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I am listening few words frequently. Those words are "REST API" and "RESTful Web-Services". But I am not able to figure out what to use when while conversing with team. Are there any significant difference between them?

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marked as duplicate by user320, Samuel De Rycke, Peter Knolle, jordan.baucke, Daniel Blackhall Feb 26 '13 at 21:53

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2 Answers 2

I think that it depends on context including how you use these terms in your culture i.e. there are formal definitions but also slang definitions.

Formally, RESTful web-services should refer to the standards used in the implementation architecture but says nothing about the functionality provided e.g.

Does your service use SOAP or RESTful webservices?

This statement doesn't define what those web-services do, just the structure they conform to. You can find more here.

When salesforce.com talks about the REST API they're talking about an API implementation that conforms to RESTful standards. In short they're saying:

We have an API and it uses RESTful concepts in it's architecture.

The documentation for the REST API is therefore quite different.

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The REST API is available out of the box for all Objects in all Orgs. You don't need to write any server-side code to use it. The endpoints look like:

https://na1.salesforce.com/services/data/v20.0/sobjects/Account/001D000000INjVe​


Apex REST Web Services are methods exposed on @annotated custom Apex classes which you create yourself. The endpoints look like:

https://na1.salesforce.com/services/apexrest/namespace/ClassName/YourParam


  • both variants are subject to your total API request limits
  • both variants require authentication
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