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The REST in RESTful API is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, a software architecture style. A RESTful API is a web service that was implemented using HTTP protocol and the constraints or principles of REST (services are called “RESTful” when they conform to REST’s constraint).
REST has emerged as the preferred web service design model, replacing SOAP-based and WSDL-based interfaces because it is significantly easier to use. Examples of mainstream web services using REST API’s include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Netflix, Android applications, LinkedIn, Twitter and Flickr.