A Brief Introduction to REST

You may or may not be aware that there is debate going on about the “right” way to implement heterogeneous application-to-application communication: While the current mainstream clearly focuses on web services based on SOAP, WSDL and the WS-* specification universe, a small, but very vocal minority claims there’s a better way: REST, short for REpresentational State Transfer. In this article, I will try to provide a pragmatic introduction to REST and RESTful HTTP application integration without digressing into this debate. I will go into more detail while explaining those aspects that, in my experience, cause the most discussion when someone is exposed to this approach for the first time.

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