REST-art is an open-source (GPL) library helping develop RESTful Web Services. It is designed to be simple and tiny. It may replace huge SOAP frameworks in your developments. REST-art uses URIs, XML and REST / HTTP verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE).
While SOAP is a widely used and deployed implementation of Web Services, the REST style is a better and simple approach to develop Web Services (see http://www.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/pubs/dissertation/rest_arch_style.htm). REST web services take full advantage of the http protocol without creating over-needed particularities like in SOAP (additional information in http header and in data header, many different URIs for the request and for the web services, confusion in error codes, etc.).
REST-art is a Java library (jar) based on the REST principles (services use URIs, XML data, http verbs GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). It gives the ability to develop Web Services without using huge (and sometime commercial) SOAP frameworks. It comes with a small embedded (fully re-written) http server and needed java classes to create and publish REST web services on the server (server-side development), or to call the services (client-side development).
REST-art comes for “REST” (Representational State Transfer), “state of the art [of Web Services]” and “restart” your development and knowledge of Web Services.
1998 : Well, when they decided to create XML, I was already using self-described tree-organized data like XML. The structure I used was created by Jean-Michel Dussoux and myself, it was called "FDEC"...
1999 : After that I decided to use XML but, for performance reasons, I was transfering the data with CORBA (I was on a LAN). XML over IIOP, is'nt it a first release of Web Service ? ;-)
2000 : I needed to use the XML over HTTP proposition to build Web Services but I did not have any tools to do it lightly (Tomcat was there but already huge :). So I created my own SOAP implementation, called "Shamps". Shamps was designed to be an open-source library, available in Java and C++... It's been used by colleagues (see CLAIRE's roadmap by Yves Caseau).
2001 : Something else to do (creating software based on JADE agent platform), and I did not work on Shamps anymore... and did not open the source code (sorry). Maybe I'll do it one day, just for it's C++ version used by Yves.
2006 : after 5 years of frustration, I decided to re-create a new Shamps-like library. But my knowledge and experience of SOAP is leading me to another track : SOAP is too complicated, and needs code generators. I like code generators, but I like transparency too. So I decided to start form nothing (not even from Shamps) to create a set of REST-like tools to develop REST-ful applications.
august 2006 : Holidays ! Just for fun, I was writing a peer 2 peer library, but I needed a Web Service library, and I did not have any access to the net (god !). So I took the time to create REST-art : my new Web Services library.
february 2007 : I finaly found some time to post the second version of REST-art. There are still lacks in security (no https, no authentication), but at least it has evolved with better XML support and a zip file containing samples.
More news : Go to REST-art news page.
// Thibault Ducray
// see http://thibault.ducray.free.fr