme takes this information and puts it in a way that the user can understand.

An online student data API is an example of this. It takes the information from the student order you just placed in your browser, sends it to the school's server so it can be processed, and then sends a response back to the user telling them the status of their order and whether or not it was successful.

Here is an example of how a request to a website's web API may appear.

   "studentName" : "Priyabrata",
   "class" : "one",
   "roll-no" : 05

The application programming interface (API) will submit a request to the server consisting of this data. The server will then check to see whether there is stock, store the information on the user, and then provide a response to the user. One possible example of a response is as follows.

   "status": true,
   "message": "We are grateful to you, and we have your
   information. We will get in touch with you as soon as it is possible."

What are Microservices?

Microservices are smaller, more specialised software components that are integrated into larger applications to carry out specific, self-contained functions. They differ from monolithic applications in that, instead of constructing web applications as a single unit consisting of a UI, a server-side application, and a database, they separate each component of the application into several PCBs that are connected via APIs. Monolithic applications, on the other hand, build web applications as a single unit.

It's kind of like making a website out of Legos in that if you don't like one of the pieces, you can easily swap it out for another one and the remainder of the website will stay the same. That means you'll have almost no technical debt, and if you stick with this plan, you'll never have to deal with a lose-lose architecture problem, which is something we all hate.

Functions of Microservices

Following are the basic functions of microservices −

  • Processing of data in real time. For example, online banking systems and online booking services employ microservices to carry out processes in real time and provide an instantaneous result.

  • Application refactoring for old systems. Leveraging microservices to migrate to the cloud, update functionality, and add new features would help you to create progressively while reducing the amount of technical complexity in your system if you are still using a historical architecture.

  • Apps that provide services on behalf of a third party. Since third-party applications like plugins need more CPU power to run, you may be able to make them more efficient by setting them up as microservices.

Comparison between API and microservices

To assist you in wrapping your head around what it is about microservices that makes them so appealing to software engineers, we have compiled a helpful table with a list of their advantages.

Parameter of comparison
Methods of obtaining
Presented by one application to another and made available via the use of the Internet.
Make use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to Keep communication going amongst all bundled business capabilities (PCB).
A communication standard or protocol that is utilised between different apps and services.
Microservice architecture is an approach to building that organises an application as a set of linked services.
Provide access to services in order to make them consumable.
APIs should be used in order to link services.
Act as points of contact
Contribute various elements to an application.


Microservices may be understood in the simplest terms by considering them to be a method for partitioning an application into many smaller components that run in parallel. Microservices are the building blocks of your application, responsible for a variety of services; REST APIs, on the other hand, serve as the glue or bridge that connects the many microservices that comprise your program.

There are still a lot of misconceptions about application programming interfaces (APIs) and microservices, even though they are now important parts of building modern websites.

Microservices may be used in whole or in part to construct application programming interfaces (APIs). However, developers may employ microservices for a far wider variety of purposes. Each service is responsible for a particular task inside the application as a whole and is supported by an application programming interface (API) that allows it to interact with the other services. Because of this, it is possible for each service to be scaled independently of the others in order to match demand spikes or decreases in activity in any specific region of your product.

Updated on: 05-Jul-2022

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