REST API stands for Representational State Transfer Application Program Interface, and relies on stateless, client-server and cacheable communications protocol. As an architecture style for designing networked applications, it uses a simple HTTP protocol to make calls between machines. Today, there are no applications or projects without REST API. The World Wide Web itself can be viewed as a rest-based design since it is based on HTTP.
REST API Features:
- Stateless Client/Server Protocol. This means the client/server do not need to remember any previous state to satisfy it because each HTTP contains all necessary information. The client can run the same response to the same HTTP requests in the future.
- Data transactions. There are four of them in any HTTP specification and REST system: POST (create), GET (read and consult), PUT (edit) and DELETE.
- Manipulated from the URL. Objects in REST are manipulated from the URL, which is the sole identifier for each resource in the system. The URL allows access to information in order to edit or delete it, or share the exact location to third parties.
- Uniform Interface. In order to transfer data, the REST system applies specific data transactions on the resources, making it easier to get a uniform interface that organizes the process with information.
- Layer System. The REST API has a hierarchical architecture between components, wherein every layer has specific functions in the system.
- Use of Hypermedia. An extension of hypertext, hypermedia an app development interface’s capacity to provide adequate links in order to run specific actions on data.
Is REST API a winning strategy? Here are three main advantages of using REST for development:
- Separation between client and server
- Dependency on type of platform or languages
- Visibility, scalability, reliability
Separation from the server and data storage improves portability of interface to other types of platforms. It also increases visibility, scalability and reliability, making the apps more flexible to work with. Furthermore, it adapts to the syntax or platforms used. You can have PHP, Java, Node.js or Python servers.
Figuring out a winning API strategy is a great challenge for most companies. First, they need to develop the requirements to start building the actual software. Three or more teams are needed to develop a REST API project.
The modern enterprise needs hundreds to thousands of mobile applications, so the API building process goes on for over a few years with various contractors, consultants and developers. That’s why many companies are running hundreds of internal APIs that lack management, and are hard to discover and use by their partners, existing apps and internal developers. Click here to find out how cloud APIs can help.