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1RESTifying

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  • mnotting
    Jan 7, 2002
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      I'm trying to RESTify an existing Web application, and have a
      stylistic question.

      Imagine that a Web application fronts for a database, where all of the
      records are available as resources.

      For example, you could search the database at
      http://www.example.org/search
      and the results would point at records, like
      http://www.example.org/records/theThing

      One can add to the database by doing a get (for the form) and then a
      POST to
      http://www.example.org/add

      Now, how should editing and deletion be done? One approach is to
      expose an edit resource, similar to the add one;
      http://www.example.org/edit
      To edit a specific resource, one could use a query string;
      http://www.example.org/edit?resource=theThing
      and use GET and POST to get the form and POST the edit.

      Another approach would be to use the resource's native URI, like
      http://www.example.org/records/theThing?mode=edit
      in a similar manner. This seems to be the approach taken by most
      WIKIs, interestingly.

      Is either approach preferable/horrible, or are they pretty much the
      same? The specific application is a gateway to an LDAP database. I
      haven't read Roy's full dissertation (still!), so apologies if I've
      asked a FAQ.

      Deletion is another interesting case; if each LDAP entry really is a
      resource, DELETE would be most appropriate, no? Unfortunately, methods
      other than GET and POST aren't available from HTML...

      Cheers,

      P.S.; Do queries identify a new resource? Their defined as a mechanism
      to pass data to the server. Common use (as outlined above) seems to
      indicate that people don't consider them separate, but in the URI
      world, they're not lumped into URI-References with fragments...
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