What are REST APIs?

REST APIs or Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interfaces are a popular architectural style for designing networked applications. Using HTTP protocols, they allow systems to communicate and exchange data over the internet in a standardized way. They are stateless, cacheable, and provide a seamless way to interact with web services, making them a common choice for developers when designing web APIs.


REST was initially described by Roy Fielding, a computer scientist, in his doctoral dissertation in the year 2000. Since then, REST APIs have evolved, with different versions tailoring to various needs, including XML-RPC and JSON-RPC.

Functionality and Features

REST APIs offer features such as simplicity, scalability, and modifiability. They leverage standard HTTP methods like GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations. This straightforwardness in design makes them versatile and easy to use.


REST APIs are designed around resources, which are identified by URLs. Operations are performed using HTTP methods, and the responses are typically in JSON or XML format. The stateless nature of REST APIs ensures that each request from a client to a server contains all the information required to understand and process the request.

Benefits and Use Cases

REST APIs enable interoperability between systems. They are extensively used in cloud applications, mobile services, and IoT devices due to their lightweight nature. The stateless design allows them to handle large volumes of transactions, making them scalable and suitable for modern web services.

Challenges and Limitations

Despite their numerous advantages, REST APIs do have limitations. They may not be the best choice for real-time applications as they lack real-time communication capabilities. Additionally, due to their stateless design, they may require more processing power as they need to transfer complete context with each request.


REST APIs are often compared to SOAP APIs. While SOAP has a rigid structure and requires XML, REST is more flexible and can handle multiple formats. REST APIs are considered simpler and more performant than SOAP APIs.

Integration with Data Lakehouse

REST APIs play a crucial role in a data lakehouse environment. They allow data to be ingested, processed, and analyzed by different components of a data lakehouse. Thus, they create bridges between the different elements of the data lakehouse architecture.

Security Aspects

Security is a top priority with REST APIs. They often use encryption methods such as SSL/TLS for data in transit. Authentication and authorization are typically handled through OAuth, API keys, or JWT (JSON Web Tokens).


Performance is a significant advantage of REST APIs. The stateless architecture and caching capabilities help enhance the speed and efficiency of the APIs, thereby improving the overall performance of applications.


What is a REST API? A REST API is a set of rules that allow programs to communicate with each other using HTTP protocols.

What are the primary features of REST APIs? The primary features of REST APIs include scalability, modifiability, simplicity, and stateless nature.

What is the role of REST APIs in a data lakehouse? REST APIs facilitate the ingestion, processing, and analysis of data in a data lakehouse environment.

How secure are REST APIs? REST APIs utilize encryption methods and implement authentication & authorization for security purposes.

What are the performance benefits of REST APIs? The stateless nature and caching capabilities of REST APIs enhance the speed and efficiency of applications.


HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the foundation of any data exchange on the Web.

JSON: JavaScript Object Notation, a popular data format with diverse uses in data interchange, including that of REST APIs.

CRUD: An acronym for Create, Read, Update, Delete, it refers to the four basic types of SQL commands.

OAuth: An open-standard authorization protocol that provides applications the ability to access information from other websites without sharing passwords.

Data Lakehouse: A new data architecture that combines the best elements of data lakes and data warehouses in a single platform.

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