If you are planning to create HTTP services, ASP.NET Web API is a framework that is responsive to a wide range of clients starting from browsers, iphones, smartphones and tablets. It contains most of the MVC features and hence is similar is ASP.NET MVC Web API and some of these features include routing, filter, action results, controllers, model binders and dependency injection. However, it is important for you understand that this web API framework is not a part of the MVC framework. It can be used with different web applications like MVC, ASP.NET WebForms and is part of ASP.NET platform. This framework can also be used as a standalone web application.
A web based application is not enough at present to reach each and every customer. Most people these days make use of their smartphones and tablets to browse the net and the number of smartphone users is likely to increase in the coming days. These are loaded with applications that are made to make their lives easy and we actually moving away from the web world to the world of applications.
This is the reason as why ASP Web API is being used these days by most developers as this framework is compatible with both mobile devices and the browsers and is the easiest way of reaching to customers in a fast way.
Web API framework is the best way to expose your date to different devices. It is an open source framework and an ideal platform for REST-ful services and it makes use of all the features of HTTP like caching, URLs, various content formats etc. unlike the WCF Rest services and there is also no requirement for defining any extra configuration settings.
The features of ASP.NET Web API hosting are: