REpresentational State Transfer (REST) is a prevalent pattern for designing easily consumed data APIs over the Internet. You might hear an API described as RESTful if it is designed to be used over HTTP protocols and is in line with the principles of REST. These principles are as follows:

  • Client-Server: The client is unaware of how the server stores or manages the data and doesn’t need to know in order to use the API.
  • Stateless: The server does not store any context or state about the calling client.
  • Cacheable: The results of the calls to the API define themselves as being cacheable, or not.
  • Layered: The client does not mind whether the call to the API is transmitted via common Internet technology such as load balancers.
  • Uniform Interface: This provides a simple and known way to access data through standard URI addressing and self-describing so that a client can discover how to access data.

Many services offer REST-based APIs to ease access to their systems in a commonly understood manner. SharePoint 2013 builds on this foundation to offer access in a “RESTful” way to allow remote systems to interact with it in a platform agnostic and open way. For developers this means that using other helper libraries and frameworks for working with REST is a viable method, and the time to become proficient in a proprietary API is decreased.

OData or Open Data Protocol is a protocol definition for querying, finding, and updating data over HTTP. It offers defined methods for specifying ...

Get Beginning SharePoint 2013 Development now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.