Saturday, February 12, 2005

What Lies Beneath - What HTTP Offers REST

Advocates of the RESTful approach to webservices argue that HTTP provides all the verbs necessary for managing the transfer of representations via the web.

GET, POST, PUT and DELETE seem to map well on to the Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete (CRUD) primitives familiar in the world of databases.
If we take a view of the web as a medium across which we can access representations from some sort of universally addressable distributed database, then being able to map from GPPD to CRUD would seem like a useful place to start. Just how well these two do map will be left for a later posting.

If you had a look at the HTTP specification linked to from the W3C link above, you may still be none the wiser (in lay terms) about the differences between GET and POST in particular. (These are the two most widely used verbs, as you'll know if you've every created an HTML form). So, as far as the GET and POST methods go, what's the difference?


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