In recent years, small businesses and start-up companies have been coming up with ways to do more with less. Since many of these businesses operate with much smaller teams than enterprise companies, they often make up for this lack by finding innovative solutions to solve problems. One of the most popular solutions out there is API integration, which allows teams to access large data libraries with ease. What you may not know is that this is possible largely due to something called REST programming.

Our aim with this article is to present 4 reasons why you should incorporate REST programming into your API design. Along with that, we will also explain the REST process and what sets it apart. Whether you developing an API yourself or simply using one to improve processes, this guide will give you the tools you need to be successful. Let’s get started.

REST programming

REST programming

First, let’s talk about exactly what we mean when we talk about RESTful API design. REST stands for Representational State Transfer, which means it is designed to take advantage of existing protocols. This is important for developers that don’t want to download software in order to take advantage of an API.

Since REST programming is built on HTTP like most web applications, it allows API designers to work with almost any possible protocol out there. By having everyone on one language and design, the system isn’t tied to any particular methods or resources. This freedom and flexibility can help you to create an API that serves both your purposes and a diverse audience of clients.

API Design

Now, when it comes to actually designing your API, the most important thing you can do is make the system client-friendly. This means focusing primarily on usability and performance, something that REST programming is design specifically to do. For instance, each cell only contains enough data to complete itself, cutting down on redundancies.

Along with usability, API designers should focus on security and governance, as these systems are often open to a large amount of businesses that use them to conduct their automated processes. If one link in that chain goes down, the whole thing can quickly fall apart. With REST programming, there are less cells and therefore less places for things to go wrong. However, typical security measures should still be put in place.

The ‘Why’ Factor

After reviewing the basics of REST programming and API design, you might still be wondering why exactly you should incorporate a REST API into your business operations, since it is one thing to say it, another to actually put it into practice. In order to ease your mind, next we’ll cover 4 reasons why you should get started with REST as soon as possible.

1. Client & server separation

As we mentioned earlier, under REST programming for APIs, the user interface is completely separate from the server and data storage needed to conduct the system’s processes. Not only does this allow improved portability of the interface, but it means that different components of the development can be done independently.

Like any software, improving the ease of use and efficiency of processes leads to a better overall experience. With REST programming, these benefits are built into the very code of the platform. API design needs to be quick, reliable, and scalable, all attributes that REST programming can provide for you.

2. Scalability

Speaking of scalability, this is another reason for API developers to consider REST programming. Since most APIs are developed to serve a wide array of clients and organizations, putting in place steps to scale the capabilities of the platform as the user base grows is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success.

Similar to Agile development, REST programming allows for multiple developers or teams of developers to work on different parts of the API structure without stepping on each other’s toes. By allowing developers this freedom and flexibility, scaling the system is relatively easy compared to other platforms.

3. Visibility & Reliability

Along with scalability, REST programming is unique for API design due to its visibility in development and reliability upon release. Due to the portability of the interface, each part of the development process is highly visible to everyone involved, even if they aren’t working on that specific aspect of it. This leads to better communication and often better results.

As for the reliability of REST programming, that is completely up to you. However, REST does offer benefits that other programming processes don’t that will help you to tighten up security and ensure a consistent experience for your clients. After all, if you have multiple companies relying on your API, your system needs to be rock solid.

4. Independence

Finally, the last benefit of REST programming we will review today is the independence that REST offers due to its adaptive nature. Regardless of what language is coming in, REST can process the request. Not only does this allow for far more freedom in development, but it makes growing into new areas simple, since typically programmers would have to write new code for each new language.

This, ultimately, is the cherry on top when it comes to REST programming, as having a stateless, independent interface simply adds to the benefits already laid out. When you don’t have to worry about the languages you are working with and can just focus on fixing bugs and making a system that works, you will be surprised how much more productive you and your team will be.

Final thoughts

As you can likely tell, REST programming has been and will continue to be a key differentiator for API developers. For the last 10+ years, we have been working to improve this type of development and have only discovered further benefits to working in this manner. Our hope is that this article has shown you something that will lead to future successes.

So, as we often say, the final step in the process is simply to do it. Go out and build the API that you want to see in the world, because the reality is that there are probably plenty of people out there looking for it as well.