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REST API Design Rulebook [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Mark Masse

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21. Oktober 2011
In today's market, where rival web services compete for attention, a well-designed REST API is a must-have feature. This concise book presents a set of API design rules, drawn primarily from best practices that stick close to the Web's REST architectural style. Along with rules for URI design and HTTP use, you'll learn guidelines for media types and representational forms. REST APIs are ubiquitous, but few of them follow a consistent design methodology. Using these simple rules, you will design web service APIs that adhere to recognized web standards. To assist you, author Mark Massé introduces the Web Resource Modeling Language (WRML), a conceptual framework he created for the design and implementation of REST APIs. * Learn design rules for addressing resources with URIs * Apply design principles to HTTP's request methods and response status codes * Work with guidelines for conveying metadata through HTTP headers and media types * Get design tips to address the needs of client programs, including the special needs of browser-based JavaScript clients * Understand why REST APIs should be designed and configured, not coded

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Mark Masse resides in Seattle, where he is a Senior Director of Engineering at ESPN. Mark has fourteen years of engineering, management, and architecture experience with The Walt Disney Company. He began his career with Starwave creating rich, interactive Java applets for ESPN Sportszone,, and NASCAR Online. Mark architected and developed the content management system (CMS) that powers all of the Disney web sites including, and In 2008, he received a "Disney Inventor Award" for creating a "System and Method for Determining the Data Model Used to Create a Web Page."

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 2.7 von 5 Sternen  11 Rezensionen
29 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Useful resource up to a point 27. Oktober 2011
Von Matthew Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The first chapters give a good feel for the vocabulary, and some good techniques for implementing REST. A lot of the 'rules', especially those related to basic CRUD operations, are clean and simple with useful examples.

Unfortunately, the later chapters get more and more focused on specifying something called 'WRML', which is a concept/language newly introduced in this book as far as I can tell.

Personally I would recommend ignoring the sections dealing with WRML (or keep them in mind as a detailed example of one possible way of handling some of the REST issues).

As to WRML itself: yuck. It appears to be an attempt to drag in some of the unnecessary complexity of SOAP with little added benefit. Not recommended.

Overall: There is some definite value to be found in this book, just be wary and realize some of this is the author's attempt to 'create' a new standard as much as explain the current state of the art.
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen I'll rather look somewhere else 14. November 2011
Von Isteve - Veröffentlicht auf
Even though this book only contains 114 pages, it took me forever to work through it, mostly because it reads like a high school text book from the 50's, and spends way to much time trying to explain "WRML" a standard the author tries to enforce even though in my last 5 years of working with REST services I've never encountered this "standard" and it just seem to be over kill as REST is suppose to simplify we services.

There were a couple of interesting chapters (All the ones that didn't focus on "WRML") I particularly enjoyed chapter 3, explaining what HTTP status codes to use in case of errors as this is the most complete list I've found till date.

If you are new to REST I would recommend that you look to another book as this one might just confuse you with the "WRML Standard" that you won't see out in the real word. If you have been working with REST some time and just want something to fall back on when you are uncertain of something, this could come in handy once in a while, but then again so could Google.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Bridging the gap between REST principles and practice 28. März 2013
Von T. Epstein - Veröffentlicht auf
This book has been criticized by most reviewers because of its focus on Web Resource Modeling Language (WRML). The author, Mark Masse, defines and documents WRML as his specific example to satisfy the general rules and design goals he catalogs in the book.

Still, I think this is useful because it's a very sincere and thorough attempt to apply the principles of REST, and satisfy REST constraints, in a general way that could be used for a lot of different services and applications.

Roy Fielding, who wrote the REST dissertation, can be difficult to read and understand. Fielding speaks almost entirely in abstract principles and rules, sets a very high bar for RESTful designs (particularly w.r.t. loose coupling), and levels harsh criticism against implementations that don't meet that bar. He is not very helpful towards developers and API designers who struggle with real-world questions of how to interpret and apply REST principles in their services and applications.

Masse is really trying to bridge the gap between REST theory and practice. He is aggressively uncovering questions and issues, and he provides his own answers. At a minimum, this is a really interesting case study that deserves careful evaluation and discussion.

His treatment of media types, link relations and schemas is an important example of this. REST demands a systematic use of media types to formalize the expectations between client and server components, but the literature is really silent on *how* media types are supposed to be specified, and how clients are expected to consume and adapt to this critical metadata. Whether you like or don't like the way Masse answers these questions in the context of WRML, the underlying questions, issues and design criteria are important, and need to be explored.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Not quite what I expected... 2. Februar 2012
Von JLangbridge - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy to review.

I've been using the REST interface for some time now, but on and off, and I'm not necessarily an expert on the subject. I wanted, I needed, something that could help me fully use REST, and explain the little details that I probably missed. I needed something to help me fully grasp REST. I thought that this book would be the answer.

The author obviously had a very good grasp on the technology, and knows his subject. The very first pages are about the history of REST, where and why. Very quickly, the author talks about WRML, a conceptual framework he invented. Unfortunately, we go into fat more detail about WRML than we do about REST. There are REST rules, and they are very good, but they are often drowned out by WRML. Specifically, when talking about the importance of JSON, the author correctly states that JSON is important, but cannot do everything, therefore here is what can be done with WRML. The book still contains great rules on REST, but you have to filter them out, which is a shame.

The title may have been misleading, or possibly I was thinking too much about one particular subject, but this was not quite what I expected. I thought that this book would be readily available every time I create a REST interface, but instead, it may just return to the bookshelf to be rarely used.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen good introduction (could do w/o the WRML evangelizing) 13. Juni 2012
Von R. Friesel Jr. - Veröffentlicht auf
If you're new to the world of REST APIs, and if you're looking for a good set of working rules on how to design them, then Mark Massé's "REST API Design Rulebook" should live up to its title just fine. It's a short book (you could read it in an afternoon) and it tackles the subject matter in a direct and orderly fashion. It starts with a brief history lesson, quickly reviewing the history of the world wide web, of HTTP, and of the emergence of the whole notion of "RESTful" APIs and services. From there, he lays out the six constraints of the web's architectural style, and how RESTful designs fit into that. The rest of the book is basically just a series of "rules" to follow when designing a REST API, along with use-cases, examples, and justifications for each of those rules. Many of these rules seem very common sense and sound a lot like every other bit of advice you've ever received about (for example) naming variables and methods (e.g., singular nouns for documents, plural nouns for collections, verbs for actions, etc.); other rules seem sensible but get boxed in by "real-world" difficulties (e.g., most browsers won't respect a PUT or DELETE as a form's method) or else seem counter to the prevailing wisdom (e.g., including the API's version as part of the URL); still others seem to be little more than evangelizing for Massé's own proposed WRML design/modeling framework.

For me, the highlight reel included: the first three chapters (on identifier design, interaction design, and metadata design), and some of the discussion in the final chapter ("Client Concerns") about security, and the overview (however brief) of JSONP and CORS as solutions for some otherwise challenging situations.

The two bits where it went off the rails a bit for me: [1] Any of the discussion of between-document linking--I haven't encountered this much (at all?) in the real-world and a lot of it seemed overkill to me, to go into that depth on how to link documents from within the API. (And as an aside, it was very unclear to me how the 'rel' (relationship) attributes were to be defined.) [2] WRML: what? Even after reading the whole book, I was still left wondering what exactly WRML was intended for, and what it would buy me as a developer. It seems that Massé wrote this book in part to evangelize this framework, but I could not quite get my mind sufficiently around it to say that I got it.

On the other hand, Massé does a great job with the "rules" (again: especially in the first half of the book) and I would recommend this to anyone that needs an introduction to REST API design. That being said, after absorbing this one, you'll probably want to explore further with one of the other O'Reilly books on the subject, and/or find yourself a couple of resources on OAuth.
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