REST, or Representational State Transfer, is an architectural style for building web services. It is a set of guidelines for creating web services that are easy to understand, use, and scale.
A Web Service conforming to the REST architectural style is a REST API.
One of the key principles of REST is the use of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE, to interact with resources.
GET is used to retrieve data
POST is used to create new resources
PUT is used to update existing resources
DELETE is used to delete resources.
An important principle of REST is the use of a uniform interface, which means that all resources are accessed in the same way, regardless of their type or location. This makes it easy for developers to understand and use web services, and also allows for greater flexibility and scalability.
RESTful web services are often used to create APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow different systems and applications to communicate with each other. For example, an e-commerce website might use a RESTful API to allow other systems to access its product catalog and customer data.
One of the benefits of REST is that it is simple and lightweight, which makes it easy to implement and use. It also allows for caching, which can improve performance and scalability.
However, REST also has some limitations. For example, it does not provide a standard way to handle real-time communication, and it can be difficult to handle complex relationships between resources.
In conclusion, REST is a widely adopted architectural style for building web services, it's simple, lightweight and easy to understand, it uses HTTP methods and a uniform interface for accessing resources, which makes it easy for developers to understand and use, and it's widely adopted for building APIs.