Web Services Vs Microservices: What Are They & How Are They Different?


With the advancements in technology, microservices have gained popularity as they help complex programs. Coders now have to choose between the two types of architecture. First, we’ll explain the two terms individually and then move to the differences.

Microservices and Their Use

Microservices are small modules that break down complex programs. This enables the creators to make the different parts of their code attached. Even if there is a problem in one part of a site or a server, the others keep functioning properly. That is unless there is a dependency created between two different modules.

These are also lightweight. They are usable for programs that have to run 24x7 and have different facets to be taken care of. Hence, they are very important in maintaining a steady workflow. An interesting point to note is that the different microservices can talk to each other through an interface.

Web Services and Their Use

Web services are much like microservices. But, they take the concept up a notch. These are services that can communicate with each other but do so in an orderly fashion. They take the help of XML to interact with each other and carry out functions. This allows these microservices to depend on one another for inputs and outputs. You get to do more - without the need to code as much.

These are best used when the servers and systems are not near each other and you need them while using the internet. Their presence is critical in making internet-based apps smooth and useful. Also, these are not made using any programming language or any particular operating system.

On a platform that mainly provides service, these act as technology to connect one another. The simple integration is a welcome move for coders.

Differences Between Them

Before we talk about the differences, we need to know one point of similarity. Both the modules are used for application architecture, which is the layout of the design of a certain app. They can be used together to achieve a richer result, but it is vital to know their differences.

The most important difference is that web services are used to design an application as per the client’s requirement. And Microservices are used to break down the same into simpler bits. So, for any software with multiple uses, it is advisable to use microservices in the architecture.

Microservices are built around business capabilities and priorities. Web services, on the other hand, are made for service-oriented internet apps and are lightweight.

If a microservice is used to build up an application, it can be broken down into further subparts. The best part about it is that they can all be used without affecting the functionality of one another.

A microservice can be a web service but not vice versa.

Difference Between Web Application and Web Service

Any application that allows access to the internet for users can be called an internet application. The only requirement is a browser, and it does not have to be maintained. A web microservice has already been discussed before and does not need any platform. They use open protocols to interact with one another. Since it does not need platforms, you can use them anywhere across the internet.

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An application can be thought of as a site and contains pages, made according to the client’s needs. Additionally, it needs a GUI or a user interface. This is because it must have a presentable look for users.

The same does not apply to the services. This is because they communicate with each other or with micro web services in the back end.

An example to best explain this point is to consider the Google Maps API. It is used in multiple apps to convey a location. Say, for instance, cab apps and food delivery apps use this feature. These are the services. The app using the Google Maps API, which is the parent app that the customer uses, is the application.

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