What is REST Architecture?
Architectural API style based on transferring a representation of state (documents) between client and server in order to progress the state of an application.
The term was defined in 2000 year in Roy Fielding’s PhD thesis and is the acronym for Representative State Transfer. Webhooks are often used as trigger actions.
For more information on Webhooks see our Webhooks post here.
REST it’s not a system architecture standard, you are not required to follow it to build your web services or web application, it is just a guide with some recommendations.
This theme is very commented when developers talk about web services construction, but this is not an architecture model for building APIs only, it can – and MUST – be used in the construction of web systems that will not be exposed in the form of API necessarily.
The 6 Constraints defined in the REST architecture
There are 6 REST constraints that we can consider as design rules, that must be applied to establish the distinct characteristics of the REST architectural style.
- Interface / Uniform Contract
- Layered System
- Code-On-Demand (optional)
Each constraint is a pre-determined design decision that can have both positive and negative impacts. An architecture that eliminates a required REST constraint is generally considered to no longer conform to REST.
And what is RESTful Architecture?
Many developers, when using different URIs, HTTP verbs and different return formats, goes on to say that it has a RESTful API. All of this is very important and is part of it, but that is not all that makes RESTful.
For an API to be considered RESTful, it must strictly follow all the constraints defined in the REST architecture, except the Code-On-Demand constraint, that is considered optional.
5 benefits of using RESTful Architecture
- RESTful as lightweight Web Services
The RESTful architecture was a reaction to the more heavy-weight SOAP-based standards. In REST web services, the emphasis is on simple point-to-point communication over HTTP using plain XML. In addition, RESTful permits many different data formats whereas SOAP only permits XML.
- The simplicity of RESTful
The RESTful architecture is much simpler to develop than SOAP. One of the main reasons for REST popularity is the simplicity and ease of use, as it does an extension of native Web technologies such as HTTP.
- RESTful architecture is closer in design to the Web
RESTful is the architectural style of the web itself, so the developer with knowledge in web architecture will naturally develop in the RESTful architecture.
As RESTful forbids conversational state, which means we can scale very wide by adding additional server nodes behind a load balancer.
- Expose APIs as HTTP Services
When developers need the universal presence with minimum efforts, given the fact that RESTful APIs are exposed as HTTP Services, which is virtually present on almost all the platforms.
Client context is never stored on the server between requests. Each request has to contain all the necessary information. A stateless server improves scalability by allowing the server to quickly free resources and simplifies implementation. Reliability eases recovering from partial failures. Visibility, monitoring system does not have to look beyond a single request to determine the nature of the request.
Tags: benefits Restful, RESTful Architecture, what are the benefits of Restful Architecture?