REST APIs and URLs

REST (short for representational state transfer) is an API design pattern based around web native technologies like HTTP verbs and URLs. REST APIs are a way to access and manage web resources using stateless operations like Read, Add, Modify, and Delete. In developing RDF Application APIs, REST operations are mapped to the common HTTP Verbs of GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE for URLs.

… a RESTful API ends up being simply a collection of URIs, HTTP calls to those URIs and some JSON and/or XML representations of resources, many of which will contain relational links. The RESTful principal of addressability is covered by the URIs. Each resource has its own address or URI—every interesting piece of information the server can provide is exposed as a resource. The constraint of uniform interface is partially addressed by the combination of URIs and HTTP verbs, and using them in line with the standards and conventions.

In deciding what resources are within your system, name them as nouns as opposed to verbs or actions. In other words, a RESTful URI should refer to a resource that is a thing instead of referring to an action.

From REST API Tutorial

BIBCAT RDF Applications

The development roadmap for the BIBCAT and it's supporting RDF Framework includes an proof-of-concept REST API for RDF entities. This work has been challenging because in RDF applications that depend heavily on a triplestore with arbitrary depth of blank-nodes and relationships, your API must be able to manipulate the data at the triple granularity that is not required at the MARC record-level manipulation as done by most ILS.

Regardless of how the URI is generated, accessing and managing the RDF predicates and objects that relate to the subject Resource is how the design and implementation of the RDF Framework. For RDF Applications built using the RDF Framework, a Application is defined in RDF triples that power a single API for use directly by other applications or generate a HTML5 form interface for manipulation by authorized and authenticated users.

Alliance BIBCAT Pilot

Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries Logo

For the Colorado Alliance BIBCAT Pilot Project focuses on a sitemap index for search engines that provide landing pages for each BIBFRAME Instance with embedded schema.org JSON-LD. This project command-line utilities for ingesting MARC XML into BIBFRAME RDF triples. For the scope of this project, the public REST API is restricted to GET verbs for accessing these BIBFRAME URLs.

Plains2Peaks DP.LA Regional Service Hub

Plains2Peak Temporary Logo

In the Plains2Peaks Collective regional service hub follows similar restrictions as the Alliance BIBCAT Pilot where we building a REST API that is restricted to the GET access through a ResourceSync feed that resolves to Plains2Peaks BIBFRAME Instance URLs that output the DP.LA MAPv4 JSON-LD.

As the RDF Framework API support matures, we'll offer full support for all of the REST HTTP verbs including POST, PATCH, and DELETE.

REST Verbs with Fedora

The Fedora Repository has had a REST API for a number years starting with their 3.x series. Fedora 4 goes further and has working towards full compliance of the W3C's Linked Data Platform specification.

NISO eContent API Working Group

As a member of the NISO eContent API Working Group, we are tasked with coming up with a REST API for eContent that includes many of the common ILS functions and is based around Queens Public Library's draft API Requirements Document for e-Content Partners:

  • Checking Out Items
  • Streaming media to authenticating users
  • Hold/Request Items and being able to Cancel Holds
  • Item Availability

Adding these requirements as a REST API for selected BIBFRAME Entities in BIBCAT is the planned focus for a development sprint in the summer of 2017 with a pilot for NISO testing in fall.

Published on 2017-04-26

Presentation ©2017 by Jeremy Nelson. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

.