Library vs Framework vs API

What are libraries, frameworks, and APIs? These phrases get thrown round loads and typically even used interchangably to explain the identical factor.

So let me start by saying that libraries, frameworks, and APIs are all various things. They might be used to perform the identical activity, however are all essentially totally different. “What are these variations?” I hear you ask. Let me clarify every one:


Mainly, a library is only a bunch of strategies/fields that may be reused to simply accomplish a activity, or extra normally a site of duties.


  • Extra developer freedom
  • Normally simpler to make use of
  • In a position so as to add/take away/substitute on-the-fly


  • Developer is accountable for the construction
  • Longer highway to completed product
  • Greater risk for human error

As I’ve annoyingly promoted all through my weblog posts to this point, I’m creating my library Impart. The rationale Impart just isn’t a framework is due to the device entry. You may render a WebPage or begin a Web site anytime. There isn’t a template for the way the code is supposed to be written, it gives the instruments and provides you the liberty to make use of them.


Consider a framework as a extra controlling library. A framework will deal with the final move of an software with no say from the developer.


  • Framework is accountable for the construction
  • Shorter highway to completed product
  • Much less risk for human error


  • Much less developer freedom
  • Normally extra advanced than libraries
  • Integration is harder

An amazing instance of a framework is the .NET framework. Effectively… I ought to say .NET, as .NET Core (now referred to as .NET) changed it because the Microsoft framework resolution with an open supply license and higher cross-platform capabilities. Microsoft makes issues manner too difficult, particularly with their branding of “open supply developer platform” and naming their predominant CLI “dotnet”. Tangeant apart, simply know by .NET I imply the cross-platform framework that’s particularly a framework as a result of it controls the move of an software. By “it controls” I actually imply the person frameworks beneath it as a result of .NET is only a bunch of frameworks for doing particular duties. (doable weblog put up about what’s included in .NET upcoming?)


This time period is misused loads. I do not suppose I’ve ever heard a code-related time period be used incorrectly as a lot as API has. Briefly, an API (Utility Programming Interface) is de facto simply the uncovered (public) a part of an inner library/framework.


  • Higher person safety
  • Less complicated than hardware-level interactions
  • Much less risk for human error


  • Much less developer freedom
  • Parameter passing generally is a ache
  • Integration is harder throughout methods

Going again to Microsoft, I really like Home windows’ API: Win32. This API permits for system instructions that Home windows simply would not belief the developer to do on their very own. This could embody issues like modifying the clipboard to having a password dialogue pop up. Given, parameter passing into the exterior strategies can get annoying with the differing types and having to create customized structs for sure duties. However I do perceive why Win32 exists. It provides a layer of safety and standarization to an in any other case unsecure and non-regulated manner of finishing system-level duties.

Internet API

It is a sort of API meant for sending, receiving, and processing data by way of net requests. This part won’t have a professional/con portion contemplating that they’re actually important to net communication. I’ll as an alternative elaborate on the frequent methods of implementing an online API.

REST (Representational State Switch):

  • Standardization of incoming requests
  • Extra versatile
  • Typically makes use of JSON formatting
  • Stateless
  • Makes use of HTTP(S)
  • Responses can comprise executable code

SOAP (Easy Object Entry Protocol):

  • Typically much less code required
  • Extra strict
  • Solely makes use of XML formatting
  • Can use HTTP(S), SMTP, and TCP

My apologies for an extended await this put up, I’ve been busy these days and this required a good quantity of analysis to compile collectively all of this data. It is rather doable I made a mistake, so be happy to right any misinformation within the feedback.

Tailored from this superb remark.

Thanks for studying!

(Cover image source)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *