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REST Api what is the difference between endpoint and resource

asrar7787 profile image Asrar ・1 min read

The terms resource and endpoint are often used synonymously. But in fact they do not mean the same thing.

The term endpoint is focused on the URL that is used to make a request.
The term resource is focused on the data set that is returned by a request.

Now, the same resource can often be accessed by multiple different endpoints.
Also the same endpoint can return different resources, depending on a query string.

Let us see some examples:

Different endpoints accessing the same resource
Have a look at the following examples of different endpoints:

/api/companies/5/employees/3
/api/v2/companies/5/employees/3
/api/employees/3

They obviously could all access the very same resource in a given API.

Also an existing API could be changed completely. This could lead to new endpoints that would access the same old resources using totally new and different URLs:

/api/employees/3
/new_api/staff/3

One endpoint accessing different resources

If your endpoint returns a collection, you could implement searching/filtering/sorting using query strings. As a result the following URLs all use the same endpoint (/api/companies), but they can return different resources (or resource collections, which by definition are resources in themselves):

/api/companies
/api/companies?sort=name_asc
/api/companies?location=germany
/api/companies?search=siemens

ref: https://stackoverflow.com/a/50524312/9185662

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