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Interview and Book Excerpt: RESTful Web Services

| by Stefan Tilkov Follow 5 Followers on Jun 01, 2007. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |
Today, InfoQ publishes a sample chapter from "RESTful Web Services", a book authored by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby that covers the principles of the REST style, and explains how to build RESTful applications using Ruby on Rails, Restlet (for Java) and Django (for Python).

The book has received a number of very positive reviews, e.g. from Thomas Beck, Jon Udell, Paul Sandoz, and Corey Goldberg.

InfoQ's Stefan Tilkov had a chance to talk to the authors about their motivations for writing this book, their views on REST, and the difference to the SOAP/WSDL Web services approach.

Download the sample chapter and read the interview.

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Data not personal observations please.... by Steve Jones

I'm a bit disappointed to see personal viewpoints reported as being facts (and not being challenged)

That, and the observation that the number of publicly available SOAP stacks continues to exceed the number of publicly deployed SOAP web services.

The only problem with that comment is that it is backed up by no actual data and is spectacularly wrong. There are huge number of Web Services, many mandated by standards groups, being used to integrate between commercial organisations, across the internet, which are transacting massive amounts of information and function, add to this the internal Web Services from the likes of SAP and Oracle (often used in remote data centres... across the internet) and rapidly we get thousands (and more) of Web Services whose calls are going over the internet. If you need some published references there are lots (and lots) available including some from a company called "IBM" who even claim to be using WS-Security over the internet.

I guess if you take "publicly deployed" to mean "blogged about and done as a hobby" then it could be right, but in terms of deployed by commerical organisations and publicised to other companies then it is just plain wrong. REST has its merits, and I don't think they are well served by ignoring commercial uses of technology. It almost seems to backup the "REST is Cool, WS is for careers" argument :)

Nice to see somebody talking about service description and security with REST though.

Re: Data not personal observations please.... by Stefan Tilkov

I did not challenge this for three reasons. First, this is an interview, so it's pretty clear Sam (in this case) was speaking for himself, and everyone's invited to take this with a grain of salt only. Secondly, this seemed to be an obivous tongue-in-cheek remark. The third and last reason is personal bias on the interviewer's side :-)

Re: Data not personal observations please.... by Mark Hansen

What are some of the "huge number" of SOAP Web Services out there? I've worked with eBay and Amazon. I'm looking for some more that I can use as examples.

Re: Data not personal observations please.... by Yim Carfield

Re: Data not personal observations please.... by Kevin Pauli

Funny, neither of those links work anymore. If only they had used "cool" URIs... :)

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