A web API is an application programming interface (API Integration) for either a web server or a web browser. Web API is a framework for building HTTP services that can be consumed by a broad range of clients including browsers, mobiles, iPhone, and tablets. Today, a web-based application is not enough to reach its customers. People are very smart, they are using iPhone, mobile, tablets etc. devices in its daily life. These devices also have a lot of apps for making the life easy. Actually, we are moving from the web towards the apps world. So, if you like to expose your service data to the browsers and as well as all these modern devices apps in the fast and simple way, you should have an API which is compatible with browsers and all these devices.
For example Twitter, Facebook and Google API for the web application and phone apps.
Web API Features
- It supports convention-based CRUD Actions since it works with HTTP verbs GET, POST, PUT and DELETE.
- Responses are formatted by Web API’s Media Type Formatter into JSON, XML or whatever format you want to add as a Media Type Formatter.
- It may accept and generates the content which may not be object-oriented like images, PDF files etc.
- It can be hosted within the application or on IIS.
- It also supports the MVC features such as routing, controllers, action results, filter, model binders, IOC container or dependency injection that makes it more simple and robust.
Why choose Web API?
- It is Used to build simple, non-SOAP-based HTTP Services.
- It doesn’t have the tedious and extensive configuration.
- Simple service creation with Web API.
- It is only based on HTTP and easy to define, expose and consume in a REST-ful way.
- It is lightweight architecture and good for devices which have limited bandwidth like smartphones.
- It is open source.