Oct 11, 2023

What Is The Difference Between APIs And Microservices

What Is The Difference Between APIs And Microservices

As third-party integrations and interconnected systems become more important to business operations, we have seen the rise of microservices and APIs. Many businesses confuse APIs with microservices and vice-versa, making it harder to implement either effectively. Here is what you need to know about APIs, microservices, how they are used, and how they are different.

What Are Microservices?

Microservices are a software development approach where an application is built as a collection of small, autonomous services that communicate with each other through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). 

In short, a microservice uses APIs to build larger systems that can handle different tasks. These microservices are designed to be independent and can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. 

The microservices architecture allows for flexibility and agility in the development process, as each service can be developed and updated separately without affecting the whole system. 

The use of microservices also enables easier integration with other systems and applications through an API gateway. This approach is commonly utilized in the development of web applications where different functionalities can be divided into separate services.

Why Do Companies Use Microservices in Business?

Companies use microservices in business for several reasons. Microservices allow for greater agility and scalability in app development. By breaking down a large system into smaller, independently deployable services, companies can develop and deploy new features and updates more quickly. 

Microservices facilitate the integration of different software systems through APIs. This allows companies to leverage existing systems and easily add new functionalities. 

Microservices also enable companies to build more robust and resilient software architectures, as issues in one service do not affect the entire system. Microservices offer companies more flexibility and efficiency in their software development and integration processes.

What is an API?

An API, short for Application Programming Interface, is a set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate and interact with each other. It acts as a bridge between different systems and allows developers to access specific features or data from an existing application during app development. 

APIs are essential for enabling third-party integration, as they provide a standardized platform for developers to integrate their applications with other software systems or services. 

APIs can also be built into a framework, like a microservice, which provides developers with pre-defined tools and functionalities to streamline the app development process.

How is an API Different From a Microservice?

An API and a microservice are both components of a software architecture, but they serve different purposes. 

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate with each other. It serves as an interface between different parts of a software system, allowing them to exchange data and functionality. 

On the other hand, a microservice is an architectural framework that breaks down a complex software application into smaller, independent services built using APIs. Each microservice is responsible for specific functionality and can be developed and deployed independently. 

While an API is a way of communication, a microservice is a structural component of a larger software system.

Why Do Companies Use APIs Instead of Microservices?

Companies use APIs instead of microservices because APIs provide a standardized way of integrating systems and collaborating with external partners, making it easier to share data and functionalities. 

APIs allow companies to expose certain features of their software or services to third-party developers, enabling them to build additional functionality around it. 

On the other hand, microservices are an architectural pattern that focuses on decomposing an application into smaller, independent services. 

While microservices offer flexibility and scalability, they also introduce additional complexity, maintenance, and potential performance issues. Leveraging APIs can be a more efficient and cost-effective approach, especially for app development and integrating systems within the company's IT infrastructure.

When is it Better to Use a Microservice instead of an API?

It is better to use a microservice instead of an API when there is a need for a more modular and scalable system design. 

Microservices offer a practical alternative to traditional monolithic architectures by breaking down an application into smaller, loosely coupled services. This allows for the implementation of individual components or features independently, providing greater flexibility and ease of maintenance. 

Find New Ways to Build Systems

APIs and microservices offer companies ways of building new software faster and more reliably. The key is understanding how to put them together to get the benefits of new systems development. At KitelyTech, we can help you not only understand the differences between the two systems but also how to use them to create new software to grow your business. Call us at (800) 274-2908 to discuss how to use APIs and microservices to create new business systems that fit your needs.