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REST White Paper

REST White Paper

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This document explains the usage of REST and WOA, It also explains the relations from SOA, REST and WOA.
This document explains the usage of REST and WOA, It also explains the relations from SOA, REST and WOA.

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Published by: Siva Prasanna Kumar .P on May 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/16/2009

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Long before SOA became a buzzword and SOAP became a necessary part of our SOAinfrastructure, there was REST.And though SOAP and its other WS-* specs have stolen the limelight from this alternative service-oriented architecture, REST is gaining a lot of traction asWeb 2.0 takes the Internet by storm.REST (Representational State Transfer) which was detailed in Roy Thomas Fielding's doctoratedissertation "Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures" inyear 2000, which can dramatically reduce the investment necessary to provide service-orientedaccess to enterprise resources. Fielding used the term to describe a technique and best practicesfor retrieving data formatted in XML over HTTP for use in applications.
 
The Fundamentals
REST is an architectural style, not a standard or specification, built on existing, well-understoodstandards governed by the W3C, such as HTTP, URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) and RDF(Resource Description Format). REST services are focused on access to resources.
Let’s Enter the World
of REST.
Resource
: A resource is something identified by a URI,
retrievable. On the Web, it’s not a
resource that is retrieved, but a representation of a resource.
Representation
: A representation is usually a document, or a media object like an image or audiofile. The resource and the representation are not the same thing. Think of the resource assomething that exists outside of the Web. It could be a document, a physical object, or even a
concept like today’s weather. Many different digital representations could exist for a given
resource
State:
The inter-object communicationof HTTP is client-server pattern oftransferring state to the caller. Theclient maintains the state and ensureseach request from client to servercontains all the information necessaryto understand the request.
Transfer:
The URI and HTTP offer auniform interface between client andserver through which representationof resources may be transferred. Likean object-oriented system, the transfers are carried out by means of method calls. HTTP offers just eight methods. HTTP (and hence the Web) is built on a language of many nouns (URIs) butvery few verbs. The verbs are the HTTP methods. By far the most common methods in use areGET and POST.The combination of GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE offers all the basic interaction needed fromthe client to retrieve, create, update, and delete data on the server (CRUD System).
 
The role of REpresentational State Transfer (REST)architectural principles in Web Based Computing
 
HTTP Methods 
OPTIONS
 
:
Let the client determine the communicationrequirements of the server without initiating aretrieval.
GET
 
:
Retrieve whatever data that is identified by a request.
HEAD
 
:
Return GET information without the message body.
POST
 
:
Perform an action on the server that may create aresource using the Request-URI.
PUT
 
:
Create a resource at the Request
DELETE
 
:
Delete the resource identified by the Request-URI
TRACE :
Invoke an application-layer acknowledgement.
CONNECT
 
:
Reserved method for tunnel reuests to a rox.
Role of REST in Web Based Computing
Goals of REST
 
Scalability of componentinteractions.
 
Generality of interfaces,
 
Independent deployment ofcomponents,
 
Intermediary componentsto reduce interactionlatency, enforce security,and encapsulate legacysystems.REST achieves these goals by applying the following constraints:
 
Resource is unit of identification.
 
Resource is manipulated through exchange of representations.
 
Resource-generic interaction semantics.
 
Self-descriptive messaging.
 
Hypermedia is engine of application state.
Advantages of REST
 
It uses well documented, well established, well used technology and methodology.
 
It's already here today; in fact it's been here for the last 12 years!
 
Resource centric rather than method centric.
 
Given a URI anyone already knows how to access it.
 
It's not another protocol on top of another protocol on top of another protocol on top of...
 
The response payload can be of any format (some may call this a disadvantage, however theWeb copes with it, it's just a case of defining the application grammar).
 
Uses the inherent HTTP security model, certain methods to certain URIs can easily berestricted by firewall configuration, unlike other XML over HTTP messaging formats.
 
REST makes sense, use what we already have; it is the next logical extension of the web.
Give REST to WEB 2.0
The WEB 2.0 has gain tremendous attention in the recent years. However, ignoring REST in WEB 2.0 is
like saying if it’s a liquid, it
can be drunk by humans. Sure, humans can drink anything thatis a liquid, but the bigger question is, will you survive? Sometimes you will, and sometimes you
won’t!
 As they say "A picture says a thousand words", The Role of REST in WEB 2.0 can be understoodfrom the image given below:
 
 
 RESTifying SOA. (
SOA everywhere, Heard of WOA !!!!
)
 
Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA)represents SOA plus the Web plus Representational State Transfer, oftencalled REST.
It’s a descriptive term for a
subset of SOA.WOA is making people fall back tosimpler and more straightforwardmethods that
 just work
 , and hide theprotocol complexity in the applicationstate. As far as REST and WOA arecon
cerned, you don’t need anything
more complex than HTTP, one of themost scalable, proven, and widespreadprotocols on the planet, along with
HTTP’s verbs: GET, POST, PUT,
DELETE. Add some plain old XML to hold your data and state to top it all off.WOA is the most interoperable, easiest to implement, and most highly scalable technique for building great, open Web services that anyone can use. But it is definitely
not
the hammer forevery job. Certain applications, particularly in the high-end of the enterprise, just flat-out requirethe more sophisticated portions of the SOA stack.

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