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A Comparison of Software Architecture

Software architecture is the set of structures that are created to navigate a software system. These structures are comprised of elements of the software, how those elements relate to each other, and properties of the elements are well as the relationships. Obviously, this architecture is not a literal, physical structure. It is a metaphor that allows one to conceptualize the software in comparison to a building. Usually, the specialists who create the software architecture create the structure based on the possibilities of the software as well as the requirements of the software. For example, software that controls traffic lights and signals needs to be very quick and responsive to real-world stimuli. Because of this, a computing language that operates in real time would be used. Also, this system would need to be reliable. Therefore, a structure that uses redundant copies and repetitive structures would make the system more reliable. These different types of systems and requirements are varied for many different applications. Therefore, many different software architectures exist and more are being created. They have different strengths and weaknesses that make them appropriate for certain applications.

Representational State Transfer

Representational State Transfer Architectural Pattern Interface (REST API) is a software architecture that is typically used to create web services. These web services are scalable. The architecture is a system of constraints that control the design parts of media systems that can lead to other architectures. It is very popular on the World Wide Web as a system that is simpler than some of the other alternatives.

Typically RESTful systems use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that web browsers use to communicate. Browsers typically use HTTP to retrieve web pages and send packets of information. Also, RESTful systems use the typical HTTP verbs such as GET, DELETE, PUT, and POST. Because of this RESTful systems are easier to code for those who are familiar with HTTP language. Also, because they use the same verbs and language as HTTP, RESTful systems are exceptionally simple and efficient for use on the web.

Features of the Architecture

The RESTful architecture means that clients and servers are separated. This means that client code can be portable and improved separately from the server code. Servers remain primarily concerned with data storage. Clients remain primarily focused on the user interface. Because servers are not concerned with user state or interface, they can be made as simple as possible and very scalable. Also, the servers and clients can be replaced or repaired independently.

The system is layered, so that when clients connect to servers, the client cannot be sure if it is connected to a main server or an intermediary. The servers along the way are required to cache almost all of the information packets. Therefore, packets in the system have to be classified as cacheable or not.

Only one constraint of the REST system is optional, and that is code on demand. With the code on demand active, a server can send the code to a client. Typically this is something such as the JAVA runtime applet. In the inverse, a client can send something such as JavaScript to the server.

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