What is the difference between API and REST API?

Rest Api Model

The main difference that sets apart API and REST API is that API is the superset while REST API is the subset. This simply concludes that while all REST APIs are APIs, not all APIs are REST APIs. REST APIs is a specialized API and API is a broad term.

There are a lot of things that set apart API and REST API. API stands for Application Program Interface and REST stands for Representational State Transfer.

When it comes to function. API is responsible for connecting one application with the data and services of another application by granting all the required permissions. In this way, it acts as a connector between two applications and it is an essential part of any app development process.

On the other hand, REST API is a web service API that utilizes URIs and HTTP protocol along with JSON for data formating. It offers the kind of simplicity in development with limited resources and fewer security requirements, scalability, compatibility that businesses want for their web services that is hard to find elsewhere, which is the reason it is preferred over others.

Difference between API and REST API

API allows one application to access the feature of another application, with a set of functions and procedures while on the other hand, REST serves the architectural style functions for networked applications on the web. However, its functions are restricted only to client-server-based applications. It serves as a set of rules or guidelines for building the web API. It provides developers with a standard way to build it faster and more efficiently that will make it easier for third parties to understand it.

REST and SOAP are generally compared when it comes to APIs. The reason why REST  API is more preferred by businesses worldwide is that SOAP offers less freedom and is more complex than REST and it also dictates a lot of standards for implementation.

Web Services

Exclusive Features of REST APIs

By using the existing protocols. REST APIs are gaining more popularity for development. Most of the other types of APIs require developers to define a protocol for the functioning of the APIs. However, with REST API there is no such need for installing any additional libraries for creating and functioning a REST API as it uses HTTP. Apart from this, developers can also benefit from using REST API with its exceptional flexibility. It can efficiently handle all the different types of calls and returns in different data formats. By not limiting itself to XML like SOAP, it allows users to return in XML, JSON, JMAL, and others using REST API.

Interface

REST API allows developers to decouple the client from the server or one application from another. The uniform interface of REST API allows the applications to evolve independently without tightly coupling the actions, models, and services to the API layer.

Client-Server

As opposed to other APIs, REST API does not follow application-application format. It strictly operates on the web concept of client and server. It allows the client and server to grow individually by separating them from one another.

Scalability

General APIs have a major issue of scalability. This issue is well taken care of with REST APIs. With its layered architecture REST APIs work together. By forming a hierarchy, it allows the modular application that serves as the key to scalability.

Stateless

REST APIs are stateless while not all APIs are. This directly means that developers can individually and independently make the call required to the API. Each call should contain the data required to execute the call. Apart from that, the stateless property of the REST API makes the storage of cacheable data possible. In this way, it expedites the whole process of executing the calls and handling a large number of incoming calls.

The Bottom Line

The Restful API by Expresia are the APIs that allow the transmission of code on demand. It also offers the liberty to developers to not have to know the names and parameters of the function in the specific order to execute the REST  APIs. It remains independent of the language and platform that you are using. And with its high reliability, simplicity, and transparency in executions make it a preferred choice among developers and businesses.

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