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Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node [Paperback]

Mike Amundsen

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Book Description

Dec 4 2011 1449306578 978-1449306571 1

With this concise book, you’ll learn the art of building hypermedia APIs that don’t simply run on the Web, but that actually exist in the Web. You’ll start with the general principles and technologies behind this architectural approach, and then dive hands-on into three fully-functional API examples.

Too many APIs rely on concepts rooted in desktop and local area network patterns that don’t scale well—costly solutions that are difficult to maintain over time. This book shows system architects and web developers how to design and implement human- and machine-readable web services that remain stable and flexible as they scale.

  • Learn the H-Factors for representing application metadata across all media types and formats
  • Understand the four basic design elements for authoring hypermedia types
  • Convert a simple read-only XML-based media type into a successful API design
  • Examine the challenges and advantages of designing a hypermedia type with JSON
  • Use HTML5’s rich set of hypermedia controls in the API design process
  • Learn the details of documenting, publishing, and registering media type designs and link-relation types

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About the Author

An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the United States and Europe consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, Cloud computing, and other subjects. His recent work focuses on the role hypermedia plays in creating and maintaining applications that can successfully evolve over time. He has more than a dozen books to his credit and recently contributed to the book "RESTful Web Services Cookbook" (by Subbu Allamaraju). When he is not working, Mike enjoys spending time with his family in Kentucky, USA.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to hypermedia Jan. 8 2012
By Glenn Block - Published on
If you are a hypermedia developer you should read this book. If you are building web apis to reach multiple devices then you should read this book. If you are building web apis that will be around for a long time and evolve over many versions, then read this book. Hypermedia systems have been around since the dawn of the web, however they have mainly been HTML pages offered up to a browser agent. It Is extremely rare that you see the usage of hypermedia in web apis / machine to machine scenarios.

Hypermedia is basically a black art that very few folks actually understand. I experienced this first hand as the Program Manager for a new web api framework we were building at Microsoft, as hypermedia was something that we wanted our framework to support. I immediately discovered that there was very little literature on the concept, there was no definitive reference to turn to. The guidance was mainly spread through a set of articles and through thousands of mail threads. Mike is one of the few who actually gets it having many years of experience building such systems. He is one of the foremost experts on the topic. Just head to his blog or the REST discussion list and you'll see this is the case.

This book is important because wIth it Mike lifts the veil of mystery of how to build such systems, taking it from a black art to something broadly available to developers. Mike goes into depth defining what hypermedia is and the different ways it can manifest itself. He describes the different types of hypermedia controls and how best to use them. Mike also pays particular attention to using hypermedia in javascript agents running in the browser, something that is extremely relevant today considering the rise of rich ajax style applications using frameworks like jQuery and extjs. The book is not a book of theory, from start to finish it uses real world examples to illustrate the concepts.

I highly recommend it!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical hypermedia API example May 16 2012
By Norman Richards - Published on
As REST discussion has matured into a focus on hypermedia APIs, it's easy to get lost amidst all the ideas. Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node grounds the discussion by providing a few practical examples that can be absorbed and understood. Instead of saying "a hypermedia API could work like ..." this book simply creates a few APIs and implements client and server functionality on them. It's not an exhaustive discussion of ideals, it's something you can take and immediately apply. If you are wondering "Ok, I get it, but how would it actually work in practice" then this book is for you.

Note - although the examples in the book are implemented in nodejs, it is clearly not a book about nodejs. The language and tools are implementation details. You could easily implement these APIs in any language.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatic Tutorial on Designing and Building Hypermedia APIs April 12 2012
By Ryan Riley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you don't know what a hypermedia API is, think that REST is all about pretty URIs, or think RPC is all the rage, you owe it to yourself to amend your thinking by picking up this book. I don't think this will convince you to go all out for hypermedia, but you'll get a solid, clear foundation for how hypermedia can help you better design and implement web APIs. This book covers the case for both human and machine clients. In particular, I found the use of HTML5 a real treat, as I'd never considered it for machine-to-machine communications. I highly recommend it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice intro to hypermedia apis June 5 2012
By Gerald S. Radcliff - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good intro to building hypermedia apis. It definitely gives you the information that you need to start reviewing if hypermedia apis are right for you. Don't let the HTML5 and Node thing throw you, the information really does apply to whatever language you are working with.
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall it's a great book April 20 2013
By Mateus P. Velloso - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a great intro to hypermedia and if you work with web services of any kind, any technology it's the kind of book that helps expanding your horizons and suggesting different approaches to common problems. I don't think the title was a great choice. "Why web services often fail and what we can do about it" could have worked better :) Or maybe "The Woodstock of web services" :) Anyways, the only reason for not giving it 5 stars is that I'm not entirely convinced of the practicality of some of those concepts. But that's absolutely nothing against the author nor the book, it's just that hypermedia services are so different than traditional web services that you have to question a few things before start making design changes here and there. Definitely a book worth reading.

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