Case Studies Using Adobe™ Flex

Case Studies Using Adobe™ Flex

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6437-1.ch010
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REpresentational State Transfer (REST) is an architectural style that has recently emerged as a new approach to develop and deliver Web services. In fact, a great number of companies, such as eBay™, Twitter™, and™, have adopted REST to deliver Web services and Web feeds. This chapter offers a review of the support for consuming RESTful Web services in Adobe™ Flex™; then, it presents two case studies about the development of third-party RESTful Web services-based Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using Adobe Flex™ along with HyperText Markup Languages (HTML) and JavaScript. The case studies presented in this chapter are intended to explain the common prerequisites for using RESTful Web services Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as well as the particular implementation details, including the challenges and alternatives facing the capabilities and limitations of the target technologies. In addition, they exemplify the use of some User Interface (UI) patterns.
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2. Developing Rest Web Services-Based Applications

Representational State Transfer (REST) is a hybrid architectural style derived from several of network-based architecture styles and combined with additional constraints that defines a uniform connector interface. REST was stemmed from a PhD dissertation by Roy Fielding in 2000 (Fielding, 2000). Basically, it refers to a stateless client/server architecture where Web services and any other kind of reachable object such as document or image files are viewed as resources. Resources are identified by their Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and they can be accessed through a standard transfer protocol such as the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) by using the GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE methods. In fact, requests and responses to actions over resources are based on transferring representations to capture the current or intended state of the resources (“REST application programming,” 2010).

A REST-based (Application Programming Interface) API is a URI or a collection of URIs that can manage create, read, update and delete (CRUD) operations. Typically, a REST-based API exposes a base URI which is a URI common to all resources and serves as the entry point to the API. Moreover, REST-based APIs are programming language independent because they are accessible from any language that has an HTTP client library, including ActionScript, Java and PHP (“REST application programming,” 2010).

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