ASP.NET Web API is a framework for building HTTP services for clients like browsers and mobile devices. It is based on the Microsoft .NET Framework and ideal choice for building RESTful services.
ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build http web-services that reach a broad range of clients. These web-apis can be consumed by any clients capable of communicating via HTTP (including browsers, mobile clients, desktop applications, and other web applications). It is useful for building restful applications on the .net Framework.
Web API was created by Microsoft and released on 15th August 2012.
Web API can be hosted:
- within asp.net
- outside of ASP.NET and IIS - also known as "self-hosted" (i.e. directly inside a Windows service, WPF application or console application)
- in memory (not accessible via HTTP from outside of the process, but useful for end-to-end testing scenarios or mocking).
As Microsoft had multiple approaches within its technology stack for creating REST services; WCF Web API, ASP.NET MVC controllers returning
JsonValue results; this represents a rationalisation and merging of these efforts. The ASP.NET Web API stands separately from WCF and does not deprecate (at this point) the WCF Web HTTP programming model.