REST API entry point and endpoint

What is a REST API entry point and how is it different from an endpoint?

I have searched for various definitions online but still can't seem to wrap my head around them (I am new to APIs in general). From what I understand, they provide means of communicating with the server but what are they exactly and how are entry points and endpoints similar or different?

1 answer

  • answered 2018-11-08 12:59 Roman Vottner

    Simply speaking an entry point might be something like http://api.your-company.com which a clinet will enter without any a-priori knowledge. The API will teach the client everything it needs to know in order to make informed choices on what things it could do next.

    Regarding Endpoints Wikipedia i.e. state the following:

    Endpoint, the entry point to a service, a process, or a queue or topic destination in service-oriented architecture

    In a borad sense the endpoint is just the target host invoked that should process your request (or delegate to some other machines in case of load balancing and what not). In a more narrow sense an endpoint is just the server-sided stuff invoked that is processing your request. I.e. an URI like http://api.your-company.com/users/12345 will ask for a users representation (assuming a GET request). The concrete user is the resource processed while the endpoint might be actually a Spring (or framework of your choice) based service handling all requests targeting everything http://api.your-company.com/users/* related.