Assaf writes about, among other things, REST as a simplifier of development against an existing system:
REST plays the same role as open source and open APIs: It eliminates tooling and vendoring as artificial barriers to adoption.
Interestingly, a corollary to this was brought up at Barcamp Brighton this weekend. During Gareth Rushgrove’s talk about REST and Nabaztag, a chap whose name I’ve again forgotten (although I’m sure someone like Fatty will enlighten me) pointed out that much of the push of SOAP is coming from the vendors, because the vendors make their money from selling tools, and REST development needs very few tools, most of which are free.
Undoubtedly there’s a set of problems that REST finds hard, but this truism is extended by SOAP vendors to the hard-to-prove (but also hard-to-contradict) claim that it’s a larger set, or a set more pertinent to enterprise solutions, than the set which SOAP finds hard. It convinces the consumers, because intelligent data mining and storage has always been a difficult problem, and a simple solution like REST feels like underkill for the job in hand. They let you confuse libre and gratis, the vendors point out (I see them sitting on the consumer’s shoulders with tridents at this point): so where’s the hidden cost of this free lunch?
(hat tip to Simon Willison)