Simon Willison’s Weblog


Web APIs, not Web Services

26th May 2006

In Web Services are Dead, Long Live Web Services, Mark Nottingham suggests HTTP Web Services as a better phrase for discussing machine-to-machine communication using HTTP where the WS-* stack isn’t assumed.

I’d go a step further and say that the word “services” is ambiguous and confusing. I’ve met people who think that a Web Service is any application that you access over the Web—and it’s easy to understand their confusion.

I propose Web APIs as a better alternative. They’re APIs that you call over the Web. No Deathstar required.

Update: Joe Gregorio argues against the term API in this presentation from last year.

This is Web APIs, not Web Services by Simon Willison, posted on 26th May 2006.

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