I have an English-language related question about how to properly label "API requests" in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) products. I see that various websites label them sometimes as API queries or API requests or API calls, and some websites even mix these labels. But what is the correct labeling in English language in the Information Technology / SaaS world? The point is to make it clear to the user as most as possible and use the same labeling everywhere.

For example, I noticed a website writes this in the pricing page:

"Buy 100,000 API queries"

But then it says this:

"The cost is $0.0002 per API request"

"Limited to 1,000 API requests per day"

To be honest, this can be confusing for some users, so why not write it using always the label "API requests"? For example I would have written it like this:

"Buy 100,000 API requests"

"The cost is $0.0002 per API request"

"Limited to 1,000 API requests per day"

Is the above example that uses only the labeling "API requests" correct?

Shouldn't the term "query/queries" be used only for search-related actions (i.e on Google)?

What label (API queries, API requests or API calls) would you use?

What's the difference between using API queries/requests/calls?

  • 1
    I think the differences are to do with technical jargon rather than the English Language (computer jargon doesn't always correspond with "correct" English. So pick one and stick with it for consistency. Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 14:52
  • Queries aren't restricted to Google: this is one, for example. If users will mostly GET data from the API, 'query' is fine. Otherwise invocation (as Lawrence's answer) or 'request' is fine. Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


Consider calling them API invocations.

invocation noun 3 (Computing) Cause (a procedure) to be carried out. ‘Can I use a Java application instead of a JSP (JavaServer Page) to invoke a servlet on an application server?’ - Lexico

Here are a couple of examples from the SaaS world (emphasis, mine):

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