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Getting started with REST


We see the word REST everywhere when building sites and web applications. We're inundated with web service APIs, and many Drupal projects require the use of them or even the definition of them through modules like Services. But what's actually going on under the hood? How does REST work and why does it matter?

These are questions I've been exploring this last year for two separate projects, one involving communication between client applications and a Commerce API server and another involving mobile commerce application development. Fortunately, I've had good resources in the form of blog posts, books, and presentations at this year's REST Fest to help me along.

In this session, I will gladly pass on the basics of REST and, in true "hypermedia" fashion, provide links to the resources that have helped me the most.

Questions and topics to be covered:

  • What is REST? What isn't?
  • Defining resources
  • HTTP request methods
  • Content types (that aren't node types)
  • Linking resources together via hypermedia

No time for the session? No problem! Here's one of the many blog posts from which I'll be generating my slides that you can read for a great introduction instead: