Things evolve to become ever more complex - not more simple.
What is ReST?
REST is an acronym for "representational state transfer" - terminology coined for the first time by Roy Fielding in his dissertation. REST is neither a "standard" nor a "protocol" - it is an architectural style or convention. Paul Prescod defines a REST web service aptly as "a web service that delivers its functionality entirely as a set of URI-addressable resources using the syntax and semantics of the HTTP protocol" - visit prescod.net for more information and some comparisons to SOAP and XML-RPC.
This project was inspired in part by sqlrest- a Java based REST project hosted at Source Forge.
The advantages of a REST based web service are simplicity, security and scalability. It doesn't rely on a special protocol layer such as SOAP or XML-RPC and exposes its API dynamically in terms of XML encoded data and links to XML encoded data. It uses a simplified set of semantics as defined in the HTTP protocol i.e. a reduced instruction set of GET, PUT, POST and DELETE. Simple firewall configurations can be used to protect and control access to data.