Table of Contents:
- An idea of HTTP requests.
- Understanding of API calls.
Introduction to REST API
REpresentational State Transfer, abbreviated as REST, is an architecture that governs a certain set of rules for an application or service to communicate with other applications. Unlike APIs that enable the connection between computers or computer programs, REST API strictly adheres to REST architecture. With REST APIs, developers experience higher flexibility and lightweight technique to integrate applications that allow access to web services without the need for massive processing capabilities.
Principle of REST API
Here are a few key principles of REST APIs, that can help you understand their value better:
Statelessness enforces servers to remain unaware of the clients’ state. The server would not store anything about HTTP requests made by the client or vice versa, thereby treating every query as new. REST API follows a set of constraints laid by the REST paradigm that is bound to become stateless.
Cache helps servers to attenuate a few constraints of statelessness. It is a critical factor that has improved the performance of modern web applications. The goal is not only to improve performance on the client-side but also to scale them on the server-side. A well-established cache mechanism would drastically reduce the server’s average response time by avoiding submitting the same request twice.
REST is a distributed approach where client and server applications completely decouple (independent) each other. Irrespective of where the requests are initiated, the only information the client application knows is the requested resource’s uniform resource identifier (URI). A server application should pass requested data via HTTP but should not try modifying the client application.
With a layered system, REST architecture is scalable. As RESTful architecture has decoupled client and server applications, all the calls and responses of REST APIs go through different layers. In a layered system, neither client nor the server identifies the source or an intermediary of communication.
5. Uniform Interface
REST API follows the principles that define a uniform interface and prohibits using self or multiple interfaces within an API. It should also ensure that similar data belongs to only one uniform resource identifier (URI). Preferably, all API requests for the same resources should look alike, irrespective of the initial request.
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Understanding CRUD and Endpoints
CRUD is an acronym for Create, Read, Update, and Delete commands to interact with databases. Unlike REST, which is an architectural system, CRUD operations are cyclic. Despite its origin from databases, it maps the design principle of dynamic applications like HTTP, SQL, and DDS. For any dynamic website, there exist multiple CRUD cycles. Below are terms that define CRUD operation:
- Create: This is a procedure that generates new records through an ‘INSERT’ statement.
- Read: This is a procedure used to read/retrieve data based on desired input parameters.
- Update: This is a procedure used to modify records without overwriting them.
- Delete: This is a procedure used to remove one or more entries entirely.
API functions use ‘requests’ and ‘responses’ to authenticate and transfer information. When an API requests information from a web application or web server, it will receive a ‘response.’ The place that APIs send requests or where resources live are called endpoints. An endpoint is a specific address that gives you certain features. In simple terms, it is one end of a communication channel. Each endpoint is a location where APIs can access the resources needed to carry out various operations.
- Update a web page without reloading a page.
- Request data from a server even after a page has loaded.
- Receive data from a server even after the page has loaded.
- Send data to a server running in the background.
Once the request is sent, you can use the event handlers to handle XHR object responses. Below are a few examples where an event handler is called:
It may involve four basic steps:
- Send a request to the server. As XHR is asynchronous (default), it doesn’t block your application until a response is received.
- Step 2: Suppose the task is to add movies in the desired database, you can use the ‘FormData,’ object and append its fields. To add data, you can use the ‘POST’ method in the XHR object along with the URL and send it to FormData. Use the below code to accomplish this task:
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