Difference between API and Web Service

Basically, a webservice is a method of communication between two machines while an API is an exposed layer allowing you to program against something.

You could very well have an API and the main method of interacting with that API is via a webservice.

The technical definitions (courtesy of Wikipedia) are:


    An application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, data structures, object classes and/or protocols provided by libraries and/or operating system services in order to support the building of applications.

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    A Web service (also Web Service) is defined by the W3C as "a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network"

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