Are you in the planning stages of your next project? Or perhaps you’ve already hammered out all the fine details of your latest application idea, but you’re wondering if there’s something crucial that missing. Whichever the case, something you might want to consider is to integrate REST or a REST API into your development plans. There are many development tools like those on Stoplight that can help out in this regard.
In utilizing REST or REST API, you can give your project-specific benefits that will give it a clear edge over its competitors. What’s more, you will also be able to enjoy the advantages of using an API design, planning, and modeling tool in your development efforts. These advantages include: being able to start from scratch with zero codings required, having access to integrated mock servers, automated documentation generation, and more. All these benefits can contribute significantly to the ease and efficiency of your code building.
If you’re interested, then read on as we list the key reasons why you should be using the REST API for your next project. But first, let’s briefly define REST and REST APIs.
What is REST and REST API?
REST is an acronym that stands for Representational State Transfer. It refers to a type of architectural design for APIs that is utilized in developing web-based applications, software, and web services. An API that is designed according to REST’s design pattern is called a REST API, and it is implemented in web-based applications and services to give them the ability to interact with information stored in a web server. These interactions, which are done through the HTTP protocol, can be any of the following:
- POST (creating a file in the server)
- GET (retrieving a file)
- PUT (publishing an updated version of the file)
- DELETE (removing the file from the server)
We can look at Twitter’s API for an example of a REST API. When a developer implements the Twitter API into their web service, they allow it to access the files and information stored and displayed on Twitter. For instance, the GET function can be used to pull up tweets made by a specific user, or even their Twitter profile, and have it displayed by the web service. Meanwhile, the POST function can allow a user to post tweets from the web service in question, rather than from Twitter’s own client. It can also allow it to post specific tweets on the user’s behalf.
Now that we’re more familiar with REST and REST API, here are the specific advantages why REST API should be used for your future API projects.
REST allows for greater scalability
The REST style of API has the inherent quality of separating the server and client from each other. This allows each component to evolve or be manipulated independently. As such, the application or web service using a REST API can be scaled up easily on-demand, as well as allow it to be ported to a multitude of different devices without extensive coding. So if you foresee your application experiencing a large workload in its operational lifetime, then consider implementing a REST API.
REST allows for easier integration
REST involves actions that are done on the HTTP protocol, and many of today’s applications that require APIs also utilize HTTP. This allows you to easily integrate your REST API into many other applications, not just the one you’re working on currently.
REST allows for greater independence for the application
When you integrate or design a REST API into your application, you give specific components of that application the ability to be deployed or scaled-down at your leisure. This means that you do not need to shut down your entire project or its server to fix, upgrade, or deploy any of those components. This independence between your application’s components results in a higher degree of agility and flexibility that will significantly contribute to your ongoing development and maintenance efforts.
REST allows for greater code encapsulation
Not every part of your application’s code needs to be visible to the user or the REST caller. By using REST as an architectural style for your APIs, you can conceal the parts of your application that you don’t wish to be seen while also allowing the rest to be displayed in prominence.
REST allows for reduced latency
Finally, REST APIs have the inherent property of being able to prioritize caching. This can help reduce the latency of your web-based service or application, which results in improved performance and increased efficiency. This will no doubt help your application retain customers as well as attract new ones.
Energize your next project by taking advantage of REST APIs
These benefits, when taken singularly, are not unique to REST. However, when taken as a group, they create a distinct edge for any application. This edge will help it to remain competitive over time and desirable to your users. Ensure that your next project has this advantage right out of the gate by integrating this powerful protocol into your code.