Come REST with me…

I know what you might be thinking everybody needs REST, but this is a Software engineering concept for rails a web development tool with sooooo much power…lol. I put that in the first paragraph as a disclaimer so please feel free to redirect to another blog if this wasn’t quite what you were expecting :).

Still Interested???

For those of you still here, Welcome. If you guessed it this is yet another Software Engineering blog with a topic that I found to be very important in web development. Here is the literal definition of REST within the web development world. REST = (REpresentational. State. Transfer) yep that’s definitely a mouthful. More so REST is an architectural design pattern. All that you really need to know is that this is a standardized way web applications should structure their URL’s. If you’d like to get into the nitty gritty of how this came about check out this site on Thomas Fielding.

Why Use it???

Well that’s an easy answer it makes life easier…Seriously it does. Here’s an example of how RESTful API’s have made life a little easier on all of us. Somewhere down the line you’ve either signed up for a social media account, or even google. Have you ever noticed that your able to signup for other apps using your facebook or google sign in?? This is most likely accomplished through the use of a RESTful api which has shortened the sign in process across 100’s if not 1000’s of apps.

Can I get a workflow example…

Why yes you can and here goes nothing: Let’s use a real world example to provide a little more context.

  1. Let’s assume you’ve decided to sign up for your local coffee shops “deals”, so on their website you fill out all necessary information and hit submit.
  2. The data you’ve entered, the coffee shops deals info, and any other pertinent info gets bundled up and sent to the applications server.
  3. The Server then says, “Hey this guy wants to see some deals, let’s make that happen.” (suffice it to say there’s a lot going into the background that can definitely go into another blog post but we’ll keep it simple for the time being. )
  4. Next the Server responds back to the client(assuming there’s no errors in the code written :)…THERE ARE ALWAYS ERRORS BTW!!! :) but for this case everything is running smoothly. Chrome(your browser) will then tell you where your headed next and render the next page.
  5. Lastly the user, aka you who signed into the app are finally seeing the feedback of that simple request made for some local coffee shop deals.

Fun right :) this is a very simple representation of what REST is and how it makes our lives a web developers a bit less chaotic.

Certainly hope you enjoyed the post and of course stay tuned for more of my software engineering journey!!

Cheers!!!

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Seth Starr

Passionate coder, video game enthusiast, and hospitality professional.