Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Exploring RESTful web services with JAX-RS and Jersey.

I've been reading about RESTful web services for a while now. The best book on the subject I've found is RESTful Web Services by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby. I've been reading this book for what seems like forever (a function of my life and available time, not the book). I'm getting close to done and have begun using Jersey, the reference implementation of the JAX-RS specification to experiment with building RESTful web services.

I really like Jersey. A big reason for that is because Jersey makes it straightforward to stand up a standalone RESTful service. And once you've done it once, standing up additional services is easy. Deploying services without a heavyweight container makes me happy. Containers were created in the early days of Java when Java's limitations made them necessary. Since then, they have taken on a life of their own. Yet, in today's world I think the container has outlived almost all of its purpose. It's disadvantages now outweigh the few remaining benefits.

In the coming months, I plan to explore how to build, deploy, replicate, secure, and evolve industrial-class services without a container. I think I will succeed, but who knows? Maybe I'll learn a bunch due to abject failures. Either way, it should be fun.

My next post will describe how you download all the various pieces needed to stand up a Jersey-based REST service. There aren't very many, and it doesn't take long. Stay tuned.

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