George V. Reilly

Review: RESTful Web Services

Title: RESTful Web Services
Author: Leonard Richardson, Sam Ruby
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: O'Reilly
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 419
Keywords: pro­gram­ming, web services, REST
Reading period: 22 August-8 September 2007

Anyone who has attempted to build a Web Service has come away scarred by the complexity of all the WS-* standards. Heavy­weight standards that in many ways reinvent earlier dis­trib­uted object tech­nolo­gies like CORBA and DCOM, providing Remote Procedure Calls over HTTP. The promised in­ter­op­er­abil­i­ty hasn't really happened: a web service built with one stack of tools may or may not be consumable by another stack.

A movement has arisen in the last few years, arguing for RESTful Web Services: lighter­weight services built on top continue.

Building a REST Web Service, day 1

My first project at Cozi is to build a simple REST-style Web Service. Nobody here has done that before.

The first thing that I'm trying to get going is a simple URL rewriter, using an ASP.NET HttpModule.

I'm running Vista as my de­vel­op­ment desktop for the first time. So far, not bad, but there are lots of new quirks to get used to. I've been a good boy so far and I've left the User Access Control stuff enabled, so that I'm not running with ad­min­is­tra­tive privileges by default.

It's my first exposure to IIS 7. I must say that the IIS UI is much improved (a low bar to continue.