Rest completely revolutionized software engineering after the year 2000. This new way of developing web services and projects as defined by Dr. Roy Fielding, father of the HTTP specification and one of the main international authorities on everything that has to do with Network Architecture, in his dissertation “Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures”. In the field of APIs, Representational State Transfer or REST is today the “be all and end all” in software development.
Today, there are no applications or projects that do not have a REST API for the creation of services based on this software. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter identification systems and thousands of other companies generate business thanks to REST APIs and REST.
Without them, any growth would be almost impossible. This is because REST is the most efficient, logical and widespread standard when it comes to the creation of APIs for web services.
To simplify it into a definition, REST is an interface between systems that use HTTP to obtain data and generate operations on that data in all formats possible, such as JSON and XML. This is a very popular alternative to other standard data exchange protocols such as Simple Object Access Protocol or SOAP, which have a much higher capacity but are too complex. Sometimes, it is a much better option for your company to use a simpler data-processing solution like REST.
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Advantages of using REST
1. The separation between the server and the client.
The REST protocol totally separates the server and the data storage from the user interface. This brings in some advantages when making new developments. For example, it increased the scalability of projects, improves the portability of the interface to other kinds of platforms and allows the components of the developments to be independently evolved which is a great time saver for any company.
2. Scalability, reliability, and visibility
The separation between the server and the client has one big advantage, and that is that each development team can scale the product without any problems. They can make all kinds of changes in the database or migrate to other servers, provided the data is sent correctly from each request. The separation makes it easier for a company since this makes apps more flexible to work with.
3. The REST API is always independent of the languages or type of platform
The REST API always adapts to the type of platforms or syntax being used, which gives great freedom when testing or changing new environments within the development. With a REST API, you can have Java, Python, Node.js or PHP servers. However, keep in mind that the responses to the requests need to take place in the language used for the information exchange, usually JSON or XML.
4. Uniform interface
To transfer data, the REST system applies specifically actions on the resources which makes obtaining a uniform interface much easier.
Check out this post which contains 20+ tutorials on how to design your own REST API.