Difference between APIs and Microservices

Wed Oct 27 2021

2 min read

There are a lot of components that make an application. There is client-side code, server-side codebase, internal APIs, public APIs, microservices, etc. All these implementations work together and perform different operations.

Let’s shed some light on APIs, microservices, and the difference between these two.

Application Programming Interface (API)

The API is like a middle man, connecting two sides; a waiter takes your order and brings you food. It is a channel that applications utilize to talk with each other. You put some information at one end, the API takes that information and gets back with a result.

Many different types of APIs exist. You can use them to build web, desktop, mobile applications, CLI tools, extensions, and much more.


A microservice is an individual service in the microservice architecture. Microservice is a Service-Oriented architecture where the functionality of the application is divided into small fragments. Maintaining a monolithic architecture becomes difficult as you add more functionality, and Microservices help you with this.

APIs vs. Microservices

Let’s take a look at the differences between APIs and microservices:

An API is a communication service used to send and receive data between client and server.A microservice is an application design that breaks up a monolithic architecture into small, self-containing services.
If an API is compromised, the hacker will have access to the information transmitted through it.With microservices, each service is autonomous and independent from one another. So even if it is compromised, it will ideally not affect the entire application.
If an API breaks, it will break the application along with it.If one microservice fails, it will not affect the whole application.
With APIs, you often decide the type you will implement and use the same API in the rest of the application.Microservices provide flexibility, and the development team can implement them in any way they like.