A RESTful web service or API is a type of application program interface that uses HTTP requests and is based on “representational state transfer” (REST) technology. Application program interface, or API, is code that sets the uniform standard for how a developer writes a program that needs to request something between operating systems or applications. Using HTTP requests, REST API can perform operations like GET, POST, PUT and DELETE.
A REST API is preferable to SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) API technology for a number of reasons. RESTful APIs are:
- Easy to maintain
- Scalable and flexible
- Efficient and fast
- Smaller and consume less bandwidth
- Able to be used without expensive, third-party tools
In addition, documentation for REST is easier to understand, returns readable results and permits many different data formats. REST is also especially good for cloud-based applications because of its stateless calls, which are beneficial because nothing is kept between REST executions and because stateless calls are easy to redeploy and to scale. These are all good reasons to select REST instead of SOAP, especially when using Forte products and features like our Virtual Terminal, reporting or Forte.js.
Forte’s REST API can be used for a number of scenarios, including transaction management, application submission, Webhooks, tokenization and customized application design. It supports multiple programming languages, such as JSON, Java, PHP, Ruby and VB.NET.
REST is best suited for those merchants who are tech-savvy and have developer resources to consume our API calls, such as ISVs with multiple merchants or third-party app developers that aim to receive and leverage our webhooks.
For code samples, visit our documentation. If you need assistance determining which API is right for you, contact us at 866.290.5400.