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Web Services VS Web API

The web services are the software components that transfer specific data/information, sending or posting data, or updating data over the web protocols like HTTP with XML Language. Furthermore, we can also say that a web service is a type of service that helps transfer the data between the user machine and web server, in which the user sent a request to the webserver and then the server will respond to the client machine.

Features of Web Services

The following are the important features of SoapUI tools.

  • XML-Based: It uses XML for data representation and data transportation.
  • Loosely Coupled: The Loosely Coupled means a client machine or user can not send a request or interact directly with the webserver. The interface of the web service changes over time without losing the client machine's ability to communicate with the web service.
  • Support document exchange: XML is not just for data representation but also complex documents. And web service support exchanges complex documents to facilitate business integration.
  • Ability to support remote procedure calls: Web services allow clients to call processes, methods, and functions on remote access objects using XML based protocols.

Types of Web Services

The following are the types of web services used to communicate with clients and servers.

  • SOAP Web Service
  • REST Web Service
  • WSDL (Web Service Description Language)

SOAP Web Service

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol, defined by the W3C standard that allows communication between two applications. It uses XML data as a SOAP message to transfer over the network. In addition, each message contains an XML document containing data that needs to be transferred for communication between the client and the server.

REST Web Service

REST stands for Representational state transfer is a lightweight software architecture that uses HTTP protocol and constraints to create web API for web-based applications. The REST service is primarily used to create connections between users and web services to exchange data and functionality through the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).


It is an XML-based language used to define the web provider's resources in a web application. It means these are the services in the XML format, which describes how the WSDL services will be called and what input value is provided to obtain each type of service.

Web Services Components

The web services provide XML as a basic platform for messaging and HTTP for request and response. These are the following standard web services component used in the SoapUI tools.

  • SOAP (Simple Object Access protocol)
  • RDF Resource Description Framework
  • WSDL (Web Services Description Language)
  • UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration)

What is a Web API?

A Web API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a software application that allows two different applications or machines to interact with each other without any user interference. The API contains a complete set of rules and specifications used when interacting with any web application.

Features of Web APIs

The following are the important features of SoapUI tools.

  • Language independent
  • Personalization
  • Efficiency
  • Wider reach
  • Data ownership
  • Easy integration with GUI
  • Time Effective

Difference Between Web Service vs Web API:

Web Services Web API
Web service is used to communicate between two machines on a network. Web API is used as an interface between two different applications for communicating with each other.
It uses HTML requests that can be compressed, but XML data cannot be compressed. Data can be compressed.
Generally, it uses the HTTP protocol for communication. It also uses SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC as communication. It may use any means of communication protocols such as HTTP/HTTPS to initiate the interaction between applications.
A web service is just an API wrapped in HTTP. It's not always be a web-based
All Web Services are APIs. All APIs are not web services.
It does not have a complete set of specifications, and sometimes it cannot perform all the functions that can be executed by the WEB API. An API is a complete set of rules and specifications that follow to facilitate the interaction.
It uses XML as structured data for exchanging information and communication. It uses XML, JSON or plain data as structured data.

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