"A network-based API is an on-the-wire syntax, with defined semantics." #readingToday A network-based API is an on-the-wire syntax, with defined semantics, for application interactions. A network-based API does not place any restrictions on the application code aside from the need to read/write to the network, but does place restrictions on the set of semantics that can be effectively communicated across the interface. On the plus side, performance is only bounded by the protocol design and not by any particular implementation of that design.A library-based API does a lot more for the programmer, but in doing so creates a great deal more complexity and baggage than is needed by any one system, is less portable in a heterogeneous network, and always results in genericity being preferred over performance. As a side-effect, it also leads to lazy development (blaming the API code for everything) and failure to account for non-cooperative behavior by other parties in the communication.