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I am new to Salesforce. I want to learn about the rest api. What are its uses? Thanks in advance!

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Do you want to create a REST API or call an existing one? Or both? –  Andrew Fawcett Dec 10 '13 at 12:21
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Google is your friend ;) –  Martin Borthiry Dec 10 '13 at 12:32

2 Answers 2

Everything related to REST API can be found at this page below

http://wiki.developerforce.com/page/REST_API

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1)Supports both XML and JSON format

2)Preferred for mobile and web apps since JSON being Lighter the app runs smoother and faster

3)Since both REST and OAuth rely strongly on HTTP/S standards - it makes it very easy to find existing libraries to communicate with the API's for nearly any language

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Since REST uses standard HTTP it is much simpler in just about every way. Creating clients, developing APIs, the documentation is much easier to understand and there aren’t very many things that REST doesn’t do easier/better than SOAP.

REST permits many different data formats whereas SOAP only permits XML. While this may seem like it adds complexity to REST because you need to handle multiple formats, in my experience it has actually been quite beneficial.

JSON usually is a better fit for data and parses much faster. REST allows better support for browser clients due to its support for JSON.

REST has better performance and scalability. REST reads can be cached, SOAP based reads cannot be cached.

It’s a bad argument (by authority), but it’s worth mentioning that Yahoo uses REST for all their services including Flickr and del.ici.ous. Amazon and EBay provide both though Amazon’s internal usage is nearly all REST source.

Google used to provide only SOAP for all their services, but in 2006 they deprecated in favour of REST source.

It’s interesting how there has been an internal battle between rest vs soap at amazon. For the most part REST dominates their architecture for web services.

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