Monday, April 30, 2012

REST Clients

There're a bunch of helpful web clients (or REST clients) for testing RESTful web services. I mostly use a Firefox Add on called RESTClient.

REST clients are essential when developing RESTful web services. Obviously you can just use any web browser to test GETs, but REST clients also provide formatted views of XML and JSON payloads which is helpful. With a REST client it's also easy to perform all of the HTTP verbs/actions and hit a web service's POST, PUT and DELETE methods.

For example to test PUT and POST, I'll use RESTClient to perform a GET on an SData resource and then I'll copy and paste the payload that was returned into the payload field and make a change. Then I'll do a POST or PUT back to the RESTful web service to create a new resource or change an existing resource.

There’re REST clients for most browsers, here're a few:
Firefox RESTClient illustration:

SData Client

For testing SData web services there's a good Windows application available on GitHub called SDataClientApp that was built by the SalesLogix team to demonstrate the use of the .NET SData client libraries. This Windows application is focused on SData, for example it can display SData XML or JSON payloads in a Grid. SDataClientApp does everything and more then the browser based clients above.

The SData client libraries for .NET and JavaScript are also available on GitHub. The client libraries are available here:

I'll write more about the SData client libraries soon. 

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