Blackout Ireland

December 14, 2007 at 1:55PM Amazon’s SimpleDB is something of a disappointment

Don’t get me wrong, SimpleDB [via] is quite a good idea, and I especially like the idea of eventual consistency, but my problem is with the interface.

If you’re going to advertise something as having a REST interface, you can’t just tunnel RPC over GET or POST. That ain’t REST. They screwed up the “REST” interface for it exactly the same way as they screwed up the one for SQS and FPS. In fact, I’d even say it was the same developer or team who wrote them.

So I’d ask the Amazon developers to get a clue and learn how to do it right before spreading misinformation about REST. Also, if they’re going to tunnel RPC over HTTP, could they at least do it with POST?

The killing thing about it is there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever they couldn’t have done thing right. After all, the RPC interface almost has a uniform interface (though they’ve screwed the proverbial pooch on that a bit), and would map perfectly well on to HTTP’s uniform interface, and expose domain lists, domains, and items as resources.

It’s a lost opportunity to do something really cool.

Update (December 17th): While some of us were out doing Christmas shopping, other people were fixing the sucker’s interface (Subscribed!) [via]. If Amazon have any sense, they’ll throw out the current “REST” interface and adopt one like this.

Update (after I read my mail): Just been reading REST-discuss. Here’s another suggested mapping [via] that’d work just fine. Of course, all that matters is that the content types are the same for the various representations, and that the same set of operations can be performed on the resources. The URL mapping doesn’t matter after that except as an aesthetic issue.


1 On December 16, 2007 at 19:23, Avi Flax wrote:

Hear, hear!! I was thinking the exact same thing when I was reading about it. I’m excited to use it as well, but every time I do I’m going to cringe a little at the misuse of the term REST.