The REST architecture style has two constraints in particular that make it compelling for accessing and integrating data services:
- URLs are global identifiers that are used to identify resources, i.e., the data entities exposed trough data services
- URLs can also be used as links (pointers) to related resources, i.e. to identify composed/nested resources.
Therefore instead of copying by value one entity into another across data domains, one may maintain the IDs of related entities and follow the hypermedia links at runtime to navigate across entities.
The set of resources and links across entities reflect a nicely distributed data model across the resource scope. Netflix's movie and people catalog is a great example.
Such RESTful data service integration model may be applied across domains within organizations as well as across organizations.