Microservices Vs API: Difference Between APIs and Microservices Explained

By | January 13, 2023

APIs and Microservices have become a norm in the modern digital world where businesses are continuously moving towards their digital journey. Exposing Assets in the form of APIs and building applications in an agile, flexible and resilient manner are among the prime concerns for the organizations. That’s where APIs and Microservices come into the picture. In this Microservices Vs API tutorial, you will learn difference Between APIs and Microservices and understand how they differ as well as how they correlate to each other. You will also be in a better position to answer this common API vs Microservice interview question after clearing your concepts by reading through this article.

Microservices Vs API

Microservices Vs API: Difference Between APIs and Microservices Explained

Before we jump into the comparison between an API and Microservice; it is important to first shed a light on the two terminologies. Both APIs and Microservices are used in a digital journey of any organization during integration and implementation of modern software solutions. However, these two concepts; i.e. Microservices and APIs are not exactly same.

What is an API?

API (Application Programming Interface) is a piece of code or a set of functions that enable a set of operations between two applications for transmission of data. APIs follow certain standards & protocols to enable such bi-directional communication.

APIs help organizations to expose their digital assets and allow developers to achieve integration to benefit from these exposed assets. Once APIs are exposed, API’s governance and management can be achieved with an API Management Platform and get a better control on overall API’s eco-system.

What is a Microservice?

Microservices are an architectural approach where applications are implemented in a fine-grained manner by implementing loosely coupled, flexible, resilient services separately which can be hooked together to work as a full-fledged application. Microservices are contrary to monolithic applications as a monolithic application is a fat application containing all the logic in a clubbed single deployable app while a microservice can be implemented, deployed and managed independently.

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Microservices Vs API

Now that we have explained APIs and Microservices separately in simple words; you should have a fairly good idea about each. However, if you are still unclear how Microservices and APIs differ and how they correlate; read on…

The fundamental difference between API and Microservice is their purpose. The two concepts serve different purposes: APIs expose the asset while Microservice implements the asset.

Another difference is that an API can expose a Microservice as its backend implementation while not every Microservice is necessarily exposed as an API. There can be many such Microservices which are not made available through any API operations.

APIs are meant to standardize the integrations while Microservices are used to achieve flexibility, agility, scalability, resilience in the implementation of any software application.

In the video below on TutorialsPedia YouTube Channel, Difference between Microservices and APIs is explained in more detail.

Ajmal Abbasi

Ajmal Hussain Abbasi is Integration Consultant By Profession with 13+ years experience in Integration domain mainly with TIBCO products. He has extensive practical knowledge of TIBCO Business Works, TIBCO Cloud, TIBCO Flogo, TIBCO Mashery, TIBCO Spotfire, EMS and TIBCO ActiveSpaces. He has worked on a number of highly critical integration projects in various sectors by using his skills in TIBCO Flogo, TIBCO API Management (Mashery), TCI, Tibco Designer, TIBCO Business Studio, Adapters, TIBCO EMS, RV, Administrator, TIBCO BE, TIBCO ActiveSpaces etc. Ajmal Abbasi has experience with MuleSoft ESB as well. Ajmal Abbasi is also experienced in the area of API Management particularly with WSO2 API management platforms. Ajmal Abbasi is also experienced in developing solutions using Core Java and J2EE Technologies. You can contact Ajmal Abbasi for Consultancy, Technical Assistance and Technical Discussions.

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