Rest – the difference between HTTP and REST


After reading a lot about the differences between REST and SOAP, I got the impression that REST is just another word for HTTP. Can someone explain what functionality REST adds to HTTP?

Note: I'm not looking for a comparison of REST versus SOAP.

Update: Thanks for your answers. Now it has become clear to me that REST is just a set of rules about how to use HTTP. Hence I posted a follow-up about what the advantages of these conventions are .

Note: I now grasp the meaning of REST; as Emil Ivanov remarks, REST means using HTTP the way it's meant to be. However, I'm not sure whether this deserves a term of its own, and I certainly don't get the hype around it.

Best Solution

No, REST is the way HTTP should be used.

Today we only use a tiny bit of the HTTP protocol's methods – namely GET and POST. The REST way to do it is to use all of the protocol's methods.

For example, REST dictates the usage of DELETE to erase a document (be it a file, state, etc.) behind a URI, whereas, with HTTP, you would misuse a GET or POST query like ...product/?delete_id=22.