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RESTFul web service

 
Abhay Agarwal
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Is it necessary that a RESTful web service should always use HTTP ?
In my opinion, it should always use HTTP.

 
Ulf Dittmer
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It's not a question of "should" - REST has HTTP right at its heart.
 
Abhay Agarwal
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thanks for the reply.
Let me put my question in another way
Another than HTTP, is REST web service implementation possible on any other protocol?
thanks
 
Ulf Dittmer
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No.
 
Frits Walraven
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is REST web service implementation possible on any other protocol?

Yes, in theory it is possible because the REST(ful) style does not require HTTP.

According to Fielding, from his dissertation:
REST does not restrict communication to a particular protocol, but it does constrain the interface between components, and hence the scope of interaction and implementation assumptions that might otherwise be made between components. For example, the Web's primary transfer protocol is HTTP, but the architecture also includes seamless access to resources that originate on pre-existing network servers, including FTP, Gopher, and WAIS. Interaction with those services is restricted to the semantics of a REST connector


Regards,
Frits
 
Ulf Dittmer
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While Fielding's word should carry some weight, this feels a bit like the situation where HttpServlet extends GenericServlet, and because of that people assume that it is possible to create servlets for protocols other than HTTP (whereas in reality that has never happened, the special case of SIP aside).

And I think the analogy to HTTP vs. other protocols on the web isn't a particularly good one - while seamless addressing is possible thanks to URLs, seamless access is only possible for clients that support those other protocols. For example, mainstream browsers can not interact with FTP servers beyond downloading.
 
Abhay Agarwal
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Thanks Frits and Ulf your reply.

~ abhay
 
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