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Speaker: David Zuelke @dzuelke

Video: ["", ""]


Designing HTTP Interfaces and RESTful Web Services

  • Differences between SOAP and REST

Problems w/L0 API

  • Always a POST
  • Doesn't use HTTP auth
  • Operation info is enclosed in the request ("getdetail")

Level 0 in the Richardson Maturity Model:

Plain old XML over the wire in an RPC fashion

  • Level 0 is not RESTful
  • Level 1 (RPC)
  • Level 2
    • Use HTTP verbs
    • GET (safe and idempotent)
    • POST (unsafe, not idempotent)
    • PUT & DELETE (unsafe, idempotent)
    • Use HTTP status codes to indicate result success
  • Level 3

Don't use Level 0 or Level 1

Roy Fielding

Architectural styles and the design of network based software architectures

Rest Constraints

  • Client-Server
  • Stateless
  • Cacheable
  • Layered System
  • Code on Demand (optional)
  • Uniform Interface
    • A URL identifies a Resource
    • Methods perform operations on resources
    • The operation is implicit and not part of the URL
    • A hypermedia format is used to represent the data.
    • Link relations are used to navigate a service

Designing an HTTP Interface

  • Define your resources


URLs don't actually matter in a RESTful system, but its helpful to think in terms of resources

  • Use the resources

Collection operations

Item Opetaions


Hyperlinks have no tight coupling.

  • Loosely coupled by design
  • HTTP 404 embraces failure by design
    • more information != more friction
  • no limits to scalability
  • www is protocol-centric

RESTful Services with uniform interface

  • Identification of Resources (eg through URIs)
  • Representations are conceptually seperate
  • Manipulation through representations (ie they are complete)
    • Use links to allow clients to discover locations and operationms
    • Link relations are used to express the possible options
    • Clients do not need to know URLs, so they can change
    • The entire application workflow is abstracted, thus changeable
    • The hypermedia type itself could be versioned if necessary
    • No breaking of clients if the implementation is updated

API Versioning

  • These are different resources.
    • api.myresource/v1/blah
    • api.myresource/v2/blah
  • Can't be machine bookmarked.
  • Use hypermedia versioning, not URL
    • URI based versioning kills interoperability

Merits of REST

  • Easy to evolve
    • add new features or elements without breaking BC -Easy to learn
    • developers can browse service via link rels
  • easy to scale up
    • grows well with number of features, users and servers
  • easy to implement
    • build it on top of HTTP

Quote: "Rest is software deisn on the scale of decades:" -- todo: finish quote. Roy Fielding


  • REpresentational State Transfer (just in case you missed that)

  • application/xml and application/json are not hypermedia formats

  • Don't let the server maintain client state (e.g. cookies)

  • Twitter is not at all RESTful.

  • Allow string can include methods allowed. (GET, PUT, UPDATE)

  • JSON is hard to scale

  • XML's document model is built for extensibility