REST (Representational State Transfer)


'REST (Representational State Transfer)' is a design approach for distributed hypermedia systems like the World Wide Web. Introduced by Roy Fielding in his 2000 doctoral thesis, REST encompasses a series of constraints that collectively promote scalability in component interactions, universality in interfaces, components' independent deployment, and the use of intermediary components to minimize interaction delays, bolster security, and integrate older systems.

Systems based on REST are identified by their explicit use of HTTP methods, stateless operations, and URI structures resembling directory paths. REST employs well-known HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. It is prevalently used in the creation of APIs for enabling user interactions with cloud services.

APIs adhering to REST principles are structured around 'resources', which could be any item, data, or service accessible to the client. Each resource is identified by a URI, uniquely distinguishing it. Interaction with services is achieved through the exchange of resource representations.

A primary benefit of REST is its reliance on standard HTTP, facilitating easier implementation and greater scalability. It is utilized by numerous prominent internet services, including APIs from Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

To summarize, REST plays a pivotal role in networked computing and underlies much of the current Web infrastructure. Its application in API design has revolutionized the way software applications interact across the internet.

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Related Definitions

  • AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
  • CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete)
  • DOM (Document Object Model)
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