RESTful Web APIs
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2013
Pages: 406

The popularity of REST in recent years has led to tremendous growth in almost-RESTful APIs that don’t include many of the architecture’s benefits. With this practical guide, you’ll learn what it takes to design usable REST APIs that evolve over time. By focusing on solutions that cross a variety of domains, this book shows you how to create powerful and secure applications, using the tools designed for the world’s most successful distributed computing system: the World Wide Web.

You’ll explore the concepts behind REST, learn different strategies for creating hypermedia-based APIs, and then put everything together with a step-by-step guide to designing a RESTful Web API.

  • Examine API design strategies, including the collection pattern and pure hypermedia
  • Understand how hypermedia ties representations together into a coherent API
  • Discover how XMDP and ALPS profile formats can help you meet the Web API "semantic challenge"
  • Learn close to two-dozen standardized hypermedia data formats
  • Apply best practices for using HTTP in API implementations
  • Create Web APIs with the JSON-LD standard and other the Linked Data approaches
  • Understand the CoAP protocol for using REST in embedded systems
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oreillyRESTful Web APIs
 
4.0

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (1)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (7)
  • Accurate (6)
  • Well-written (5)
  • Concise (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (8)
  • Novice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (8)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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4.0

An excellent book about APIs, REST and standards

By Jascha

from Barcelona

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

    Everyone has certainly heard the term RESTful, and possibly used it many times, but probably very few people know what it is and how a good, usable RESTful API should be written. Having definitely won its war with SOAP—well, they are used in different contexts, the popularity of RESTful APIs exponentially increased throughout the latest years. RESTful Web APIs makes it easy for everyone to understand the pros and cons of this technology and teacher the reader the importance of standards, and how to write an API following them.

    Released back in 2013, it is the second time I get through this book, which is something rare I reserve for special books. I have enjoyed it even more than two years ago. Why? Because this book is about writing good, reusable code. It's about following the standards and, mostly, getting aware of those that exist before we write our own.

    The authors start with an in-depth analysis of REST and SOAP. Not only they good and cons, but how they differ and in which scenario ons is preferred to the other. The concept of standard, as well as that of fiat standard, is also discussed. Through these first chapters, the author focuses on the costs and benefits a developers gets by siding with the standards that are already available. Among them, for example, Collection+JSON, over a pure fiat JSON.

    Talking about standards, a lot of space is given to HTTP. The author covers it brilliantly but still, in an easy to follow way. The reader doesn't really get lost as there are no abrupt changes of subject between the paragraphs. Each and every verb of the standard is covered, including those that were introduced through extensions—with examples, of course! Other standards covered are HAL+XLM and Atom, just to mention a couple.

    The discussion inevitably gets to the point (chapter 9) we probably bought this book for: which (HTTP) methods should our API implement? Which standard(s) should we follow? The author presents his ideas through interesting and well explained examples. Another concept that is crucial to this book is that of hypermedia. The author, fro the very beginning up to the end, describes it and its importance.

    Overall is a great read for any developer, not only those interested in APIs. It's a title about writing reusable code, following the standards, which is something that maybe does not pay off in the short term, but that does in the mid/long term. The examples are well explained and easy to follow. So are all the concepts presented.

    As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: books.lostinmalloc.com. Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!

     
    5.0

    RESTful Web APIs

    By John

    from Garland, TX

    About Me Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

      excellent book, answers all the questions I had about REST in my application

       
      4.0

      Says what I needed to know.

      By yh

      from 37830

      About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

        Need this understanding for my new product.

         
        5.0

        Good reference book

        By Pedro

        from Alicante, Spain

        About Me Developer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

          It gives you the whole picture of REST API design.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          A worthwhile addition to any bookshelf

          By SuperNullSet

          from Reno, NV

          About Me Developer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Easy to understand

          Cons

          • Slow Start

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Reference Book For 14-15

          Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

          My use case:
          I build APIs for fun and profit, and I have wanted to learn about the whole idea of Hypermedia APIs.

          Pros:
          Well written and quite spanning. I had a blast reading it and was very engaged once I got past the first 25-30%. The author has done a great job of covering the current state of Hypermedia's use in APIs, and I walked away feeling comfortable with what I learned.

          Cons:
          The setup and discussion to even get to the point of talking about Hypermedia API design is about 8 chapters. The first portion of the book can be a little boring for readers who already have an understanding of REST-like apis/semantics.

          Summary:
          Would buy and read again; definetly reccomend it to friends.

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A Must-Have for API Developers

          By Irakli N.

          from Washington, DC

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

            Absolute best book about REST (the way it was supposed to be) and Hypermedia APIs. Amazingly well-written, very approachable both for beginners as well as seasoned API developers.

            A true must-read. There is no excuse to not read this book if you are developing APIs.

            (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Good book, mainly for basic users

            By Fabio Alessandro Locati

            from Milan, Italy

            About Me Developer, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Easy to understand
            • Well-written

            Cons

            • Too basic

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

            The API are now becoming more used every day. Today every major website provides it's own set of API and often the company websites and services are chosen (or not chosen) based on the availability of API and their design.

            In this huge world that is getting bigger every day, RESTful API plays a huge role, in fact a lot of companies are moving their API to RESTful API since it's easier to use, therefore more attractive for potential clients.

            This book is an average-size book, in fact is a 356 (real) pages long book and features 38 additional pages containing other things like covers, indexes, glossary, etc.

            The book is easy to read thanks to it's simple language and the fact that is split in 13 chapters and 3 appendices (averagely ~22 pages per chapter/appendix).

            One of the good things of this book is the fact that it does not require any specific knowledge acquired before start reading the book. A proof of this approach are the first three chapters that talk more about HTTP and how it works more than RESTful API. This makes the book very good for people that are moving their first steps in the web programming world, while eats up a lot of space for people that are already skilled and are looking for some more complex examples.

            I think the book is a very good resource to learn the basics of RESTful API. I'm not sure that a person that already knows a lot about RESTful API would have a good ROI reading this book.

            Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Program

            (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Good reference book

            By Przemysław

            from Kraków

            About Me Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Easy to understand

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate

              Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

              In my current project I use JSON heavily as representation when "talking to" servers. I decided to read that book and possibly get some insights how design better APIs.

              First three chapters are reminder how HTTP works, its semantics a protocol and what exactly REST stands for. As an example authors use simple microblog service. Consecutive chapters cover hypermedia, the collection pattern, the design procedure and much more.

              From my perspective the most interesting part (& most useful) were chapter devoted to the collection pattern and discussion about minimising semantic gap. From my developer's point of view: using consistent, well-defined structure for JSON responses can simplify parsing and it's easier to manage.

              What I miss in this book are more complex "real-life" examples. I like academic discussions but I like practical examples more :)

              (7 of 88 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Website code is broken

              By gerdi

              from Durban

              Comments about oreilly RESTful Web APIs:

              The book goes through its examples for a site that broken www.youtypeitwepostit.com . Now it would not make to much of a difference if this code was downloadable but it is not. There are nice screen shots of the site when it was working at some point in its history but it is not anymore.

              .. ><

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