Some Arguments about Real "Restful" API

Nowadays, if your API is not claimed as “restful”, your API seems not a real API. Like 5 years ago, if you software architecture was not claimed as SOA, it seemed not a real architecture. Though I think it’s not necessary that any API should be “restful”, I admit that a restful API does provided obvious benefits and claiming your API as “restful” will attract more users.

However there is no a standard for defining “restful”, so we often heard about arguments about if a API is real “restful” or not, the following arguments mostly interested me:

  • “Restful API should have pretty URIs”,
  • “Make the API Version mandatory and do not release an unversioned API”

After I searched the Internet, I found that most agree, some don’t agree:

The following are examples of “yes” sides:

Here is an example of “no” sides:

“REST: I don’t Think it Means What You Think it Does”

Do we need to care about them? In my opinion, yes, we need to carefully read their arguments and know the impact of pros and cons. After that, don’t spend too much time on if a API is pure or real “restful” or not, focus on real needs of API users.

Written on November 21, 2014
Categories: development