Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg May 31, 2014

A history and future of Web APIs

Jacek Kopecký, Paul Fremantle and Rich Boakes


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.

Received: 2013-10-2
Accepted: 2014-4-4
Published Online: 2014-5-31
Published in Print: 2014-6-28

©2014 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow