RESTful web services:
REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. Unlike SOAP it is a web standards based architecture and not protocol. It uses HTTP protocol for data communication. REST provides the facility to represent a resource in various formats like text, JSON and XML.
Note: JSON is the most popular format.
Web services represents the resources that can be identified and accessed by their URIs. REST web services are lightweight and doesn’t follow any standard or set of rules like SOAP.
Commonly used HTTP methods in REST:
It provides a read only access to a resource.
It is used to create a new resource.
It is used to remove a resource.
It is used to update an existing resource or create a new resource.
It is used to get the supported operations on a resource.
Advantages of RESTful web services:
1. RESTful web services are platform independent.
2. RESTful web services are language independent.
3. RESTful web services are fast.
4. RESTful web services can use SOAP web services as the implementation.
5. RESTful web services provides the facility to represent a resource in various formats like text, JSON and XML.
6. RESTful web services represents loosely coupled implementation as there is no contract required between server and client.