RESTful Web Services having replaced SOAP based web services as a tool for large web service providers; it is an imperative concept in the world of technology. Let us begin with the introduction to the concept of Web Service. Computer applications are built using various languages like Java, Python etc. and they run on different platforms like Windows, Linux, Mac etc. A compilation of open protocols and standards, which is used for inter-application or inter-system data exchange over the internet network, is what a web services offer.
Coming to RESTful web services, the question that first strike is “Are we familiar with REST?” So let us know about REST at first. Introduced by Roy Fielding in 2000, REST is used for REpresentational State Transfer. REST is web standards based architecture which uses HTTP protocol for data exchange. So clearly, it is an architecture style not a protocol. Eventually, RESTful Web services are the web services which are based on REST Architecture. The main features of REST are-
- Every data and functionality is a resource and must be accessed by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) or by global IDs
- REST Server uses uniform interface which are handled using operations similar to the CRUD (Create-Read-Update-Delete) replaced by PUT, GET, POST, and DELETE functions.
- Data communication is done using various representations which can be accessed using the text format. JSON being the most popular format is commonly used. But HTML, XML, PDF etc. is also used.
Java defines REST web services using the Java Specification Request (JSR) 311 known as the JAX-RS. JAX-RS is basically the Java programming language API and is a part of JAVA EE6 designed to develop applications using REST. It uses java language interpretations to define the REST relevance of Java classes and ease the development of RESTful web services. For the same pros, nowadays, Java training programs across the globe have exceptionally included Java Restful services.
The real world applications of RESTful web services are the blog sites which involve downloading files in XML, RSS or Atom format. Twitter and Amazon S3 also use REST-like developer interfaces.
But why RESTful Web Services???
- It is fast unlike strict specification in SOAP.
- It is independent of the programming Language and implementation platform.
- It authorizes various data formats including HTML, XML, JSON etc.
- It consumes less bandwidth and resource.
- It can access SOAP web services for implementation.
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