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REST in Practice: Hypermedia and Systems Architecture Paperback – September 24, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0596805821 ISBN-10: 0596805829 Edition: 1st

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REST in Practice: Hypermedia and Systems Architecture + RESTful Web Services Cookbook: Solutions for Improving Scalability and Simplicity + RESTful Web APIs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596805829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596805821
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Webber is the SOA practice lead for ThoughtWorks where he works on dependable service-oriented systems. Jim was formerly a senior researcher with the UK E-Science programme where he developed strategies for aligning Grid computing with Web Services practices and architectural patterns for dependable Service-Oriented computing. Jim has extensive Web Services architecture and development experience as an architect with Arjuna Technologies and was the lead developer with Hewlett-Packard on the industry's first Web Services Transaction solution. Jim is an active speaker in the Web Services space and is co-author of the book "Developing Enterprise Web Services - An Architect's Guide." Jim holds a B.Sc. in Computing Science and Ph.D. in Parallel Computing both from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. His blog is located at

Savas Parastatidis is a Developer in Microsoft's Technical Computing Cloud group, working on a platform for large scale data- and compute-intensive technologies. Previously he was part of Microsoft's Bing group where he focused on semantic and knowledge representation technologies. He also spent time in Microsoft Research where he led the design and implementation of a number of tools for scientists and a platform for semantic computing applications called Zentity. He originally joined Microsoft as part of the architecture team in the Connected System Division doing the initial work for the Oslo (M language) modeling platform. Prior to joining Microsoft, Savas was a Principal Research Associate at the University of Newcastle where he undertook research in the areas of distributed, service-oriented computing and e-Science. He was also the Chief Software Architect at the North-East Regional e-Science Centre where he oversaw the architecture and the application of Web Services technologies for a number of large research projects. Savas also worked as a Senior Software Engineer for Hewlett Packard where he co-lead the R&D effort for the industry's Web Service transactions service and protocol. Savas' blog is located at

Ian Robinson is a Principal Consultant with ThoughtWorks, where he specialises in helping clients create sustainable service-oriented development capabilities that align business and IT from inception through to operation. He has written guidance for Microsoft on implementing service-oriented systems with Microsoft technologies, and has published articles on business-oriented development methodologies and distributed systems design - most recently in The ThoughtWorks Anthology (Pragmatic Programmers, 2008). He presents at conferences worldwide on RESTful enterprise integration and distributed systems design and delivery.

Customer Reviews

Really enjoyed reading this book, couldn't actually put it down.
I suggest this reading to all that are interested in the REST architecture or in the development of web services in general.
JUG Lugano
Highly recommend picking this book up if you want a great introduction to building RESTful systems.
D. Nascimbeni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By B. Kelly on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I started my REST journey with the two popular O'Reilly books ("RESTful Web Services" and "RESTful Web Services Cookbook") but found that they started a little too deep into the technical details and were missing the view from 30,000 feet. Sure, I learned stuff in those books about content type negotiation, the semantics of HTTP verbs and whatnot, but I was missing a really compelling answer to the question, "Why should I choose REST for my application architecture?".

At the same time I was reading about REST online and kept seeing lots of references to a mythical, magical thing called "Hypermedia As The Engine Of Application State" (HATEOAS) which lots of bloggers were effusive about but none of them could articulate very well. I was intrigued, but I wasn't convinced.

Luckily a colleague of mine mentioned this book to me and said it answered all of my questions, and he was right. Within a couple of chapters, it was obvious that the authors had made a real effort to explain not just what REST is but *why* it represents a significant shift in architectural thinking in software design. I quickly learned what REST really is and what it isn't. Most importantly I learned how it can be leveraged to build distributed systems that don't suffer from so many of the problems found with "classic" middleware technologies and architectures based on things like CORBA, DCOM, RPC, and so on.

After reading this book I returned to those two O'Reilly books and found they were much easier to follow and made far more sense. Having the architectural basis and benefits of REST explained properly by "REST in Practice" really accelerated my learning while reading those other books (which rely much more on code snippets and HTTP payload discussions rather than the underlying concepts).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Scott Banwart on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book provided a clear and concise overview of how to apply REST architectural principles to enterprise development. The books starts from the basics and in each chapter adds a new layer of sophistication to build a simple but complete business process with REST. I was especially interested in the sections that detailed how to use REST principles to handle enterprise integration tasks instead of using expensive proprietary middleware. I also liked the chapter on security which detailed how to use OpenID and OAuth to handle authentication and authorization respectively.

I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a good practical example of building a REST services.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Will Martinez on November 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read the comment about the "skip it" advice. I guess it applies to some people, but not all.

There is another book, the RESTful Web Services Cookbook: Solutions for Improving Scalability and Simplicity (RESTful Web Services Cookbook: Solutions for Improving Scalability and Simplicity) is an excellent book for the ones looking for quick recipes like the authentication. But that is a reference book, not a walk-through one.

If you like a book that walks through implementation of a simple REST service, discussing all the detail, pros, cons, going from an immature implementation to a more robust one, adding complexity, transactions, security and such, REST in Practice is the book. As the title implies, it is not a theoretic discussion, but a hands on explanation. It is a very small service, the book will not show a full blown, enterprise level system, as that is not the goal. It works on the tactical and implementation level. The code will not be usable for your own system in full, but the reader will certainly find some very good explanations and answers to general questions.

There is of course the need of an architectural level book about REST. This is not it. Hope O'Reilly will support one soon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eric Jain on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
The most useful parts of this book for me were the detailed discussions of features in the HTTP spec, e.g. for caching or security. The "Restbucks" example was also interesting, but I'd rather have had more examples showing how other kinds of applications translate to REST.

I didn't find the code examples (some .NET, some Java) all that useful: Having the requests and responses (incl headers) seemed sufficient. Showing how to set headers or send requests using specific languages and libraries could have been left to an appendix or dropped altogether, as far as I am concerned.

The discussion of advanced topics such as semantics and HATEOAS didn't seem entirely practical: For example, does the author really expect applications to be able to discover and make use of new features (such as special promotions when checking out orders), rather than just scan responses for expected links?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By greene on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Excellent book to read if you want to get an in-depth tour of REST from an architectural
standpoint.The author makes the case for using web as an application platform for building distributed systems and even shows how to build enterprise integration tasks using REST instead of the expensive middleware systems.He uses diagrams and code snippets in c# and Java to illustrate how to both build and consume REST systems.The concept of hypermedia as the Engine of Application state is explained very well by his "Restbucks" coffee ordering system example.Advanced concepts of security and caching is also covered in great detail.
Overall,an excellent book to read!
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