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All Contents © 2007 Burton Group. All rights reserved. REST Easy Peter Lacey Senior Consultant Tuesday – June.

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1 All Contents © 2007 Burton Group. All rights reserved. REST Easy Peter Lacey Senior Consultant Tuesday – June 26 th, 2007

2 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

3 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

4 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 1 With REST, every piece of information has its own URL. David Meggison, REST: the quick pitchREST: the quick pitch Inventor of SAX With REST, every piece of information has its own URL. David Meggison, REST: the quick pitchREST: the quick pitch Inventor of SAX

5 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 2 REST is an architectural style for distributed systems An architectural style is… … a coordinated set of architectural constraints that restricts the roles/features of architectural elements and the allowed relationships among those elements within any architecture that conforms to that style. or … an abstraction, a design pattern, a way of discussing an architecture without concern for its implementation. Music styles: Jazz, Blues (sorta) Building styles: Baroque, Bauhaus (kinda) Programming styles: Object oriented, functional, procedural

6 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 2 REST defines a series of constraints for distributed systems that together achieve the properties of: A system that exhibits all defined constraints is RESTful Systems may add additional constraints or relax existing constraints, in which case they are more or less RESTful REST is not a set of laws or even a specification. Its a style I am a big fan of REST (evangelical even) but I will personally break every single principle of REST to get a job done. Jon Hanna Jon Hanna I am a big fan of REST (evangelical even) but I will personally break every single principle of REST to get a job done. Jon Hanna Jon Hanna Simplicity Scalability Modifiability Performance Visibility (to monitoring) Portability Reliability

7 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 3: Representational State Transfer Key information (data) abstraction: The Resource A resource is any information that can be named: documents, images, services, people, collections, etc. Resources have state State may change over time Resources have identifiers (constraint) A resource is anything important enough to be referenced Resources expose a uniform interface (constraint) System architecture simplified, visibility improved. Encourages independent evolvability of implementations.

8 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 3: Representational State Transfer On request, a resource may transfer a representation of its state to a client Necessitates a client-server architecture (constraint) A client may transfer a proposed representation to a resource Manipulation of resources through representations (constraint) Representations returned from the server should link to additional application state. Clients may follow a proposed link and assume a new state Hypermedia as the engine of application state (constraint)

9 Understanding REST What is REST? Part 3: Representational State Transfer Stateless interactions (constraint) Each request from client to server must contain all of the information necessary to understand the request, and cannot take advantage of any stored context on the server Statelessness necessitates self-descriptive messages (constraint) Standard media types Meta-data and control-data Uniform interface + Stateless + Self-descriptive = Cacheable (constraint) Cacheable necessitates a layered-system (constraint)

10 Understanding REST ConstraintProperty Client-ServerSeparation of concerns: simplicity, scalability, evolvability StatelessScalability, reliability, visibility CacheableScalability, performance Uniform InterfaceSimplicity, evolvability, visibility Layered SystemScalability, security, legacy integration Identification of ResourcesSimplicity, scalability. Required by uniform interface Manipulation via representationsEvolvability. Required by uniform interface Self-descriptive messagesRequired by stateless, cachebale, uniform interface, and layered system Hypermedia as the engine of application stateScalability, reliability, evolvability, performance. Required by uniform interface Code on demand (optional)Evolvability Summary of REST constraints

11 Understanding REST 1. The network is reliable 2. Latency is zero 3. Bandwidth is infinite 4. The network is secure 5. Topology doesn't change 6. There is one administrator 7. Transport cost is zero 8. The network is homogeneous There are irreconcilable differences between local and distributed computing Jim Waldo et al, A Note on Distributed Computing A Note on Distributed Computing There are irreconcilable differences between local and distributed computing Jim Waldo et al, A Note on Distributed Computing A Note on Distributed Computing You cannot pretend remote objects are in the same address space as local objects. The Eight Fallacies of Network Programming Why bother?

12 Understanding REST Why bother? Constrained systems emphasize restraint and awareness of the systems context Constraints are the realization of design goals Unconstrained distributed systems are difficult to use, brittle, unreliable, and of marginal utility

13 Understanding REST What is REST: the answer REST is a coordinated set of architectural constraints that attempts to minimize latency and network communication while at the same time maximizing the independence and scalability of component implementations. …. REST enables the caching and reuse of interactions, dynamic substitutability of components, and processing of actions by intermediaries, thereby meeting the needs of an Internet-scale distributed hypermedia system. Roy Fielding, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software ArchitecturesArchitectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures Roy is the principal author of the HTTP 1.0, HTTP 1.1, and URI specs Co-founder of The Apache Software Foundation, co-author of the original Apache Web Server, author of libwww-perl

14 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

15 Using HTTP to build REST Applications What distributed systems protocol supports the implementation of REST applications? HTTP 1.1 aka RFC 2616 URIs: RFC 3986 MIME: RFCs 2045/2046 Media Types (multiple RFCs, IANA)

16 Using HTTP to build REST Applications What HTTP is not Inevitable Archaic Poorly designed Something to be suffered through A transport protocol The answer to everything What HTTP is Purposefully designed REST conformant Frequently abused Wildly successful An application protocol I nstead of embracing the people, principals, and technologies that gave rise to [the Web, software vendors] have chosen to subvert its history and to implant the ridiculous notion that it is incapable of meeting the stringent demands of the business community. Ryan Tomayko, Motherhood and Apple PieMotherhood and Apple Pie I nstead of embracing the people, principals, and technologies that gave rise to [the Web, software vendors] have chosen to subvert its history and to implant the ridiculous notion that it is incapable of meeting the stringent demands of the business community. Ryan Tomayko, Motherhood and Apple PieMotherhood and Apple Pie

17 Using HTTP to build REST Applications HTTP: A brief introduction A stateless, client/server, request/response application protocol Clients make requests of servers using four main operations (uniform interface) GET, POST, PUT, DELETE (there are others) A request is sent to a specified URI (addressabilty) An HTTP request/response is an envelope. Inside the envelope are headers followed by a resource representationif any (self-descriptive)

18 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Anatomy of an HTTP GET GET / HTTP/1.1 Host: User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: )... Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q= Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5 Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate Accept-Charset: ISO ,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 Keep-Alive: 300 Connection: keep-alive Cookie: [blah blah blah] Cache-Control: max-age=0 [ No entity body ] HTTP/1.x 200 OK Date: Thu, 17 May :06:30 GMT Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0 X-Powered-By: ASP.NET X-AspNet-Version: Cache-Control: private Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Content-Length: [ Response follows CRLF ] Headers Request Response General Entity Custom

19 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Sample Application: A simple expense reporting system Design a Web API that exposes all elements of an expense reporting systems Users can create, edit, and delete entire expense reports and individual line items Various views on the data will be allowed Users must be authenticated For example purposes Users are not considered resources No management hierarchy

20 Using HTTP to build REST Applications The REST Recipe Find all the nouns Define the formats Pick the operations Highlight exceptional status codes

21 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Find all the nouns Everything in a RESTful system is a resource – a noun If you find yourself creating verbs, noun-ify them ApproveExpense ExpenseApprovals Every resource has a URI Ideally just one (but dont sweat it) URIs should be descriptive Not a REST principle, but a good idea Spend some time here, but dont agonize over the perfect URI URIs should be opaqueopaque automated (non-human) clients should not infer meaning from a URI URIs should be coolcool Cool URIs dont change

22 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Find all the nouns Use path variables to encode hierarchy /expenses/123 Use other punctuation to avoid implying hierarchy /expenses/Q107;Q307 /expenses/lacey,peter Use query variables to imply inputs into an algorithm /search?approved=false You wont need query variables as much as you think Caches tend to (wrongly) ignore URIs with query variables URI space is infinite (but URI length is not ~ 4K) Dont leak platform information /expenses.php/123 /expenses?start= &end= should be /expenses/

23 Using HTTP to build REST Applications ResourceURI Bill's expense reports /users/bill/expenses Expense report #123 /users/bill/expenses/123 All expense reports (you're allowed to see) /expenses/ All pending (new, etc.) expense reports /expenses;pending (new, etc.) Bill's pending expense reports /users/bill/expenses;pending Expense 123s line items /users/bill/expenses/123/line_items Line item 2 of Expense 123 /users/bill/expenses/123/line_items/ expenses /2006/expenses/ 2006 open expenses /2006/expenses;submitted Find all the nouns Typically expressed as URI TemplatesURI Templates /{expense-id}/{line-item} Starter List of Resources (not all inclusive) Assumes base URI, e.g.

24 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Define the formats Neither HTTP nor REST mandate a single representation for data A resource may have multiple representations XML, JSON, binary (e.g., jpeg), name/value pairs Schema languages are not required (if even possible) Representations should be well-known media types (IANA registered MIME types) Try and use up-stack media types Makes your resources maximally accessible XHTML or Atom instead of vanilla XML You wont always be able to do this, but you should try

25 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Define the formats Expenses (a collection of expense reports) Will be presented as a list Summary data only: report_id, submitter, total, status, link to detail Therefore, need a format that presents a list of links How 'bout XHTML! 001, Bill Smith, , payed 002, Pete Lacey, , submitted...

26 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Define the formats: Even better (tables are understood by spreadsheets) 001 Bill Smith closed...

27 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Define the formats XHTML? Really? It's XML, so it's parseable, XPathable, XQueryable, XCeterable It's more accessible Information available to anyone with a browser (IE issues aside) Or an RSS reader or anything else that understands HTML Has useful constructs for links, lists, name/value pairs, etc. Graceful degradation from dedicated client to generic client The class, rel, etc. attributes provide the necessary semantic value No practical difference between: And Consider returning a stylesheet too; honored by browsers, ignored otherwise

28 Using HTTP to build REST Applications A diversion on microformats Extends XHTML to give semantic meaning to HTML tags Extensions done with certain attributes: e.g. class, rel, rev Formal microformats exist: geo: latitude and longitude hCard: contact information A dozen more Often contrasted with the Semantic Web: RDF/OWL Simpler Leverages existing content Strongly encouraged to use XHTML representations with official or custom microformats GEO: ,

29 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Define the formats (continued) Simple expense item: (straight XML this time) Airfare Simple expense report: (straight XML this time) Peter Lacey SUBMITTED [expense items with links] 9,999.99

30 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Pick the operations HTTP has a constrained user interface (set of verbs/operations/methods) GET POST PUT DELETE HEAD OPTIONS (not widely supported) TRACE (not significant) CONNECT (not significant) All of our resources will support GET

31 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Pick the operations (just GET for now) GET is one of the most optimized pieces of distributed systems plumbing in the world Don Box (creator of SOAP)Don Box GET is one of the most optimized pieces of distributed systems plumbing in the world Don Box (creator of SOAP)Don Box GET returns a representation of the current state of a resource GET is safe Does not change resource state. May trivially change server side state, e.g. log files GET is idempotent Multiple requests are the same as a single request Might be impacted by concurrent operations NEVER violate these rules

32 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Highlight exceptional status codes HTTP has more response codes than 200 and 404 – learn them Information: 1xx, Success 2xx, Redirection 3xx, Client Error 4xx, Server Error 5xx For GETs well need: 200 OK 204 No Content 404 Not Found Well need more later

33 Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST Frameworks It is possible and legitimate to build REST systems with any HTTP-enabled application environment Servlets,.NET, PHP, etc. Its just not fun Few frameworks now, but more everyday RESTlet (Java, open source) Ruby on Rails (Ruby, open source) Django (Python, open source) CherryPy (Python, open source) JSR 311/JAX-RS (Java) Astoria (.NET, Microsoft labs project) Project Zero (Groovy/PHP, IBM incubator project).NET 3.5 (aka Orcas, unreleased)

34 Using HTTP to build REST Applications RESTlet An open source Java framework for building RESTful applications Akin to the servlet API, but maps directly to REST concepts Classes for resources, representations, routers Can run standalone or in a servlet engine Provides a client API too

35 Using HTTP to build REST Applications RESTlet Architecture Components manage virtual hosts and applications Applications manage a set of related RESTlets RESTlets are classes that respond to a uniform interface RESTlet Framework is composed largely of RESTlets

36 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Component Virtual Host 1 Application 1 Guard Business Resource Domain Object Business Resource Business Resource Domain Object Virtual Host N RESTlet Architecture Router Finder Root Application N Router Domain Object Business Resource Business Resource Domain Object Finder Root

37 Using HTTP to build REST Applications RESTlet Architecture Representation variants

38 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Content Negotiation A single resource can have multiple representations XML, PNG, JSON, etc. English, Japanese, etc. Client can ask for a particular representations via request headers Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml, text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5 Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5 Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate Accept-Charset: ISO ,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 q = relative preference (0-1)

39 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Content Negotiation Doesnt work in practice Most clients dont expose a means to set Accept headers Some clients dont support Accept headers at all Best Practice: Use Accept headers and expose the content type in the URI Dots preferred over slashes:

40 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Conditional GET Give me a resource representation, but not if it hasnt changed since last time I asked. Saves bandwidth, client processing, and (possibly) server processing Two mechanisms: Last-Modified and ETag Client Server GET /expenses;pending 200 OK Last-Modified: Sun, 21 Jan :35:19 GMT [response] GET /expenses;pending If-Modified-Since: Sun, 21 Jan :35:19 GMT 304 Not Modified

41 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Client Server GET /expenses;pending 200 OK ETag:some UID [response] GET /expenses;pending If-None-Match:some UID 304 Not Modified Conditional GET: ETag Mechanism

42 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Conditional GET Always support conditional GETs Servers should use both Last-Modified and ETag Common to use hashes for Etags When creating ETags consider the expense of generating the representation and the ETag Use deep ETags Build the notion of changed deep into your app E.g., a timestamp column in the database This stuff matters Joe Gregorio (co-author of Atom and APP)Joe Gregorio This stuff matters Joe Gregorio (co-author of Atom and APP)Joe Gregorio

43 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Caching Caching reduces latency and network traffic Only (non-SSL) GETs are cached – not POSTs etc. Two kinds of caches Browser (user agent) Proxy Largish sites really should use a caching proxy server You may be and not even know it Remember, there can be caches all along the way. Your application must know how to control how its content is cached Otherwise, defaults may be used Dont cache sensitive info

44 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Caching Important cache-control headers HeaderProperty Expires HTTP date. Hold till expiry Cache-Control: max-age Seconds. Hold for this amount of time Cache-Control: s-maxage Seconds. As above, but proxies only Cache-Control: public Cacheable even if authN required Cache-Control: no-cache Cacheable, but cache must validate freshness Cache-Control: no-store Dont cache Cache-Control: must-revalidate Do not allow stale representations Cache-Control: proxy-revalidate As above, but proxies only Validate = Conditional GET Example: Cache-Control: max-age=3600, must-revalidate

45 Using HTTP to build REST Applications The Writable Web Three principal state changing verbs PUT: Not safe, idempotent Create a new resource at the specified URI Update existing resource at the specified URI Typical response: 201 Created or 400 Bad Request DELETE: Not safe, idempotent Remove the resource at the specified URI Typical response: 200 OK POST: Not safe, not idempotent Create a subordinate resource Create child of resource at specified URI Create new resource from factory resource at specified URI Typical response: 201 Created + Location or 400 Bad Request Append representation to existing resource Process this

46 Using HTTP to build REST Applications The Writable Web: When creating new resources Use POST if the server chooses the URI Use PUT if the client chooses the URI "Process this" POST does something and returns something Usually masking an RPC call ("overloaded POST") Don't use casually "Process this" POST sometimes valuable: Resource factories Sometimes you just want a verb If you find yourself creating resources that cant be retrieved with GET, reexamine your design But dont sweat it, if it gets you out of a design jam

47 Using HTTP to build REST Applications The Writable Web Some HTTP clients, servers, or middleware dont understand PUT & DELETE Including HTML forms and some firewalls/proxy servers Valid to overload POST to mimic PUT and DELETE in this case Example: POST /123/line+items/2?_method=delete

48 Using HTTP to build REST Applications URIMethodBusiness OperationReturn Codes /users/{uname}/expenses POSTCreate new expense header201 Created 400 Bad Request 409 Conflict 404 (User) not found 415 Unsupported media type 405 Method not allowed /users/bill/expenses/123 POST PUT DELETE Add line items Update expense header Delete expense header and line items , 409, 404, 415 /users/bill/expenses/123/line_items/2 PUT DELETE Update line item Delete line item 204 No Content 400, 409, 404, 415, 405 The Writable Web

49 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Asynchronous Operations E.g.: Cut a check for an expense. Check processing system is remote. Accepts requests on a queue. Expose the queue as a resource Use the 202 Accepted response and create a new job resource for later querying POST /payment+queue HTTP 1.1 Host: expenses.example.com 202 Accepted Location: /payment+queue/4567

50 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Asynchronous Operations Poll job resource for status GET /payment+queue/4567 HTTP 1.1 Host: expenses.example.com 200 OK Content-Type: text/plain queued payment of $100 to Pete Lacey (later) dequeued payment of $100 to Pete Lacey (later) Check for $100 paid to Pete Lacey

51 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Transactions Updating multiple resources atomically E.g.: Pay an expense: Cut a check, change expense state to paid May use overloaded POST Consider using a transaction resource instead POST /transactions/payment (factory resource) 201 Created Location: /transactions/payment/3094 (transaction resource) The transaction resource subsumes the relevant URI space and provides the transactions view of that space

52 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Transactions Then PUT/POST/DELETE the first action to the pseudo-resource exposed through the transaction resource POST /transactions/payment/3094/payment+queue HTTP 1.1 Host: expenses.example.com Repeat as necessary PUT /transactions/payment/3094/expenses/123 HTTP 1.1 Host: expenses.example.com DELETE transaction resource to rollback PUT to transaction resource to commit PUT /transactions/payment/3094 HTTP 1.1 Host: expenses.example.com committed=true

53 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Transactions Benefits Transactions are addressable Operations are transparent Can be linked to later Instant audit trail Supports multiple participants GET /transactions/payment/ OK Content-Type: application/xhtml+xml... Enqueued payment of $100 Expense 123 Status: Paid...

54 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Security REST security is Web Security Authentication HTTP Basic HTTP Digest (not widely supported) X.509 certificates via SSL Encryption and Digital Signatures SSL (TLS) HTTP Basic over SSL preferred

55 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Security HTTP Basic too primitive for some situations SSL not really RESTful Makes message opaque to intermediaries (lose self-descriptiveness) HTTP security is extensible New security solutions are emerging Amazon, Google, X-WSSEX-WSSE REST does not preclude message-level security, but no standard mechanism is endorsed Atom allows encrypted and signed messages, but the information is in the body and not in the header HTTPSec More work is needed here

56 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Redirection Forces client to look somewhere else for a resource Already seen with the Location header returned from factory resources 30x series of return codes are all redirects. 301 Moved Permanently Use this if you change the URI of a resource Client should persist return value so as not to constantly follow old URI 303 See Other For GET, a good means of canonicalizing URIs /users/bill/expenses/123 redirects to /expenses/123 For PUT/POST/DELETE, operation succeeded see here for result

57 Using HTTP to build REST Applications Redirection 30x series of return codes are all redirects. 304 Not Modified Used with conditional GETs Resend the ETag header and Cache-Control headers 307 Temporary Redirect For GET, same as 303 For PUT/POST/DELETE, operation not attempted, resubmit over here

58 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

59 REST Concepts and Practices Addressability Every resource that your application manages should be exposed via a URI Every URI you provide is a de facto resource, code accordingly The URI space is infinite Multiple representations of a single resource should be uniquely addressable URIs are understood by almost all software URIs can be: written down, memorized, ed, IMd, bookmarked, piped into other apps Look at all the URIs in this presentation; much better than OLE.

60 REST Concepts and Practices On Statelessness Every request happens in isolation Client maintains application state All information required by a resource is in the request Server does not use information from previous requests The possible states of a server are also resources, and have URIs The 10 th through X th pending expense reports /expenses;pending,start=10 Can be retrieved without first visiting the first page of expenses No synchronized state needed, e.g. FTPs working directory Lights that are on at this moment: /lights/currently_on Eliminates many failure conditions where clients may perform operations out of order

61 REST Concepts and Practices On Statelessness Stateless applications can be load-balanced, partitioned, scaled, cached More easily allows for active-active disaster recovery Sessions are to be avoided Sessions are servers maintaining client-side state Message is no longer self-descriptive Server may respond differently to identical requests based on session Server should forget about clients between requests No cookies No session keys in URI or request data Be very careful if breaking the statelessness constraint Impacts reliability, scalability, performance

62 REST Concepts and Practices Self-descriptive messages Message semantics visible without looking at the message body Headers describing messages and content Statelessness Standard methods Standard media types Enables support for intermediation Cache knows it can cache GETs, but not POSTs Cache knows freshness information Compression engine can choose best technique for content type Gateway can reject requests for non-English content Intermediation supports scalability

63 REST Concepts and Practices Self-descriptive messages: Representations and media types Try and use well-known media types Makes content more accessible Part of the self-descriptive messaging constraint Avoid creating custom representations There are too few business-oriented media types today Craft business messages into XHTML (microformats) And/or embed in Atom Theres nothing wrong with name-value pairs Incoming representations should be the same as outgoing representations A client should be able to GET, modify, and PUT a document Server should discard any extraneous data

64 REST Concepts and Practices Hypermedia as the engine of application state Application state = the current state maintained on client Servers maintain resource state Hypermedia = links and forms Following a link is a state transition Server provides a new representation, client assumes that state The server guides the client to new states by providing links inside hypertext representations All representations that can contain links should contain links No links, no Web. No Web, no joy. Use links liberally!

65 REST Concepts and Practices Hypermedia as the engine of application state Clients should only follow links provided by the server or constructible via forms Links should be classified with semantic meaning so a smart client will know what the link points too Also helps to loosen the coupling between client and server (Service version 1) Employee Expenses (Service version 2) Employee Expenses

66 REST Concepts and Practices Hypermedia as the engine of application state Linkful media types (hypermedia) provide for discovery of capabilities ordering of interactions (i.e., as presented) independence of location and security boundaries Consumer requires only a single URI to bootstrap The hypermedia representation is the interface! Client Hypermedia Resource URI

67 REST Concepts and Practices The Uniform Interface All resources present the same external interface Creates a network Anyone can play to some degree. Encourages network effects HTTP verbs are constrained in how they impact resources Safety (GET) Simply: No change to server-side state Precisely: Client not responsible for changes to server-side state Idempotency (PUT, DELETE) More than one request is the same as one request Developer is responsible for assuring these constraints POST is not constrained

68 REST Concepts and Practices The Uniform Interface GET and POST are all you really need to be RESTful Get state / change state PUT and DELETE are handy optimizations Avoid RPCs disguised as REST Avoid putting verbs in the URI del.icio.us API: https://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/addhttps://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/add Avoid adding new HTTP verbs Avoid overloading POST Often the way out is to create a new resource at a higher abstraction

69 REST Concepts and Practices Reliable Messaging HTTP is an unreliable protocol No mechanism for determining if sent message was received But GET, PUT, and DELETE are intrinsically reliable GET is safe and idempotent, call it till you get a response PUT and DELETE are idempotent, call them till you get a response POST is a problem Not safe or idempotent A number of solutions have been developed, but none are widely in use POE, HTTPLRPOEHTTPLR Standard pattern: POST to or GET from a resource factory, PUT to the returned resource

70 REST Concepts and Practices Is this RESTful? Signs you may be doing something wrong changing state on GET expenses.example.com?action=delete&expense=123 Clue: There's a verb in the URI Still RESTful, but probably wrong! Exposing just a few URLs and putting verbs in the message body or URI (overloading POST) POST /expenses Overloaded POST is RESTful, but it's more RESTful if the notion of plentiful, GETable resources is maintained

71 REST Concepts and Practices Is this RESTful? You may relax constraints, but do so knowingly If you really need sessions (you don't), you may use cookies Why does a representation not have links to other resources? Can you raise the level of abstraction to get rid of an "action" resource? Bad: Good:http://experian.com/credit_report/123http://experian.com/credit_report/123 Do you really need a custom header? Is their a higher level media type you can use?

72 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

73 Related technology Atom Atom is an XML vocabulary for describing lists of time- stamped entities Entities are anything, not just blog entries Minimal Atom Entry Pending Expense Report for Peter Lacey T18:30:02Z Catalyst Expenses. Week of 6/25/07. $2,000

74 Related technology Atom: A longer entry Pending Expense Report for Peter Lacey T18:30:02Z Peter Lacey employees.example.com/placey [[XML Representation of the Expense Report]]

75 Related technology Atom Feeds Atom entries are collected into feeds Pending Expense Reports T09:00:00Z Expense Reporting System T11:59:59Z...

76 Related technology Atom Strongly consider representing resources as Atom entries and feeds Atom is broadly and increasingly supported Atom is a good means of broadcasting event data Atom is extensible Atom Feed and Entry envelopes have useful information: IDs, timestamps, origin addresses, etc. Atom entries and feeds can be encrypted and signed Jives well with the use of the Atom Publishing Protocol

77 Related technology Atom Publishing Protocol A RESTful control flow for publishing and retrieving collections of members (feed of entries) Adds a few constraints to REST Mainly, how to deal with collections APP implementations have a service document A list of available collections Typically served from the homepage: Non-Atom media types are first-class citizens Strongly consider APP semantics for applications that have lists, i.e. most of them APP clients and servers already available

78 Related technology GData Google Data API Used by Google to expose programming interfaces to: Blogger, Google Base, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, Google Code Search, Google Notebook, Picassa GData is an extension of (additionally constrains) APP Useful model for how you can extend APP Formally adds querying (search) Adds a new authorization technique

79 Related technology Web Application Description Language: WADL A REST/HTTP-oriented description language Analogous to WSDL but very different The most popular of a variety of REST description languages Not required, but some people like it Can be used statically for Client/server code generation (don't do this) Tool support (IDE, BPM, etc.) Client/server configuration Can be used dynamically for resource representation embedding in a representation Ongoing debate about the value of WADL

80 Related technology Simple WADL file ......

81 Related technology REST Infrastructure The Web is REST, REST is the Web All existing Web infrastructure works with REST Likely already on premise Paid for, installed, managed, and understood Security SSL accelerators, access management (ala Netegrity), federation, single sign-on, firewalls Performance Load balancing (ala Local Director) Caching engines Monitoring and Reporting

82 Related technology REST Infrastructure A close-up look at Squid Intelligent, open source cache engine 12,000 request/second Routing (URL rewriting) Intelligent connection handling Authentication and authorization Reporting Application level load balancing Cache peering Slashdot/Reddit protection (collapsed forwarding) Intelligent retry/reroute Connection pooling 10 years of real world usage!

83 REST Easy Agenda Understanding REST Using HTTP to build REST Applications REST concepts and practices Related technology REST, WS-*, and SOA Recommendations

84 REST, WS-*, and SOA Why REST/HTTP is good Meets the requirements specified of it: Scalable, high-performing, evolvable, visible, reliable, simple Leverages existing infrastructure Cache engines, firewalls, SSL accelerators, monitoring, load balancers, etc. Reach Low barrier to entry Ubiquitous (programming languages, operating systems, servers, browsers, spreadsheets, news readers, mobile devices, etc.) Addressable Hypermedia and URIs make the Web Interoperable Extensible

85 REST, WS-*, and SOA Current REST Limitations Developer tooling is limited Requires developers to think differently Dearth of organized documentation Security too limited Some of HTTP's pre-existing syntax Content negotiation doesnt quite work POST is non-idempotent Support for PUT and DELETE Could use a PATCH method Not natively asynchronous Response messages dont indicate request

86 REST, WS-*, and SOA REST vs SOAP and WS-* As a means for building out wide-scale, reusable distributed systems, WS-* is seriously flawed Flaw: Undesigned / without constraints Does not provably exhibit any non-functional requirement (scalability, etc.) Empirical evidence suggests this is true Not scalable or reliable: Cant be partitioned, not stateless Not performant: Cant be cached Not evolvable Protocol independence is a bug. (Mark Baker)Mark Baker Abuses (tunnels over) HTTP (yet uses the term web services) Unable to leverage any HTTP benefits Requires a whole new investment in infrastructure Adopting WS-* was always prone to being a faith-based exercise… Bill de hÓra Adopting WS-* was always prone to being a faith-based exercise… Bill de hÓra

87 REST, WS-*, and SOA REST vs SOAP and WS-* Flaw: Poorly specified Too many overly complex specs. Solving problems no one has: distributed transactions, BPEL Not very interoperable, even with just SOAP Married too closely to XML Schema Difficult, brittle Type systems dont work across languages No versioning Trouble with binary data (SwA, DIME, MTOM) WSDL is the work of mad men UDDI: monstrously complex and unsuited for the job its deployed to do WS-Addressing: URIs done badly

88 REST, WS-*, and SOA REST vs SOAP and WS-* Flaw: Marketing Vendor wars Over promised, over sold, and over due Tools encourage backwards (code first) development Tools discourage use of XML tooling: XPath, XSLT, XQuery, etc. Flaw: Every endpoint is its own private network Clients tightly bound to servers. Not evolvable No reach, accessible by programmers only (barely) SOAP resources are not addressable Do not enrich the Web. Effectively not there. No notion of links: No spidering. No search. No bookmarking. No tagging. Etc. Every end point is a terminal point WS-Merits WS-Security doesnt suck

89 REST, WS-*, and SOA REST and SOA SOA is not about technology WS-*, REST, CORBA, etc. can be used Use REST instead of WS-* Infinitely simpler More accessible Leverages existing infrastructure Actually works Requires less governance SOA leverages a managed communication infrastructure (MCI) XML gateways, SOA management systems, enterprise service busses REST MCI equally available, battle hardened, already in place

90 REST Easy Recommendations REST should be your default choice for distributed applications REST is not a silver bullet. Use other solutions (e.g. Message- Oriented Middleware, WS-*) as requirements call for it MOM is good Someday, not today, WS-* may make a "better MOM" Use SOAP/WS-* to integrate with existing SOAP/WS-* applications NOTE: This positioning is not the official Burton Group positioning (yet)

91 REST Easy Conclusion Engineer for serendipity. Roy Fielding Engineer for serendipity. Roy Fielding

92 REST Easy References: Blogs Web Things by Mark BakerWeb Things mnot by Mark Nottinghammnot Intertwingly by Sam RubyIntertwingly BitWorking by Joe GregorioBitWorking Random Stuff by Stefan TilkovRandom Stuff Paul Downey Sound Advice by Benjamin CarlyleSound Advice Bill de hÓra Non-Intersecting by Pete LaceyNon-Intersecting rest-discuss, Yahoo Groupsrest-discuss

93 REST Easy References: Books RESTful Web Services by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby OReilly


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