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One of the key properties of RESTful Web applications is the ability to evolve over time. Too many Web APIs don’t evolve; they just get old, and useless; they rot. Why? Because they are little more than URI-based RPC calls returning serialized objects. Instead, Web APIs should rely on well-crafted media-type messages driven by links; they should be more RESTful.
This talk covers a handful of key design decisions that must be faced for every Web 2.0 API implementation. The choices are easy, the work is not. Too many frameworks and programming tools lead developers down the “wrong path” toward short-term expediency using record-based CRUD APIs returing XML or JSON without hyperlinks in the message; they follow the ROT (Representation Object Transfer) principles. Instead developers and architects need to ignore the “blandishments” of slick editors and frameworks and just knuckle down some hard slogging down the “right path;” the one that leads to a stable, scalable, re-usable, and evolve-able API based on Fielding’s REST principles.
Whether you are an individual developer, a small start-up, or a large, established company, now is the time to start creating more REST and less ROT.
Mike Amundsen is Layer 7’s Principal API Architect. An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the United States and Europe consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, Cloud computing, and other subjects. His recent work focuses on the role hypermedia plays in creating and maintaining applications that can successsfully evolve over time. He has more than a dozen books to his credit. His most recent book is “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node” He also contributed to the book “RESTful Web Services Cookbook” (by Subbu Allamaraju). He is currently working on a new book, “Programming the Web with Cloud9.” When he is not working, Mike enjoys spending time with his family in Kentucky, USA.
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