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Telcos calling on REST more often

The telecommunications industry increasingly favors REST over Web services APIs to reach the Web 2.0 developer community.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

In a new report, Paula Bernier provides anecdotal evidence that telecommunications companies are beginning to favor the REST protocol as a mechanism for service oriented architectural approaches -- at least for Web 2.0 development.

She reports that "telephone companies and their suppliers have in recent years have created APIs to avail their networks to the Web 2.0 developer community. Originally, these efforts centered on Web services. But the Web services model has taken a backseat to REST."

Bernier cites Jim McEachern, manager of application enabler standards at Nortel, who says REST is "a simpler method of Web 2.0 application creation" and observes that the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions is now considering bringing in REST protocols. However, because REST lacks the ability to convey stateful information, "the ATIS group is looking at 'a middle ground' called REST-RPC, or remote procedure call."

Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby defined REST-RPC in the work RESTful Web Services (thanks to Christer Edvartsen for surfacing this):

"A RESTful, resource-oriented services exposes a URI for every piece of data the client might want to operate on. A REST-RPC hybrid exposes a URI for every operation the client might perform: One URI to fetch a piece of data, a different URI to delete that same data. An RPC-style service exposes one URI for every process capable of handling Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)."

(Photo Credit: Cacophony, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

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