February 04, 2003

REST and Session State

Bill de hӲa posts some ideas on adding session state to a REST-based approach, based on some comments by Paul Prescod :
REST constrains that state reside on the client [...] [but] when exprienced enterprise practitioners like Martin Fowler say that state belongs on the server, it makes you wonder whether REST has anything to offer here. [...]
Exposing session state as resources. That seems like a start towards understanding how REST and the web might be squared on state management.
[Bill de hӲa - REST and session state]
This subject seems to me like another example of a general application scenario that lies in the set of things that REST is just not well suited for. While the follow on comment by Bruno Dumon about a DB result set would seem to be an example to which REST can be successfully applied to (because it involves short-lived, client-controlled request state transitions), my hunch is that REST can't provide a clean solution to the general category of "conversation" style applications (involving server-controlled request state transitions) which is the more usual meaning of the concept of "session state". It will be interesting to see how Bill's and Paul's ideas develop in this area.

The type of applications that do / do not fit a resource-based style is a topic I will be speaking on at the OMG Web Services Workshop next week in a talk entitled "A Comparison of Service-oriented, Resource-oriented, and Object-oriented Architecture Styles".
Which reminds me, I must put the slides for that talk up publicly on the web too.....

Entry categories: Architecture
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at February 4, 2003 03:00 AM - [PermaLink]