What is The Difference Between APIs And Microservices?

You’ve probably heard the phrases “APIs” and “microservices” used when talking about software architecture and interconnections. Both ideas are essential to creating and designing online applications today, and their applications overlap in certain ways. However, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between microservices and APIs as well as how they’re used. This can help you […]

Updated 7 March 2024

Ajay Gupta
Ajay Gupta

AVP – Backend Technology at Appventurez

You’ve probably heard the phrases “APIs” and “microservices” used when talking about software architecture and interconnections.

Both ideas are essential to creating and designing online applications today, and their applications overlap in certain ways. However, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between microservices and APIs as well as how they’re used. This can help you understand the programs you use and sell better and have more fruitful talks with developers.

They both play crucial roles in contemporary online applications, and given how they are employed, it almost seems as though the two names are interchangeable, albeit that isn’t quite accurate.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through both concepts, look at the slight overlap between them, and get to the bottom of the long-standing question “what is the difference between APIs and microservices?”

What is an API?

The component of an application that interacts with other apps is known as the application programming interface or API. An API, in more technical terms, is a collection of rules and procedures that specify how two apps may exchange and change each other’s data.

Because they enable standardized and effective communication across apps that may differ in purpose and architecture, APIs are essential to our current digital infrastructure.

The backend of a software program may be accessed by other developers without them having to be familiar with how the app itself operates thanks to an API that lies between the public and the software’s fundamental components with the guide of API development. This is what distinguishes an API as a programming interface.

What Are APIs Used For?

Uses of APIs for software integrations, which would not be possible without APIs, may share data and work together.

Imagine that you are ready to complete your online purchase. You see that the store you’re visiting offers the option of paying using the payment processor PayNow, and you already have an account with your payment information set up on PayNow.com with buy now pay later apps How practical!

An API enables the communication between the shop and PayNow, which is a distinct business from the one you’re on right now. The shop first makes a payment information request using the PayNow payment gateway API. The PayNow API then receives the request, checks it for validity, retrieves the data from its client database, and delivers it back to the merchant. To finish the transaction, the merchant utilizes the information on your card.

Almost every time two independent applications interact, exchanges similar to this one take place. A YouTube video embedded in a website, a travel website using an airline’s API to access flight times and costs, a website using one of Google’s and/or Facebook’s APIs to allow social login, and a navigation app using a public transit system’s API to access real-time transportation data are a few additional examples from the real world.

What is a Microservice?

A type of software architecture known as a “microservice” separates an application’s many operations into more manageable units known as “services.” When an application is created in this manner, a microservice architecture is said to be used.

(Quick note: Developers often refer to these smaller components as “microservices” themselves. To avoid confusion, I’ll stick to the term “services” when describing these components, and “microservice” when referencing the entire system architecture.)

An application like PayNow, for instance, may have a microservice design that consists of separate services for user account management, connections with online retailers, and user authentication. Within the broader system, each service functions as if it were a standalone piece of software.

The size of these jobs is up to the app’s developers, but each service inside the bigger microservices has just one task. As is the case with PayNow, a simple software program may rely on a small number of services. Or, in the case of big software firms, an application could include hundreds of fine-grained services that perform very particular tasks.

Why Use Microservice Architecture?

We first need to comprehend the antecedent of the web application microservice architecture, the monolith, to grasp why it is advantageous for software engineers.

The antithesis of a microservice, a monolithic application only has one program handling all of its functions rather than delegating various duties to many independent services.

Although it can make sense to begin an application’s development in this manner — why construct several applications to worry about? — As the capabilities and complexity of their application increase, devotees to the monolith will run across problems. It is challenging to program and deploy updates, monitor changes, find bugs, assign jobs for developers, and generally comprehend the code when all the components of an application are contained within a single program.

In other words, how microservices work it might be challenging to unravel everything inside the monolith since it is so interconnected. As a result, a new architecture was required, which led to the emergence of microservices with many types of microservices. The advantages of a microservice architecture over a monolith are as follows:


In a microservice application, changing one service does not call for changing the system as a whole. This helps to reduce debugging costs, time, and effort. Additionally, it permits rolling upgrades rather than infrequent large updates.


One part of the program may be understood by a developer without having to be familiar with the full system design.

Team organization

Developer responsibilities are separated via microservices. Instead of working on a vaguely defined area of a monolith, DevOps teams might be allocated to one or more microservices.


If one service is compromised, it should (hopefully) not have a major impact on any other services.


A team does not have to be concerned about how building service in a certain way (using a different language or framework, for example) can affect other parts.

In conclusion, microservices speed up and simplify the software development process by splitting tasks.

Because an application won’t benefit much from a collection of separate modules, these services are connected by—you guessed it—APIs.

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Examples of Microservices

Microservices have extremely few features. Simplicity is the main objective. They may be compared to positions in a business; each microservice performs a single task and plays a very specific function.

A fantastic graph of the several Uber microservices that interact with one another and carry out various functions was created by DZone. Uber creates several services for various tasks:

Graphs may also be used to represent microservices, with each microservice represented as a single node that interacts with other services via an API. As new services are added to the system, the architecture may continue to expand.

What is the difference between APIs and Microservices?

You have some familiarity with the ideas behind microservices vs APIs at this point. Let’s now point out the difference between microservices and web services:

Web applications built using the microservices architectural approach have their functionality split up into smaller web services.

Let’s quickly study these ideas before comparing them:

  1. A component of a web application called an API allows it to connect with other apps. A software’s API establishes a list of legitimate queries that may be made of it and the appropriate answers.
  2. A technique for application development known as “microservices” separates an application’s functionalities into modular, stand-alone modules. The creation and maintenance of software are made simpler by microservices.

Microservices and APIs are distinct concepts, although they are commonly used in conjunction since services inside a microservice communicate with one another via APIs. One component of a microservice utilizes a private API to access another component of the same microservice, much like how an application integrates with another application by using a public API.

Every service in a microservice has a unique API that controls what requests it may receive and how it answers. These APIs usually adhere to RESTful principles. The simple microservice shown below is kept together visually using internal APIs:

difference between apis and microservices

Take note of how one module engages with outside programmers. In our case, this specific service deals with application integrations. Since all other APIs in this microservice are secret, just that one is public-facing.

It’s crucial to remember that no two microservices are similar and that they all use APIs in unique ways. Some people could use different APIs for different services, or they might use different APIs for different services. Although every application adheres to a one-to-one API-to-service coupling, the following graphic is meant to help you understand the general notion of microservices and APIs.

Finally, keep in mind that APIs are not only for microservices. As we previously covered, web APIs make it possible for systems to share data, which is essential for many online applications. Additionally, internal usage of APIs is possible without a microservice.

Similarities between API and Microservices

The building components of web application development using microservices. Additionally, the API serves as the connecting thread between each microservice. when apps are built using a combination of APIs and microservice architecture. This has several benefits, including:

  1. Scalability can be offered by either. According to their demands, services will be added to or spread throughout the software program as it expands. On top of each service, the API will duplicate.
  2. The creation of software is agile and economical. faster creation of modules and functionalities.
  3. Through the distribution of services, security compliance is realized. Other services can be preserved and secured in time if one service is compromised. Additionally, APIs have tight guidelines for exchanging data.

Best Practices For Microservices With APIs

The following are best practices for using APIs to manage and approach microservices.

Composable Enterprise

A modern method of designing microservices called “composable enterprise” is a best practice for businesses. Gartner used the phrase “composable enterprise” to describe this new development.

Building blocks for a composable enterprise architecture are prepackaged business capabilities. This architectural strategy allows for

  • Infrastructure as an application.
  • Infrastructure automation.
  • Multi-Cloud management.
  • Portfolio rationalization. 


Security is more than simply a good idea. It is necessary for corporate microservices. Particularly about the service mesh.

When comparing an API gateway with a service mesh, there is considerable ambiguity. However, the two ideas work well together. You may protect the microservices mesh by using APIs and an API gateway.


Microservice’s success also depends on adopting best practices for digital transformation. Additionally, utilizing microservices is essential for your digital transformation.

What is the best way for you to do this?

Start by taking into account the advantages of microservices for business. You must be familiar with how microservices operate. And to benefit your company, you need to know how to make the most of them.

After that, you may decide how to employ microservices to open new channels and provide value to your clients.

The Future (and Present) of Software Architecture

Leading software businesses like Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify have embraced the microservice concept during the past ten years. The core idea is the same—dividing an application’s tasks into smaller pieces of software makes everything easier and more effective, and APIs link everything together—even though their implementations may be a little more complicated.

Understanding these ideas is beneficial if your firm is building or changing its software infrastructure. Even today, APIs and microservices are changing how humans communicate as well as how software interacts with one another.


We have explained the comparison between Microservices and API. Core software development principles include developing modular, code maintainability, non-redundant, user-friendly applications.

One can achieve this by integrating microservices with API-style architect models. Both are meant to meet specific requirements and are easy to use for developers, whether used separately or together.

Have you heard about Microservices Architecture is a must-have skill for IT professionals? To enable you to upgrade your existing skills, learn how to implement Microservices in your existing and upcoming projects. Keeping the same in mind, we at Appventurez web application development services deliver an Unlimited Microservices training program that’s aligned with real-time project implementation.

contact us if you have query about apis and microservices


Q. Is an API considered a microservice?

A technique for application development known as microservices divides a program's functionality into portable modules. An application that interacts with other apps uses APIs.

Q. Can a microservice have multiple APIs?

It's crucial to remember that no two microservices are similar and that they all use APIs in unique ways. Some people could use different APIs for different services, or they might use different APIs for different services.

Q. Why is an API gateway needed in microservices?

Without API Gateways, client apps are forced to submit requests directly to the microservices, which presents a number of challenges, including the following ones: The client apps are tied to the internal microservices in the absence of the API Gateway design.

Ajay Gupta
Ajay Gupta

AVP – Backend Technology at Appventurez

AVP at Appventurez, Ajay Gupta is a highly accomplished leader with an extensive background in backend technology. With over 10+ years of experience in the industry, he has consistently driven scalability, innovation, and efficiency in the development of complex backend systems.

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