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REST API Design Rulebook 1st Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449310509
ISBN-10: 1449310508
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Designing Consistent RESTful Web Service Interfaces

About the Author

Mark Masse resides in Seattle, where he is a Senior Director of Engineering at ESPN.

Mark has fourteen years of engineering, management, and architecture experience with The Walt Disney Company. He began his career with Starwave creating rich, interactive Java applets for ESPN Sportszone, NFL.com, and NASCAR Online. Mark architected and developed the content management system (CMS) that powers all of the Disney web sites including ESPN.com, ABC.com and Disney.com. In 2008, he received a "Disney Inventor Award" for creating a "System and Method for Determining the Data Model Used to Create a Web Page."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449310508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449310509
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Taylor on October 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The first chapters give a good feel for the vocabulary, and some good techniques for implementing REST. A lot of the 'rules', especially those related to basic CRUD operations, are clean and simple with useful examples.

Unfortunately, the later chapters get more and more focused on specifying something called 'WRML', which is a concept/language newly introduced in this book as far as I can tell.

Personally I would recommend ignoring the sections dealing with WRML (or keep them in mind as a detailed example of one possible way of handling some of the REST issues).

As to WRML itself: yuck. It appears to be an attempt to drag in some of the unnecessary complexity of SOAP with little added benefit. Not recommended.

Overall: There is some definite value to be found in this book, just be wary and realize some of this is the author's attempt to 'create' a new standard as much as explain the current state of the art.
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Format: Paperback
Even though this book only contains 114 pages, it took me forever to work through it, mostly because it reads like a high school text book from the 50's, and spends way to much time trying to explain "WRML" a standard the author tries to enforce even though in my last 5 years of working with REST services I've never encountered this "standard" and it just seem to be over kill as REST is suppose to simplify we services.

There were a couple of interesting chapters (All the ones that didn't focus on "WRML") I particularly enjoyed chapter 3, explaining what HTTP status codes to use in case of errors as this is the most complete list I've found till date.

If you are new to REST I would recommend that you look to another book as this one might just confuse you with the "WRML Standard" that you won't see out in the real word. If you have been working with REST some time and just want something to fall back on when you are uncertain of something, this could come in handy once in a while, but then again so could Google.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been criticized by most reviewers because of its focus on Web Resource Modeling Language (WRML). The author, Mark Masse, defines and documents WRML as his specific example to satisfy the general rules and design goals he catalogs in the book.

Still, I think this is useful because it's a very sincere and thorough attempt to apply the principles of REST, and satisfy REST constraints, in a general way that could be used for a lot of different services and applications.

Roy Fielding, who wrote the REST dissertation, can be difficult to read and understand. Fielding speaks almost entirely in abstract principles and rules, sets a very high bar for RESTful designs (particularly w.r.t. loose coupling), and levels harsh criticism against implementations that don't meet that bar. He is not very helpful towards developers and API designers who struggle with real-world questions of how to interpret and apply REST principles in their services and applications.

Masse is really trying to bridge the gap between REST theory and practice. He is aggressively uncovering questions and issues, and he provides his own answers. At a minimum, this is a really interesting case study that deserves careful evaluation and discussion.

His treatment of media types, link relations and schemas is an important example of this. REST demands a systematic use of media types to formalize the expectations between client and server components, but the literature is really silent on *how* media types are supposed to be specified, and how clients are expected to consume and adapt to this critical metadata. Whether you like or don't like the way Masse answers these questions in the context of WRML, the underlying questions, issues and design criteria are important, and need to be explored.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy to review.

I've been using the REST interface for some time now, but on and off, and I'm not necessarily an expert on the subject. I wanted, I needed, something that could help me fully use REST, and explain the little details that I probably missed. I needed something to help me fully grasp REST. I thought that this book would be the answer.

The author obviously had a very good grasp on the technology, and knows his subject. The very first pages are about the history of REST, where and why. Very quickly, the author talks about WRML, a conceptual framework he invented. Unfortunately, we go into fat more detail about WRML than we do about REST. There are REST rules, and they are very good, but they are often drowned out by WRML. Specifically, when talking about the importance of JSON, the author correctly states that JSON is important, but cannot do everything, therefore here is what can be done with WRML. The book still contains great rules on REST, but you have to filter them out, which is a shame.

The title may have been misleading, or possibly I was thinking too much about one particular subject, but this was not quite what I expected. I thought that this book would be readily available every time I create a REST interface, but instead, it may just return to the bookshelf to be rarely used.
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