Michelle Tabor

More Than REST - Presentation - Part One


Exploring API Architectures Beyond REST: My Journey through RPC, SOAP, and GraphQL

In my recent presentation, I took a deep dive into the world of API architectures, going beyond the ubiquitous REST that dominates the scene. While REST has undeniably shaped modern web development, my experience working with enterprise-level businesses has exposed me to a plethora of other protocols such as SOAP, RPC, and GraphQL, each with its own unique advantages and applications.

Who Am I?

I'm Michelle, VP of HubSpot Architecture at Bridge Rev, a marketing HubSpot agency based in Bricktown. My role involves collaborating with enterprises worldwide to optimize their systems and drive revenue. But beyond my professional endeavors, I'm also an avid learner, a race timer during the busy season, an enthusiastic dog mom, and a reformed World of Warcraft addict.

Embarking on the Journey

During my presentation, I took my audience on a journey through the evolution of API architectures. Starting with RPC, credited to Bruce J. Nelson, I highlighted its simple yet effective approach of executing scripts on remote servers. From there, I delved into SOAP, a protocol born out of the necessity for secure data exchange, particularly prevalent in regulated industries.

The narrative then shifted to REST, Roy Fielding's brainchild, which revolutionized API design with its stateless client-server architecture. However, I emphasized that REST isn't always the perfect fit for every scenario, prompting the exploration of alternatives.

Exploring API Protocols

RPC, often dubbed the "grandfather of APIs," boasts efficiency in distributed networking environments. While SOAP prioritizes secure data transmission, it comes with its own set of challenges, including complex implementations. Enter GraphQL, a game-changer in data retrieval, offering precision and performance unmatched by its predecessors.

Choosing the Right API Architecture

The key takeaway from my presentation was the importance of aligning API architecture with business and technical needs. I stressed the significance of considering factors such as business objectives, technical requirements, talent availability, and regulatory compliance.

Conclusion: Beyond REST

In conclusion, my presentation shed light on the diverse landscape of API architectures beyond REST. From the foundational principles of RPC to the secure data transmission of SOAP and the precision-driven approach of GraphQL, each protocol offers unique advantages and challenges. As enterprises navigate the complex technology landscape, understanding and selecting the right API architecture becomes crucial for success in today's interconnected world.