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Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
Doing REST Right
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Doing REST Right

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Presentation for BT Developer Day, 9 March 2010.

Presentation for BT Developer Day, 9 March 2010.

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  • 1. How to do RESTful web services right Kerry Buckley & Paul Moser BT DevCon2 9 March 2010
  • 2. w ay ne O How to do RESTful web services right
  • 3. w ay ne O How to do RESTful web services right (for some value of ‘right’)
  • 4. What is REST? REST is an architectural style, not a protocol or a standard. Hence many values of “right” (and much disagreement).
  • 5. ‘A style of software architecture for distributed hypermedia systems such as the World Wide Web’ Not necessarily HTTP, although in practice it generally is.
  • 6. Not SOAP Seems to be a common (but wrong) definition.
  • 7. Constraints
  • 8. • Client-server • Stateless • Cacheable • Layered system • Uniform interface
  • 9. Principles
  • 10. • Identification of resources • Manipulation of resources through these representations • Self-descriptive messages • Hypermedia as the engine of application state
  • 11. Goals
  • 12. • Scalability of component interactions • Generality of interfaces • Independent deployment of components • Intermediary components to reduce latency, enforce security and encapsulate legacy systems
  • 13. Shop example
  • 14. • List products • View a product • Create an order for a number of products • Cancel order • Pay for order
  • 15. XML-RPC (URI-tunnelling)
  • 16. GET /api?action=list_products GET /api?action=view_product&product_id=123 GET /api?action=create_order&product_id=123&product_id=456… GET/api?action=pay_order&order_id=42&card_number=1234… Sometimes only a single ‘endpoint’ URI
  • 17. GET /list_products GET /view_product?product_id=123 GET /create_order?product_id=123&product_id=456… GET/pay_order?order_id=42&card_number=1234… Or one endpoint per method
  • 18. GET /list_products GET /view_product?product_id=123 POST /create_order?product_id=123&product_id=456… POST /pay_order?order_id=42&card_number=1234… Marginally better without unsafe GETs
  • 19. POST /pay_order?order_id=42&card_number=1234… def pay_order(order_id, card_number) { … } Request maps onto method call.
  • 20. ✓Easy to understand ✓Works well for simple procedure calls ✓Simple to implement ✓Interoperable
  • 21. ✗ Brittle ✗ Tightly coupled ✗ Failure cases require manual handling ✗ No metadata Need to know all the URIs, methods and parameters in advance (out-of-band documentation)
  • 22. But is it REST? ✗ Identification of resources ✗ Manipulation of resources through these representations ✗ Self-descriptive messages ✗ Hypermedia as the engine of application state
  • 23. POX (plain old XML)
  • 24. Request POST /create_order <create_order_request> <line> <product_id>123</product_line> <quantity>1</quantity> </line> … </create_order_request> Response 200 OK <create_order_response> <status>OK</status> <order_id>42</order_id> </create_order_response> Both request and response have XML bodies.
  • 25. ✓Simple to implement ✓Interoperable ✓Allows complex data structures
  • 26. ✗ Tightly coupled ✗ No metadata ✗ Doesn’t use web for robustness ✗ Doesn’t use SOAP for robustness either
  • 27. But is it REST? ✗ Identification of resources ✗ Manipulation of resources through these representations ✗ Self-descriptive messages ✗ Hypermedia as the engine of application state
  • 28. CRUD
  • 29. GET /products GET /products/123 POST /orders PUT /orders/42 DELETE /orders/42 POST /orders/42/payment
  • 30. Representations • Hypermedia • Non-hypermedia - XHTML - Generic XML - Atom - YAML - Custom XML schema - JSON - CSV - etc
  • 31. ✓Makes good use of HTTP ✓Uniform interface ✓Good for database-style applications Because each resource has a URI you can use caching etc. Uniform interface: verbs are GET, POST, PUT and DELETE.
  • 32. ✗ Ignores hypermedia ✗ Tight coupling through URI templates ✗ Not self-describing
  • 33. But is it REST? ✓ Identification of resources ✓ Manipulation of resources through these representations ✗ Self-descriptive messages ✗ Hypermedia as the engine of application state
  • 34. REST
  • 35. API root Request GET /
  • 36. API root Response 200 OK Content-Type: application/vnd.rest-example.store+xml <store> <link method="get" rel="products" href="http://rest-demo.local/products"/> <link method="get" rel="orders" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders"/> </store> Links contain information on what we can do.
  • 37. View products Request Get /products Following the link with a relation of ‘products’ (link rel="products").
  • 38. View products Response 200 OK Content-Type: application/vnd.rest-example.products+xml <products> <link method="get" rel="latest" href="http://rest-demo.local/products"/> <product> <link method="get" rel="view" href="http://rest-demo.local/products/1"/> <code>A-001</code> <description>Tartan Paint</description> <price>4.95</price> </product> … </products> Note link to retrieve the latest version of this resource (eg if you had it cached).
  • 39. View orders Request Get /orders
  • 40. View orders Response 200 OK Content-Type: application/vnd.rest-example.orders+xml <orders> <link method="get" rel="latest" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders"/> <link type="application/vnd.rest-example.order+xml" method="post" rel="new" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders"/> </orders> No orders yet, but note link to create a new one.
  • 41. Place order Request POST /orders Content-Type: application/vnd.rest-example.order+xml <order> <line> <product>http://rest-demo.local/products/1</product> <quantity>2</quantity> </line> </order> Again following a link, this time posting data of the specified type.
  • 42. Place order Response 201 Created Content-Type: application/vnd.rest-example.order+xml <order> <link method="get" rel="latest" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders/9"/> <link method="delete" rel="cancel" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders/9"/> <link type="application/vnd.rest-example.payment-details+xml" method="post" rel="pay" href="http://rest-demo.local/orders/9/pay"/> <line> <product>http://rest-demo.local/products/1</product> <quantity>2</quantity> <cost>9.90</cost> </line> <total>9.90</total> </order> Note links to cancel or pay for the order – HATEOAS! The links included would depend on the allowable state transitions (eg no cancel link for a despatched order).
  • 43. Clients only need know • The root URI (‘home page’) of the API • Definitions for the media types used - eg schemas or example documents • Everything else is just HTTP and links
  • 44. ✓Makes full use of HTTP ✓Self-describing ✓Loosely coupled Only need to know entry URI and media types – API can be explored using links. If link URIs change, well-behaved clients should not break.
  • 45. ✗ More complex to implement ✗ Transition links can lead back to RPC-style Frameworks help. Tempting to just add a bunch of actions as links, using overloaded post.
  • 46. But is it REST? ✓ Identification of resources ✓ Manipulation of resources through these representations ✓ Self-descriptive messages ✓ Hypermedia as the engine of application state
  • 47. This is not the One True Way As mentioned before, REST is just an architectural style. There are other approaches to creating RESTful APIs.
  • 48. An alternative: ‘Web site is your API’ • No separation between web site and API • Representations are HTML • Data submitted using HTML forms • Semantics via microformats
  • 49. Using HTTP features
  • 50. Response codes • 200 OK • 400 Bad request • 201 Created • 403 Forbidden • 202 Accepted • 404 Not found • 204 No content • 405 Method not allowed • 301 Moved permanently • 409 Conflict • 410 Gone • etc
  • 51. Restricting transitions Request Response OPTIONS /orders/123 200 OK (an open order) Allow: GET, PUT, DELETE OPTIONS /orders/42 200 OK (a despatched order) Allow: GET
  • 52. Restricting transitions Request Response DELETE /orders/123 100 Continue Expect: 100-Continue DELETE /orders/42 417 Expectation Failed Expect: 100-Continue
  • 53. Prevent race conditions Request PUT /orders/123 If-Unmodified-Since: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 11:00:00 GMT Response 200 OK or 412 Precondition Failed
  • 54. Prevent race conditions Request GET /orders/123 Response (partial) 200 OK ETag: 686897696a7c876b7e Request PUT /orders/123 If-Match: 686897696a7c876b7e
  • 55. Security • HTTP basic • HTTP digest • Shared secret (OAuth etc) • SSL • Selective encryption
  • 56. More • Jim Webber tutorial http://tinyurl.com/rest-tutorial • Restfulie framework (Rails & Java): http://tinyurl.com/restfulie

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