A history and future of Web APIs

Jack Kopecky, Paul Fremantle, Rich Boakes

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Distributed information systems predominantly have client-server architectures, as does the Web itself. In this article, we review the evolution of the interface of client-server distributed systems, from Messaging and RPC systems that predate the Web, to RESTful Web APIs. We highlight the often overlooked importance of the client-server interface in Web applications, and we reference historic and current systems to discuss the roles of "Web Service" technologies and Service-Oriented Architectures. Considering the future, we point out four directions in which we can see Web APIs moving, including the incorporation of hypermedia and semantics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
JournalInformation Technology
Issue number3
Early online date31 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Programming Techniques,
  • Distributed programming,
  • Software architectures
  • History of Computing Systems


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