What is a RESTful API?

RESTful API is an API that uses the REST architecture. The REST architecture is a way of designing software that makes it easy to scale and maintain. It is also a way of making software that is easy to use by humans.

What is a RESTful API?


A RESTful API is an API that conforms to the REST architectural style. This means that the API is designed to work with HTTP requests and responses, and uses the standard HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) to manipulate data.

How do RESTful APIs work?

RESTful APIs work by sending requests to specific URLs that return data in a format that can be easily read by computers. The data is typically in JSON or XML format.

Consinder the AnyAPI Holiday API:

curl -X 'GET' 'https://anyapi.io/api/v1/holidays?country=CA&apiKey=<YOUR_API_KEY>'

Which returns the following JSON payload:

  "country": "CA",
  "holidays": [
    "date": "2021-01-01 00:00:00",
    "start": "2021-01-01T05:00:00.000Z",
    "end": "2021-01-02T05:00:00.000Z",
    "name": "New Year's Day",
    "type": "public",
    "rule": "01-01"
    "date": "2021-02-02 00:00:00",
    "start": "2021-02-02T05:00:00.000Z",
    "end": "2021-02-03T05:00:00.000Z",
    "name": "Groundhog Day",
    "type": "observance",
    "rule": "02-02"
    "date": "2021-12-26 00:00:00",
    "start": "2021-12-26T05:00:00.000Z",
    "end": "2021-12-27T05:00:00.000Z",
    "name": "Boxing Day",
    "type": "public",
    "rule": "12-26"
  "languages": [

Benefits of using a RESTful API

There are many benefits to using a RESTful API. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Increased flexibility: A RESTful API provides more flexibility than a traditional API. This means that developers can easily add new functionality to the API without breaking existing code.

  2. Increased scalability: A RESTful API is more scalable than a traditional API. This means that it can handle more traffic and can be used by more people without performance issues.

  3. Easy to use: A RESTful API is easy to use. This means that developers can quickly get started with using the API and can easily add new functionality.

  4. Reduced complexity: A RESTful API is less complex than a traditional API. This is mainly because RESTful APIs are utilising basic HTTP concepts like HTTP status codes, HTTP methods, etc.

Drawbacks of using a RESTful API

There are a few potential drawbacks of using a RESTful API, including:

  1. Limited functionality: RESTful APIs are often limited in terms of the functionality they offer, compared to other types of APIs. Designing complex workflow swith RESTful APIs are not trivial.

  2. Lack of standardization: There is no standardization for RESTful APIs, which can make it difficult to develop or consume them.