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Showing posts from January, 2012

Gentle introduction to WADL (in Java)

WADL (Web Application Description Language) is to REST what WSDL is to SOAP. The mere existence of this language causes a lot of controversy (see: Do we need WADL? and To WADL or not to WADL). I can think of few legitimate use cases for using WADL, but if you are here already, you are probably not seeking for yet another discussion. So let us move forward to the WADL itself.

In principle WADL is similar to WSDL, but the structure of the language is much different. Whilst WSDL defines a flat list of messages and operations either consuming or producing some of them, WADL emphasizes the hierarchical nature of RESTful web services. In REST, the primary artifact is the resource. Each resource (noun) is represented as an URI. Every resource can define both CRUD operations (verbs, implemented as HTTP methods) and nested resources. The nested resource has a strong relationship with a parent resource, typically representing an ownership.

A simple example would be http://example.com/api/books …