Before you start
REST is a way of thinking, not a protocol or standard. It's a style of designing loosely coupled applications — more often than not, applications oriented for the Web — that rely on named resources rather than messages. In this tutorial, you'll get to know what REST is and how to build RESTful applications with Restlets, a lightweight REST framework for Java™ applications.
This tutorial guides you step-by-step through the fundamental concepts of REST and building applications with Restlets. You'll learn how to:
- Define RESTful Web services
- Implement them with the Restlet framework
- Verify them with the JUnit testing framework
When you are done with the tutorial, you will understand the benefits of designing with RESTful principles, and you'll see how the Restlet framework makes it easy.
To get the most from this tutorial, you should be familiar with Java syntax and the basic concepts of object-oriented development on the Java platform. You should also be familiar with Web applications. Familiarity with Groovy, JUnit, DbUnit, and XMLUnit is also helpful.
To follow along and try out the code for this tutorial, you need a working installation of either:
- Sun's JDK 1.5.0_09 (or later)
- IBM Developer Kit for Java technology 1.5.0 SR3
- Apache Ant 1.7 or greater
There are two versions of the source code for this tutorial (see Download). One version includes all code and required dependencies (the Restlet framework, JUnit, XMLUnit, and DbUnit). Readers with a low-bandwidth connection might prefer to download the Restlet framework, JUnit, XMLUnit, and DbUnit from their respective sites (see Resources) and use the Download package version that does not include dependencies.
The recommended system configuration for this tutorial is:
- A system supporting either the Sun JDK 1.5.0_09 (or later) or the IBM JDK 1.5.0 SR3 with at least 500MB of main memory
- At least 20MB of disk space to install the software components and examples covered
The instructions and examples in the tutorial are based on a Microsoft® Windows® operating system. All the tools covered in the tutorial also work on Linux® and UNIX® systems.