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ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API

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While developing your web application using MVC, many developers got confused when to use Web API, since MVC framework can also return JSON data by using JsonResult and can also handle simple AJAX requests. In the previous article Web API and WCF the Most poppuler Frameworks of Microsoftt, I have explained the Difference between WCF and Web API and WCF REST and Web Service and when to use Web API over others services. In this article, you will learn when to use Web API with MVC.

Asp.Net Web API VS Asp.Net MVC

  1. Asp.Net MVC is used to create web applications that return both views and data but Asp.Net Web API is used to create full-blown HTTP services with the easy and simple way that returns only data, not view.

  2. Web API helps to build REST-ful services over the .NET Framework and it also supports content-negotiation(it’s about deciding the best response format data that could be acceptable by the client. it could be JSON, XML, ATOM or other formatted data), self-hosting which are not in MVC.

  3. Web API also takes care of returning data in particular format like JSON, XML or any other based upon the Accept header in the request and you don’t worry about that. MVC only return data in JSON format using JsonResult.

  4. In Web API the request is mapped to the actions based on HTTP verbs but in MVC it is mapped to actions name.

  5. Asp.Net Web API is a new framework and part of the core ASP.NET framework. The model binding, filters, routing and others MVC features exist in Web API are different from MVC and exists in the new System.Web.Http assembly. In MVC, these features exist within System.Web.Mvc. Hence Web API can also be used with Asp.Net and as a stand-alone service layer.

  6. You can mix Web API and MVC controller in a single project to handle advanced AJAX requests which may return data in JSON, XML or any others format and be building a full blown HTTP service. Typically, this will be called Web API self-hosting.

  7. When you have mixed MVC and Web API controller and you want to implement the authorization then you have to create two filters one for MVC and another for Web API since both are different.

  8. Moreover, Web API is lightweight architecture and except the web application, it can also be used with smartphone apps.

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Deependra Kushwah View All

Deependra is a Senior Developer with Microsoft technologies, currently working with Opteamix India business private solution. In My Free time, I write blogs and make technical youtube videos. Having the good understanding of Service-oriented architect, Designing microservices using domain driven design.

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