Microservices and APIs are both key to success in a digital transformation. But what's the difference between microservices vs. APIs? Can microservices and APIs work together?

Consider this your guide to the relationship between microservices and APIs.

Read along or jump to the section that interests you most:

Microservices vs. APIs: What's the Difference?

Microservices is an approach to building an application that breaks its functionality into modular components. APIs are part of an application that communicates with other applications. So, APIs can be used to enable microservices. As a result, you can make it easier to create software. 

What APIs Do

APIs enable a digital transformation strategy by:

  • Sharing business capabilities in a partner ecosystem.
  • Unlocking new business channels.
  • Creating customer value.

What Microservices Does

By breaking large applications down into small, independently functioning services, microservices enable advances in agility and flexibility for developers. That's why microservices are increasingly becoming the architecture for the implementation of APIs.

Microservices allow you to:

Microservices are just one of the API basics you need to know. Learn them all.


What Is the Difference Between Services and Microservices?

This is a common question but it can be easily answered. Digital services translates to any app, service, database, or tool used digitally in an enterprise. Microservices, on the other hand, is the process of breaking your application functionality down into small component pieces (called packaged business capabilities PCBs).

These PCBs are then used across a variety of environments and applications. API management is critical to securing endpoint complexity with microservices architectures and enabling a composable enterprise

Microservices vs. Others

What about SOA vs. microservices? Or ESB vs. microservices?

In some ways, microservices is an evolution of SOA and ESB. SOA also broke applications up into components. And ESB connected applications, enabling integration. 

Today's business world requires microservices and APIs.

Avoid Mistakes With Microservices and APIs

While APIs and microservices can be the key to unlocking capabilities, the reality is that they work as the foundation of a digital transformation only when done right. You need to know how to put the two together to add value. 

Watch the on-demand webinar — 3 Big Mistakes With APIs and Microservices — to learn more. 


Related Resources

Best Practices For Microservices With APIs

Here are best practices for approaching and managing microservices with APIs.

Composable Enterprise

Composable enterprise is a new approach to microservices design and a best practice for the enterprise. The term "composable enterprise" was created by Gartner to address this emerging trend. 

Composable enterprise architecture is built on packaged business capabilities. This architecture approach enables:

  • Infrastructure as an application.
  • Infrastructure automation.
  • Multicloud management.
  • Portfolio rationalization. 

Composable Enterprise Best Practices:



Security isn't just a best practice. It's absolutely critical for microservices in the enterprise. Especially when it comes to the service mesh. 

There's some confusion when it comes to service mesh vs. API gateway. But the two concepts are complementary. Using APIs — and an API gateway — can help you secure the microservices mesh

Secure the Edge API and Microservices Mesh

You can't risk malicious assaults or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. That's why you need to secure the microservices mesh. In our white paper — Securing the Edge API and Microservices Mesh — we share exactly how to do this.



API Security Best Practices:



Digital transformation best practices are also key to microservices success. And leveraging microservices is also key to your digital transformation.

So, how can you do it?

It starts with considering the microservices business benefits. You need to know how microservices work. And you need to know how to make the most of them to deliver benefits to your business. 

Then, you can determine how to use microservices to unlock new channels and create value for your customers. 

Transformation Best Practices

Success Stories For Microservices and APIs

The best way to manage your microservices is with APIs. And to do that, you need the right API platform — like Akana. 

That's why a global insurance company chose Akana to manage their microservices with APIs.

This insurance company wanted to modernize their IT systems. And a big part of that was by leveraging microservices architecture. By using Akana, they were able to manage the lifecycle and portfolio of microservices in one spot — along with their APIs. 

Find out how they did it. 


Solutions For Managing Microservices With APIs

To manage microservices with APIs you need the right solution. That's why many companies turn to Akana as their microservices API platform.

Akana helps enterprises to build web-scale, distributed, and decoupled applications that are composed of microservices. 

That's because Akana:

  • Enables componentization with APIs.
  • Ensures security of APIs — and the service mesh.
  • Supports DevOps automation.
  • Scales up and down to meet your needs for each app.
  • Allows you to leverage containers.
  • Delivers monitoring and analytics. 

See Akana in Action

See for yourself why Akana is the right platform to manage your microservices with APIs. Watch the on-demand demo today. 

▶️ watch the demo