To API or not to API
January 7, 2012 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Should my ASP .Net website have an API?

I have recently begun working on a web site project. The web is a new development environment at my job, so there is not a lot of experienced people to ask for advice. I had originally set up things where I had an API set up as a web service for all communication between the pages and the database. But, my manager has stated that they will not be supporting web services. My interpretation of this is that they currently do not know how to get a web service configured and do not have time to figure it out. So, what do I do. The quickest solution is to just convert the web service to a regular code file. Is there a solution that requires less configuration? Non web service API? Some other solution?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
By the sound of things they wouldn't recognise a web service if it hit them. If you're happy with it then leave it as it is. By the time they've figured out is a web service they'll be happy and comfortable using it.
posted by oh pollo! at 12:02 PM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

If the goal is to do things out of process, to prevent he UI from blocking, consider setting up MSMQ and RhinoServiceBus. It is unclear what the goal of having an API is. (Also consider usinge ASP MVC if this is a new project?)
posted by geoff. at 12:42 PM on January 7, 2012

Just keep doing what you're doing. It doesn't sound like the degree of complication needs changing.
posted by rhizome at 12:55 PM on January 7, 2012

It sounds like you don't really know why you're doing what you're doing.

a) What is/was the goal of having this API? Why was it developed?
b) What is the goal of not having the API? What does "not supporting web services" mean exactly? To my mind, this would normally mean that third parties won't be able to call on you for help with using the web service. That would not seem very relevant to whether you should have one or not.
c) You've said that you guess "they currently do not know how to get a web service configured", so what was your original plan for deployment of this web site? What are they actually able to deploy? Is there any plan whatsoever for ongoing support for this thing?

Once you find the answers to these questions you'll get a clearer idea of what an adequate solution might look like.
posted by emilyw at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2012

The distinction between a web page and a web service is kind of blurred in ASP.Net. If you just add a using System.Web.Services; to your page you can then decorate functions with [WebMethod] and then call them from your front end with AJAX. Either the built in ASP.Net AJAX or jQuery.
posted by robertc at 4:56 PM on January 7, 2012

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