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Category Archives: API

Web API Design Part Two: The Origins of REST

Episode 87

What is REST, or what does it mean to be RESTful? It seems to mean something a bit different for everyone, when looking at various API implementations and their documentation. When examining different materials on the art of web API design, one eventually stumbles upon one particular name. Roy Fielding, a computer scientist who was member of the team behind HTTP 1.1 and URI specifications. During this undertaking he created a set of principles around HTTP object model that culminated in his PhD dissertation “Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures” published in 2000. Probably not too many people in software development industry read PhD dissertations, but I’ve decided to do that, and extract the essence in this article.

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First part of the thesis introduces various preliminary notions relevant in consequent parts. We learn the definition of Software Architecture and its elements including components, connectors and data. Then we proceed to Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2018 in API, Books, Technology

 

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Web API Design Part One: Tech and UX

Episode 86

When it comes to creating a piece of software, we need to ask ourselves three important questions. Why are we doing this? What are we doing? How are we going to do that? Software developers tend to focus on the last one, since technology seems to be their domain. However, the question that should be considered first is why, as Simon Senek pointed out in his book. Let’s explore those three question in the context of designing web APIs.

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In the second part of the article, we will take closer look at the “how” part from the user experience design point of view. The user will be a software developer consuming our API in this case.

Why?

For money, of course. Traditionally web applications earned money by serving their users data and functionality via some kind of front-end. The front-end was talking to the back-end and back-end was talking to the database. In order to satisfy growing needs, enrich user experience, and avoid reinventing the wheel, applications started to Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2017 in API, Technology

 

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Spring Web Basics

Episode 60

Here is the second part of Spring back-end series for beginners. Part zero appeared half year ago, and was focused on Angular front-end. Part one was two weeks ago, and consisted of some basic concepts of Spring framework including inversion of control, dependency injection, beans, configuration and profiles. Today we are going to look into Spring web, in particular web services and handling incoming HTTP requests. There will be no fancy front-end stuff this time, just naked request and response.

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As usual the introduction to the topic and going over basic concepts might well be at least one separate article but let’s try to do all at once. We will cover the concept of HTTP protocol, servlets, web services, REST and JSON. If you would like to play with complete application working out of the box, visit my GitHub project Spring Angular Intro. This tag corresponds to project state at the time of writing this article.

Foundations

HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, belongs to the application layer of Internet Protocol Suite, so it’s the highest-level layer above transport layer (like TCP), network layer (like IP) and link layer (like Ethernet). HTTP request contains Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2017 in API, Spring, Technology

 

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API management tools

Episode 47

Long time ago, the Internet was full of proud and secluded applications, that relied on themselves to provide service. However, services were becoming more and more complicated, also technologies and protocols for connecting with other applications became more standardized. It became obvious that collaboration and specialization is required to survive. Applications thus started to be more specialized, talk to each other much more, and the level of digital interconnection skyrocketed. Along with that, did the market of solutions for managing web APIs.

Do I need API?

Most likely you do. Imagine a big corporation that is building HR system. They want the module related to business travel for planning and reporting. Is there a point in writing everything from scratch? If you plan travel, let’s ask someone who is already good at it. If you want to buy a ticket from A to B, there are companies that provide travel meta search service, both via website and API.

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Those companies need data, so they ask someone who possess it – bus and train operators, airlines, car rentals and perhaps other travel meta search companies. Maybe, when planning travel, especially the end points, we might want to specify an address. How do we know that address is correct? We should ask someone who Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2016 in API, Technology

 

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