When it comes to building APIs within a Python framework, two of the best choices for a performant and scalable REST API are Flask and Django. But which one is better for building APIs?
What are APIs?
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of rules that are shared by a specific service. The rules determine the format and the command set that can access the service and the data that can be returned in the response. The API acts as a layer between the application and the external service. You need only send a simple command to receive data in a predetermined format so it’s not necessary to know the features of the service and its internal structure.
How do Flask and Django differ?
The two best Python frameworks for building APIs take very different routes to web development.
Flask is a micro-framework that’s highly extensible. It can launch with a minimal set of features and it contains a fantastic plug-in ecosystem that enables developers to only include the necessary functions they require.
On the other hand, Django, which is an older framework, is affectionately known as a “batteries included framework” because it contains virtually everything you’ll need to launch a full-featured API in no time at all.
Django or Flash: Which is better for building APIs?
The two frameworks are remarkably different by design. Django is a robust application that’s suitable for a lot more besides building REST APIs. You can do pretty much anything with Django, so it’s the ideal option for developers who have a clear idea of the API they want to build and don’t want to alter any standard building components from the ground up. Django is much more complex than Flask, so which one is best largely depends on the framework specifics you require to build an API and your level of expertise.
Flask is the simpler option. The micro-framework is not intended to be the competitor of Django. Rather, it’s an alternative for developers who want control over the fine details of their design and development of applications. It’s a powerful tool that provides the right amount of stability and structure to build APIs quickly without having to make design compromises.
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