Many new developers ask which is the best REST API design tool, without really knowing what goes into the process. It goes without saying that the methodology while it may be different from one team or individual to the next, but the underlying process remains virtually the same. Also, if you understand the core principles of using things like HTTP protocols and data modeling, then the process is a lot smoother. We will attempt to outline the REST API design process in this article though it may come across as oversimplified it is meant to give some insight into how things work to a newbie developer.
How the REST API Design Process Works
REST VS. HTTP – How are They Related?
REST API development is perhaps best for those developers who are comfortable with data modeling. The reason being that a REST API has to address various resources which follow a particular data model type.
All internet communications use the HTTP protocol. Every time you type an address into a browser, it sends a request over to the web server associated with it. That server then sends back an HTTP response. So, even queries can’t exist without the use of HTTP or HTTPS whichever may be the case. Plus, HTTP is more than often used by the API to manipulate server-based resources like:
- Deleting resources
- Returning the page which was requested
- A list of resources which aren’t available
Resources mentioned above are a blanket word for anything which ranges from objects like lights to content. The thing you need to remember with the HTTP protocol is that each object or item online will have to return a URL, plus it also uses a set of commands which control these items. Knowing this can make your life a lot easier when developing an API.
REST-API Design Process Explained
Now for a large enterprise to either be digital or connected it needs to have a valid looking HTTP server. The REST-API is the primary channel via which all internet communications will pass. The good news is that designing a really good RESTful API is comparatively easy if the aftermentioned patterns are closely followed:
- The REST-APIs are meant to expose the server resources which make it simple to manipulate those resources by the client. The API has to be modeled by using a highly robust data model technique. The data model can be considered a metaphor of sorts via which clients can connect to the API. The model has physical as well as logical resources along with associations.
- It is essential to ensure that the resources used are exposed to everyone accessing the URL. The URL will reflect the link between the resources and the client in some cases.
- Manipulations are required to be assigned a number of HTTP commands like PUT, GET, and DELETE, etc.
- Also, encryption should be used to protect the URL and offer high-level authentication.
- It is essential to create request formats needed for all entries in the model.
Moving Forward with REST-APIs
The future is bright for REST-APIs as a whole. It uses and leverages the power of the internet and its resources in numerous creative ways. However, the commands, manipulation, etc can be considered just barely scratching the surface of the potential you can expect. Though mastering the art of RESTful APIs is important as it forms a considerable part of more complex software developed with multiple modules. It is also necessary for beginners because it gets them familiar with the various technologies associated with REST APIs which is again crucial for the above-mentioned reasons