Web API is a framework for building HTTP services that can be consume by a broad range of clients including browsers, mobiles, iphone and tablets. It is very similar to ASP.NET MVC since it contains the MVC features such as routing, controllers, action results, filter, model binders, IOC container or dependency injection. But it is not a part of the MVC Framework. It is a part of the core ASP.NET platform and can be used with MVC and other types of Web applications like Asp.Net WebForms. It can also be used as an stand-alone Web services application.