Graduation Year

2016

Date of Submission

4-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Mathematics

Reader 1

Arthur Lee

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Daniel R Cogan

Abstract

REpresentational State Transfer or REST is the software architecture style most commonly used for Web Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and was first defined in 2000 by Roy Thomas Fielding in his PhD dissertation Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures and became a standard for the design of the early World Wide Web and Web-based software. The REST standard continues to be influential in the design of Web systems today, however, it was defined over 15 years ago when the Web was still in its infancy. This paper analyzes REST as it was originally defined by Fielding in 2000 and investigates the validity of its original principles in the modern Internet and Web APIs by sampling a number of prominent APIs and their use of REST. REST definitely has drawbacks for certain types of APIs as evidenced by deviations in the majority of sampled APIs. It is not popular with services that are difficult to represent in REST's resource model. However, REST’s popularity has not noticeably decreased since it was defined rather it has most likely increased. Additionally, each use case that is unsupported by REST goes against some REST constraints that crucial in other areas of it implementation. In conclusion, RESTful properties were not only relevant in the late 1990s and early 2000s but continue to be relevant today as evidenced by its continued widespread use by reputable Web APIs.

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