REST scales, needs tools for SOA, XFire creator says

REST meets SOA as Rich Seeley talks with XFire creator and new MuleSource hand Dan Diephouse. He rejects the criticism that REST may have trouble scaling in enterprise applications, but he argues that tools are needed to make it easier for developers to create RESTful Web services.

Does REST scale? Well that is rather the point isn’t it? But one wonders: If REST fills in ‘’the Enterprise ‘Blanks,”’ might it start to look like CORBA? Now with MuleSource, Dan Diephouse has some worthwhile comments. Here is an excerpt.

Diephouse: Architecturally, one of the big advantages of REST is that it does scale better than the typical SOAP-based system. If you implement a RESTful application correctly, it’s defined in such a way that there’s this uniform interface. On this uniform interface, you always have this GET operation. REST defines it so GET does not change the serverside state. So any sort of resource that we GET can be cached by an HTTP proxy, which can increase scalability tremendously. HTTP has lots of concepts to help you scale out your application, like ETags, which allow your client to send a request and say: “If nothing’s happened at this time, I don’t need to get any data.” Whereas if you’re doing a SOAP version of that, you’re still creating a whole XML message. We still have to process that and that’s going to take up valuable server resources. ETags and caching can be handled a little more transparently.

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