REST APIs: A Large-Scale Analysis of Compliance with Principles and Best Practices

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Carlos Rodríguez

Marcos Baez

Florian Daniel

Fabio Casati

Juan Carlos Trabucco

Luigi Canali

Gianraffaele Percannella


Quickly and dominantly, REST APIs have spread over the Web and percolated into modern software development practice, especially in the Mobile Internet where they conveniently enable offloading data and computations onto cloud services. We analyze more than 78 GB of HTTP traffic collected by Italy’s biggest Mobile Internet provider over one full day and study how big the trend is in practice, how it changed the traffic that is generated by applications, and how REST APIs are implemented in practice. The analysis provides insight into the compliance of state-of-the-art APIs with theoretical Web engineering principles and guidelines, the knowledge that affects how applications should be developed to be scalable and robust. The perspective is that of the Mobile Internet.

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