Tag Archives: devops

HTTP Methods and RESTful APIs

It really is a peanut butter and jelly moment when we examine the HTTP methods (or verbs) and their compatibility with RESTful API calls. This article will explain this for you in detail.

The HTTP verbs (also known as methods) are compatible with REST (Representational State Transfer) API calls because they align with the principles of RESTful architecture and provide a standardized way to interact with resources over the web.

Here’s an explanation of how the main HTTP verbs map to REST API operations:

  1. GET: The GET method is used to retrieve a representation of a resource or a collection of resources. In RESTful APIs, GET requests are typically used for reading or retrieving data. For example, you can use GET to retrieve a specific user’s information or to fetch a list of products.
  2. POST: The POST method is used to submit data to the server to create a new resource. It is commonly used for creating or adding new data to the API. For instance, you can use POST to create a new user or to add a new item to a shopping cart.
  3. PUT: The PUT method is used to update or replace an existing resource with new data. It sends the entire representation of the resource to the server. PUT requests are often used for updating existing records. For example, you can use PUT to update a user’s details or to modify a specific item’s information.
  4. PATCH: The PATCH method is similar to PUT, but it is used for making partial updates to a resource instead of sending the entire representation. It allows you to modify specific fields or properties of a resource. PATCH requests are useful when you only need to update specific attributes of a resource without sending unnecessary data.
  5. DELETE: The DELETE method is used to remove a resource from the server. It instructs the server to delete the specified resource. DELETE requests are commonly used to remove user accounts, delete files, or delete entries from a database.

These HTTP verbs align with the core principles of REST, which emphasizes the use of uniform interfaces, stateless communication, and resource-based interactions.

By using the appropriate HTTP verb, RESTful APIs provide a consistent and standardized way to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on resources over the web.

What Really is an API?


Sure, sure, we all know that API stands for Application Programming Interface, but what does that mean really, and why is EVERYONE talking about APIs in IT today? This post seeks to provide this information for you!

Let’s tackle the easy part first. APIs are so talked about these days because there has been a real push to make network devices and systems programmable. In order to accomplish this, we need easy and simple to use APIs to make it happen.

If we look at AWS Cloud as an example, Amazon is going to great lengths to make a wide variety of APIs available to engineers that are working with their cloud. This fosters automation and orchestration in working with their systems and makes sure that these staff members are not stuck learning new languages.

Now let’s focus on what an API is. Really!

The job of the API is to create a set of routines, protocols, and tools for constructing software in such a manner that it is easy to communicate with, and so that it can easily interact with other software components. Back to the AWS example, Amazon provides an S3 REST API for use with their famous storage service. This makes it easy for you to interact with and manage your S3 buckets using code. It makes your environment easily programmable.

APIs typically have four common components:

  • Methods – describe the mechanisms that make the API function; methods might dictate how resources communicate and how they are encapsulated
  • Actions – these are verbs that describe the intent of the API call; for example, a REST API might use a GET to retrieve information
  • Objects – the resource a user is trying to access; a great example of an object would be a Uniform Resource Identifier that points to the object itself
  • Formats – this is how data is represented; for example, it might be XML or JSON

APIs make software more accessible, stable, modular and help with abstraction. Abstraction means that we can deal with high-level logic against the application, and we are shielded from the complexities of how the software actually gets the job done.