Why is it called REST API


REST-API stands for "Representational State Transfer - Application Programming Interface". It enables information to be exchanged if it is on different systems. In the age of desktop PCs and mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones, one often encounters such different systems that make the use of REST-API necessary. REST-API also speaks of machine-machine communication, since the various systems and devices are brought together and, to a certain extent, speak the "same language". Thanks to the REST API, it is possible to distribute information and tasks to different servers and request them with the help of an HTTP request. The HTTP request is made up of the endpoint and the corresponding parameters[1].

General information on the topic [edit]

The REST paradigm can be traced back to Roy Fielding, who developed the HTTP object model in 1994. The idea behind it was a uniform concept that was further developed over the years and culminated in Fielding's dissertation in 2000. The “RESTful Application” programming paradigm did not really gain acceptance until 2014. Up until then there had been numerous incorrect implementations[2].

A REST API is a programming interface that uses HTTP requests to access data using PUT, GET, POST and DELETE. REST is a programming paradigm of the internet. Through the use of clouds or mobile devices, there are now numerous programming interfaces (APIs) whose task is to make web services usable. REST is usually the first choice here, as it allows connection to cloud services and ensures interaction. REST APIs are a matter of course for Twitter, Amazon and Google, for example.

The REST-API (or RESTful-API) is about breaking down transactions and using them to create a series of small modules. For developers, this is both a relief and a challenge, because the modularity should be considered from the start. There are different REST API models on the market, the best known and most popular include Amazon Simple Storage (S3), Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) and Open Stack Swift. REST APIs benefit from the HTTP request method defined by RFC 1626, whereby PUT is used to change the state of an object, a file or a block or to bring it up to date. A resource is created with POST, retrieval with GET and deletion with DELETE[3].

REST API and WordPress [edit]

It took until December 2015 until WordPress also integrated the REST API. This didn't go down well with the community at first, especially since WordPress was introduced to the new AdminInterface almost at the same time, which is based exclusively on JavaScript. Ultimately, however, the advantages of the REST API will prevail. The implementation of new features was made easier, JavaScript offered additional platforms such as AngularJS, Node.js, Backbone and React, which was relevant for the WordPress backend previously programmed in PHP.

Another innovation was desktop apps, which should make it easier to manage blogs and websites. Without additional logging into the WordPress admin panel, data could be edited more easily, comments moderated and remote posts created. The introduction of mobile apps, which offered more convenience in managing pages through the integration of REST APIs, also made things easier. Thanks to numerous simplifications through the REST API, the advantages of WordPress prevailed, so that the operation became easier overall[4].

Four forms of APIs [edit]

As already described, APIs (Application Programming Interface) are interfaces that are used for communication between systems. A distinction is made between four forms of APIs:

  • Internal,
  • external,
  • Platform APIs as well
  • Authentication and Authorization APIs.

Internal APIs are used in software development to delimit or connect modules and components. This reduces the overall complexity and increases the modularity. External APIs are used when speaking of APIs in general. They can also coexist with other external APIs. Platform APIs contain interfaces for integration with other platforms or websites. This enables the development and operation of plug-ins or applications.

A special form are APIs for authentication and authorization. Well-known examples of authentication APIs include Google and Facebook Connect. It saves you having to set up your own user pool; users can log in via other platforms. The OAuth standard has made a name for itself in the field of authorization APIs. Users can use this to specify whether data may be passed on to third parties, for example by allowing an external application to tweet something on Twitter on behalf of the user[5].

Meaning for programming [edit]

Regardless of whether you write software for internal or external use, the use of REST APIs is almost indispensable today. By using different devices such as desktop PCs, tablets or smartphones, the software must be available and consumable. A REST API provides data operations and data independently of the client and, as described, can usually do more than just the GET and POST methods. It is also used for sorting, paging or data shaping. Due to the multitude of possibilities, the REST-API offers the customer individual solutions and is indispensable for today's programming[6] .

References Edit]

  1. ↑ Wordpress as data source t3n.de. Retrieved on April 5, 2017
  2. ↑ Representational State Transfer wikipedia.org. Retrieved on April 5, 2017
  3. ^ Definition of RESTful API searchenterprisesoftware.de. Retrieved on April 5, 2017
  4. ↑ Rest-api Wordpress Core Impact Entwicklungsler.de. Retrieved on April 5, 2017
  5. ↑ Web APIs a non-technical attempt to explain gruenderszene.de. Retrieved on April 5, 2017
  6. ↑ A REST API is more than a modern architecture for distributed systems offering.solutions. Retrieved on April 5, 2017

Web links [edit]