API Technology - REST
30 Jan 2011
REST or Representational State Transfer
is term that describes a specific approach to delivering an API
or web service
REST takes advantage of the same Internet mechanisms that are used to view regular web pages, therefore does not need any special servers or protocols to deliver or view REST APIs
There are different opinions of what is truly REST compliant, and many developers have seem to agree that using existing HTTP
mechanisms for your API is considered RESTful
, regardless of conforming 100% to REST.
REST allows you to take data and functionality available on your web site and make these resources available through a web services, and then return XML
representations of these resources.
The reduced complexity of REST makes it more efficient to use in development, and has made it the preferred choice of developers, application architects, and API owners.
HTTP, the protocol we use to browse the web, has built in ways to transfer, describe and deliver content to humans. It makes sense to take advantage of this existing infrastructure to deliver data and functionality between applications.