REST programming interface

Web services are playing a key role in the growth of companies in a digital world. The REST programming interface in field devices supports convenient data availability as a significant prerequisite for building end-to-end application structures.

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Two people discussing data integration requirements in a factory hall

Data availability Application development in modern enterprises

Complete data availability is an indispensable criterion for building end-to-end application structures that are fit for the future. At the same time, application developers must complete data integration in ever shorter timeframes. Accessing data from field devices can bring its own challenges. The goal of this phase is the complete integration of data from the field device into the higher-level software application. Industrial field devices provide their data via various communication protocols. A REST API is one of them.

REST, API, and JSON logos

Definition of REST, API, and JSON ("{}")

REST, or “REpresentional State Transfer”, is a communication architecture widely used in the IT environment. It is a user-friendly interface architecture that uses a widely known protocol of the Internet. Data transfer takes place with the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

API is the acronym of Application Programming Interface.

The curly brackets stand for the notation of the contents, which are masked in the same way as objects in the JavaScript programming language (JSON: JavaScript Object Notation), e.g., for an object of the serial number.

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Data integration with REST Convenient in implementation, consistent in notation

Data integration via HTTP queries is available by default in conventional programming libraries. In addition, implementation is accelerated by the fact that many developers already know how a REST architecture works from other software projects. Likewise, the popularity of a continuous notation of information objects in accordance with JavaScript (JSON) is steadily increasing.

By using HTTP, REST, and JSON in field devices, there is no need to build up specialized knowledge of industrial communication protocols or the associated implementation of register tables.