What is ASP.Net Web API, why & when to use

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What is ASP.Net Web API, what is RESTFul service, What is the difference between WCF and Web API and when to use over other. These are the main points which we going to discuss in this starting article, then we will create our own Web API project and look each and every single type of methods like get, post, put, delete. We will also use the Entity Framework to get and post the data to SQL Server.

What is ASP.Net Web API

ASP.Net Web API is a framework to build Web API Services, that means HTTP Based services on top of the .Net Framework.

It is commonly used to build RESTFul services, these services can be consume by different type of clients, like

  • Browser
  • Mobile Applications
  • Desktop Applications
  • Others: Object having IP Address and can communicate with internet devices like Laptop, Desktop, Mobile, Cars, and other electronic devices.

ASP.Net Web API are mostly used for RESTFul service but we can also create services which are not restful in nature.

What is restful service REST stands for Representational State Transfer, which is an architectural style for networked hypermedia applications, it is primarily used to build Web services that are lightweight, maintainable, and scalable. A service based on REST is called a RESTful service, it was introduces first time in the year 2000.

REST Constraints

  • CLIENT: Send the request to service and wiat for Response
  • SERVER: Accept request and Send Response
  • STATELESS: Don't store any information of client on the server, it means each request treated as an independent request
  • CACHEABLE: Common un-changeable data like list of states can be cached for a particular time and serve directly without process, it can increase the performance significantly.
  • UNIFORM INTERFACE: HTTP standard to describe communication like GET, PUT, POST, DELETE etc.
  • LAYERED SYSTEM: ASP.Net Web API can be used as a layer
  • CODE ON DEMAND (Optional): using code on demanad reduces visibility, which is why this constraint is optional. Also, not every API needs this kind of flexibility.

Why Web API while we already have WCF

WCF configuration is quite complex to use as RESTFul service while Web API is specially created for this purpose, easy to configure, easy to understan, easy to add routing

When to use WCF Over Web API

  • Creating services that are transport/protocol independent
  • Single service with multiple end points
  • If we have an existing SOAP service we must support it and want to add expose for more clients
  • .Net 3.5 limitations

In next article we will create a ASP.Net Web API from scratch.

Ali Adravi Having 13+ years of experience in Microsoft Technologies (C#, ASP.Net, MVC and SQL Server). Worked with Metaoption LLC, for more than 9 years and still with the same company. Always ready to learn new technologies and tricks.
  • web-api
  • wcf
  • asp.net
By Ali Adravi On 13 Jul, 17  Viewed: 1,382

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