Java, Java Enterprise Edition (JEE)

Java Colombo Meetup #4: REST and Web APIs

Java Colombo is a java user group formed quite recently which brings together Java developers from all around Colombo (and perhaps even developers outside Colombo too)

The group has been picking up steam lately and meetups are coming up thick and fast now.

The 4th meetup of Java Colombo was hosted by WSO2 on Thursday (20th), this was  my second meetup and like the previous one I found it to be very interesting, useful and really worth attending.

Paul Fremantle presenting REST at Java Colombo (courtesy Imesh Gunaratne)

The topic was REST and Web APIs for Java coders and the presenter was Paul Fremantle (CTO & Co Founder WSO2)

The main topics of REST were covered brilliantly by the speaker, explaining stuff in a very simple but effective manner.

I’ll try (didn’t take down notes :)) to list down the main points that were discussed…

  • Introduction to the REST architectural style and why it fits so well with the design of HTTP (using the four main HTTP verbs GET,POST, PUT, DELETE as operations and using URIs to point to resources or ‘nouns’  on the server  Customer, Account etc.)
  • The fact that REST is kinda like design pattern (architectural style?) and leaves out the ‘hardcore’ implementation details to the developer.
  • The concept of Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State (HATEOAS)
  • The importance of designing your RESTful application in a simple yet robust way.
  • REST vs SOAP (it was mentioned that when it comes to mobile apps REST is almost always the winner)
  • JSON as a compact (non-verbose, lightweight) media type to send data between client and server, especially in mobile/cloud apps
  • Content Negotiation in HTTP (basically how the client and server negotiates the types of content i.e. json, xml, html etc. exchanged between each other)
  • JAX-RS: the REST specification for Java and one of it’s implementations Apache CXF.

Overall it was one of the best sessions I had attended, Paul did ‘live’ coding using Eclipse and relied very little on the slides which was really cool.  The Q&A session after the presentation was very active and informative too.
Great Work Java Colombo! and kudos to WSO2 for hosting the event for the 4th time! Looking forward to the The 5th meetup which is already planned!!!


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