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RESTful Web Services [Paperback]

Leonard Richardson , Sam Ruby
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 May 2007 0596529260 978-0596529260 1

"Every developer working with the Web needs to read this book."-- David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the Rails framework

"RESTful Web Services finally provides a practical roadmap for constructing services that embrace the Web, instead of trying to route around it."-- Adam Trachtenberg, PHP author and EBay Web Services Evangelist

You've built web sites that can be used by humans. But can you also build web sites that are usable by machines? That's where the future lies, and that's what RESTful Web Services shows you how to do. The World Wide Web is the most popular distributed application in history, and Web services and mashups have turned it into a powerful distributed computing platform. But today's web service technologies have lost sight of the simplicity that made the Web successful. They don't work like the Web, and they're missing out on its advantages.

This book puts the "Web" back into web services. It shows how you can connect to the programmable web with the technologies you already use every day. The key is REST, the architectural style that drives the Web. This book:

  • Emphasizes the power of basic Web technologies -- the HTTP application protocol, the URI naming standard, and the XML markup language
  • Introduces the Resource-Oriented Architecture (ROA), a common-sense set of rules for designing RESTful web services
  • Shows how a RESTful design is simpler, more versatile, and more scalable than a design based on Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)
  • Includes real-world examples of RESTful web services, like Amazon's Simple Storage Service and the Atom Publishing Protocol
  • Discusses web service clients for popular programming languages
  • Shows how to implement RESTful services in three popular frameworks -- Ruby on Rails, Restlet (for Java), and Django (for Python)
  • Focuses on practical issues: how to design and implement RESTful web services and clients
This is the first book that applies the REST design philosophy to real web services. It sets down the best practices you need to make your design a success, and the techniques you need to turn your design into working code. You can harness the power of the Web for programmable applications: you just have to work with the Web instead of against it. This book shows you how.


Product details

  • Paperback: 454 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (18 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596529260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596529260
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

Book Description

Web services for the real world

About the Author

Leonard Richardson (http://www.crummy.com/) is the author of the Ruby Cookbook (O'Reilly) and of several open source libraries, including Beautiful Soup. A California native, he currently lives in New York.

Sam Ruby is a prominent software developer who has made significant contributions to the many of the Apache Software Foundation's open source projects, and to the standardization of web feeds via his involvement with the Atom web feed standard and the popular Feed Validator web service.He currently holds a Senior Technical Staff Member position in the Emerging Technologies Group of IBM. He resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars RESTful but also Rubyful 28 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book on the principles of RESTful web services and a useful reminder of the principles of REST itself.

Clearly written with lots of examples. The authors are clearly passionate about REST and RESTful services and explain their viewpoint well.

However, at times, the passion spills over into polemics, which can distract.

For me, the worst aspect of the book is that the bulk of its examples are written in Ruby. I'm not very familiar with Ruby or Ruby on Rails - and Ruby syntax is hard to grasp for the uninitiated (ie me!). It also works some examples that depend on particular Ruby libraries that don't have counterparts in other languages.

It is particularly disappointing that there are not more examples in JavaScript, addressing the substantial Ajax community - Chapter 11 deals with "Ajax Applications as REST Clients" and covers useful ground, but it would be better to see more.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 8 Oct 2008
By C. Jack
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like some of the ideas of REST but have some issues with this book:

1) Too much code, and too much ruby code.
2) Doesn't do enough to contrast REST with other approaches and/or explaining where the authors think each approach works well. Of course there was a comparison with a Web services based approach but I would have liked to read more about the wider picture. For example how the authors use REST in addition to SOA/DDD/messaging, assuming that they don't feel that one size fits all.
3) Examples of social bookmarking are useful but how about examples involving pub/sub within the enterprise, or long running work flows involving multiple systems. If you search hard on the Web you can find examples of using REST in such situations but in all honesty they are few and far between.

So all in all I found the book a bit of a let down, though still worth a read as there really aren't many good alternatives.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on REST 2 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably the only decent book available on using REST, It is an excellent read, short and concise and the most up to date.
I have read all the book and have found the examples to be excellent and complete. The book covers quite a few languages, which can help if you area contractor like me who comes accross and uses various languages.
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