Introduction to REST and REST APIs



REST stands for Representational State Transfer. The focus while designing REST was specially on working with various components like media, files etc. which are available on the hardware of the device. This means that whenever there is a web service which is defined using the REST principles, it is referred to as RESTFUL web service or REST API.

This RESTFUL service typically uses the HTTP methods like GET, POSH, PUT etc. in order to work with other components as needed.

It is important to understand that REST refers to the constraints because of the architecture and it is by no means a protocol or set of rules for API. It is upon the API developers to implement REST in different ways as per their requirement.

In a situation when a client request is created through RESTFUL API, a representation of the state of the resource is transferred to the requester in either one of HTTP, JSON, HTML, XLT, PHP or simple text formats. JSON is the most commonly used formats as it can be read by humans as well as machines. In simple terms, REST which is used by browser can also be referred to as the language of the internet. With the growing popularity of cloud, there has been a surge in the usage of APIs by cloud customers for exposing and organizing access to web- based services. REST is a preferred choice when it comes to building APIs meant for enabling users to connect and manage in a flexible manner with the cloud services, especially when the environment is distributed.

The working of REST API is not complicated. Every transaction is broken down into small modules by RESTFUL API. Every part or module takes care of one of the underlying parts of the transaction. This flexibility is immensely helpful for the developers but can get challenging as well while designing RESTFUL API from the beginning. At the moment, there are many companies which give the models to developers, for example, Amazon S3, CDMI Cloud Data Management Interface etc.
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