Book Review: Restful Services Cookbook

So you’ve decided that REST is the way forward. The architecture will be resource-orientated. Usually the first half hour of any new project architecture is a dream, elegant, precise – this will be the project that you will be famous for. About 31 minutes in you come across the first problem that doesn’t seem to fit naturally. Sometimes, after a bit of head-scratching, an elegant solution appears. Other times, the shoe-horn comes out and you hope nobody notices. This book helps turn the second situation into the first – but without the head-scratching.

The books is basically a list of problems and how-to solve them in the RESTful style. Each recipe has  a problem,  a solution and a discussion which goes to appropriate amount of detail often showing http requests and responses. There are a 104 recipes ranging from when to use GET to supporting transactions and versioning REST services.

This is the second of O’Reilly’s cookbooks I’ve read and both share the same strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are that the books do exactly what they say on the tin. The weaknesses are that they go no further. There is no theoretical discussion of REST or considerations of when to use REST or another style. The book is practical. It shows you solutions to the problems you haven’t solved yet and shows you a best practice way of solving them – without the head scratching or having to shoe-horn something into your design that really shouldn’t be there.

All in all an excellent book, every architect should have a copy on their book shelf.

Restful Services Cookbook; Allamaraju, S.; O’Reilly 2010;

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