Examples of Representational State Transfer

Examples of Representational State Transfer

The following are public examples of Representational State Transfer interfaces.

Since REST is defined very broadly, it is possible to claim an enormous number of RESTful applications on the Web (just about everything accessible through an HTTP GET request or updateable through HTTP POST). Taken more narrowly, in its sense as an alternative to both Web Services generally and the RPC style specifically, REST can be found in many places on the public Web:

* The 'blogosphere' — the universe of weblogs — is mostly REST-based, since it involves downloading XML files (in RSS, or Atom format) that contain lists of links to other resources;
* The Atom Publishing Protocol for publishing to blogs is considered the canonical [http://tools.ietf.org/wg/atompub/draft-ietf-atompub-protocol/ RESTful protocol] ;
* Amazon.com's S3 is their only truly [http://s3.amazonaws.com/doc/s3-developer-guide/index.html REST offering] ;
* OpenStreetMap offers a [http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/REST REST interface] ;

There are also examples of interfaces that label themselves 'REST', but are, in fact, using HTTP to tunnel function calls - also known as 'POX/HTTP', or Plain Old XML over HTTP:

* Amazon.com offers a 'REST' version of its main 'E-Commerce' [http://developer.amazonwebservices.com/connect/kbcategory.jspa?categoryID=19 developer interface] ;
* eBay offers a 'REST' [http://developer.ebay.com/rest/ developer interface] ;
* Facebook offers a 'REST' [http://developer.facebook.com developer interface] ;
* Yahoo! offers a number of 'REST' [http://developer.yahoo.com developer interfaces] .
* Youtube offers a number of 'REST' [http://www.youtube.com/dev_rest developer interfaces] .
* Newscloud offers a number of 'REST' [http://www.newscloud.com/learn/apidocs/ interfaces] .

Some of these interfaces do not intentionally respect REST's architectural constraints. Some have been called [http://www.markbaker.ca/blog/2005/04/14/accidentally-restful/ Accidentally RESTful] , by a REST expert. The accident of RESTfulness occurs primarily when standalone GETs are appropriate, i.e. when it's not appropriate to navigate through many GETs in hypermedia style, and when those GETs simply retrieve data and do not change it.


* [http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/3005 REST vs. SOAP at Amazon] - Why 85% of the users of Amazon use REST over SOAP

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