Web Services REST-Style
Universal Identifiers, Formats & Protocols


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Part 1 – What’s REST?

What’s REST?

Representational State Transfer (REST) – Meaningless Acronym? Wordplay?

rest – n. – peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from the insight that the web works

No matter what vendors tell you – no need to “Light Up the Web” – relax – built on an open architecture using universal identifiers, formats & protocols and evolving open standards – no need to reinvent the wheel and sign-up for single-vendor offerings.

What’s REST? (Cont’d)

Narrow Definition

Alternative to BigCo Web Services:

  • SOAP
  • WS-*)1 and
  • RPC-Style Web Services (XML-RPC)

Broad Definition

Best Practices for Designing Web Services for a Unified Human and Programable Web

1 WS-* = Web Service Specs including WS-Transfer, WS-Addressing, WS-Eventing, WS-Security, WS-Federation, WS-Trust, and many more.

Part 2 – Universal Identifiers, Formats & Protocols

Universal Identifiers, Formats & Protocols
The Holy Trinity


  • URLs (Uniform Resource Locator)
  • URIs (Uniform Resource Identifier)


  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
  • XML (Extensible Markup Language)


  • HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
  • AtomPub (Atom Publishing Protocol)

The Holy REST Trinity – Noun, Verbs, Types

REST-Speak Internet-Speak Plain Old English
Verbs Protocols Communication & Data Exchange Rules
Nouns Identifiers Names, Addresses
Types Formats Documents, Feeds, Photos, Videos, Music, etc.


REST-Speak Examples
Nouns flickr.com/photos/tag/wien, deli.cio.us/tag/wien, etc.
Types HTML, RSS, PNG, etcetera

Part 3 – Design Principles & Architecture

REST Design Principles

Architecture Astronaut REST Speak

1 RPC = Remote Procedure Call

The End – Thank You