The term RESTful, in computing, stands for representational state transfer, which is an architectural style in web development.
The term REST appeared and gained popularity after Roy Fielding introduced it in 2000, in his doctoral dissertation “Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-Based Software Architectures” at the University of California. He applied REST to describe the desired style of web architecture that would identify the problems in order to compare alternative solutions and to ensure that protocol extensions would not violate the core constraints that make the web successful.
REST serves to evoke an image of an architectural system of web development that is characterized by:
- high performance;
- reliability; and
- scalability or the ability to grow and support extra users.
RESTful is used to determine a system that conforms to the constraints of REST by the style of architecture.
RESTful API is an API that follows REST and in most cases relies on HTTP protocol and the same HTTP verbs (GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE) that web browsers use to retrieve web pages and objects.