Choosing the right API architecture is crucial for establishing a smooth communication link between the client and a web server. Since modern-day web applications are built using different technologies, there needs to be a system that facilitates smooth client-server interactions regardless of their heterogeneity. For this purpose, we require special types of application programming interfaces (APIs) that are mainly characterized by their statelessness. REST APIs provide a simple and straightforward solution through a stateless, cacheable, client-server architecture with a simplified communication protocol.
With the growing popularity of SaaS-based web applications, the demand for RESTful or REST API development is increasing proportionally. This blog post sheds light on the unique characteristics of the REST architecture that make it different from SOAP and RPC. Subsequently, we highlight the importance of REST API management and why is it essential.
Also read REST API Development: Things You Need To Know
The term REST stands for representational state transfer. It is the most popular API architecture that uses the existing web service protocols and facilitates seamless client-server communications. REST APIs follow a stateless, cacheable communication protocol to handle all types of client requests and provide responses in the appropriate data format. One of the main benefits of using the REST architecture is a great deal of flexibility that enables developers to build custom APIs.
Now that we know what REST APIs are, let’s get familiar with the five main characteristics of the REST architecture. These characteristics are increasingly important also from the REST API development standpoint.
The REST APIs maintain separation between the client and the server through a uniform interface. In REST architecture, clients are dependent on servers for data storage rather than having an independent storage medium. As a result, it significantly improves the portability of the client code. At the same time, servers operate regardless of the state of the user or client, thus becoming more scalable to network changes.
The main purpose for decoupling the client from the server is to have a uniform interface that enables both entities to evolve independently. Furthermore, it allows the entire application to evolve regardless of its services or platform-specific constraints.
As already discussed above, REST APIs are stateless. It means that calls can be made independently, regardless of the state of the client. Here, each call contains the data required to execute itself.
In the REST architecture, ideally, the clients can cache responses from the servers. In the absence of a caching mechanism, the APIs can face a massive request overhead due to the increased number of incoming/outgoing calls. Therefore, developers must design the REST APIs to enable the storage of cacheable data.
REST APIs have a layered architecture wherein the client could be connected to the end-server or an intermediary along with the way. Intermediary servers are deployed to improve system scalability through load-balancing while layers are mainly implemented to enhance security and privacy.
You may also be interested in reading Legacy System Modernization: Making Your Enterprise Systems Future-Ready
As your business grows and expands, it becomes more dependent on REST APIs and other types of APIs. Therefore, API management becomes imperative to deliver consistent user experiences across different devices and platforms. As the number of APIs increase, it gets more difficult to manage them in the absence of dedicated API management tools. The most commonly used tools for REST API management are:
Moreover, the API management requirements for different enterprises may vary, depending on their size, niche, and several other factors. However, the core functions of an API management tool remain the same i.e security, tracking, observation, and version control.
At Oodles ERP, we provide custom REST API development services to enhance user experiences through responsive web interfaces and smooth navigation flow. Our seasoned developers have years of industry experience in building and implementing REST APIs to solve complex business problems. For more information, visit erpsolutions.oodles.io or drop us an email at [email protected].
He is a technology enthusiast with 3+ years of experience in producing insightful content on projects related to next-gen technologies like AI, Blockchain, ERP, OTT, Cloud, Big Data, AR/VR, IoT, and more.
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Anirudh Bhardwaj | Sep 16, 2021
Anirudh Bhardwaj | Sep 14, 2021
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