Posts tagged ‘RESTful’
Representational state transfer (REST) is a style of software architecture for distributed hypermedia systems such as the World Wide Web. As such, it is not strictly only a method of building what are sometimes called “web services.” The terms “representational state transfer” and “REST” were introduced in 2000 in the doctoral dissertation of Roy Fielding, one of the principal authors of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) specification. The terms have since come into widespread use in the networking community.
REST strictly refers to a collection of network architecture principles which outline how resources are defined and addressed. The term is often used in a looser sense to describe any simple interface which transmits domain-specific data over HTTP without an additional messaging layer such as SOAP or session tracking via HTTP cookies. These two meanings can conflict as well as overlap. It is possible to design any large software system in accordance with Fielding’s REST architectural style without using HTTP and without interacting with the World Wide Web. It is also possible to design simple XML+HTTP interfaces which do not conform to REST principles, and instead follow a model of remote procedure call. The difference between the uses of the term “REST” therefore causes some confusion in technical discussions.