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Restlet Framework 2.1 M6 and 2.0.9 released August 20, 2011

Posted by Jerome Louvel in GWT, NIO, OData, Restlet Releases.
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We are still on track for the 2.1 RC1 release in September, but so many enhancements and bug fixes were added since 2.1 M5 that we thought it would be useful to many users to have this intermediary milestone.

Bug fixed

First, the 2.0.9 version fixes 10 issues on the stable branch including:

  • Inappropriate warning message about child contexts
  • IO flushing issue that could create troubles with writer based representations such as JsonRepresentation
  • Conversion of representations to instances of primitive type using the default converter
  • Handling of binary data in OData extension
  • Default converter took precedence over specialized converters when converting incoming representations
  • Lack of warning message when an unexpected error happen during the invocation of an asynchronous callback

Those fixes are of course also available in the new 2.1 release.

Major changes

In addition, version 2.1 Milestone 6 contains several major enhancements and new features summarized below.

  • Improved Restlet annotation value syntax to support alternate variants using ‘|’ and combination of several metadata for a single variant using ‘+’ separator. Also, all metadata are now supported, not just media types. In addition, support for URI query constraints was added to allow annotations such as @Get(“form:json?light”) or @Get(“?level=2”), working on both client and server side
  • Added org.restlet.ext.html extension supporting writing HTML forms in either URL encoded format or multipart form data, with the same FormDataSet class. Parsing of multipart form data isn’t supported yet.
  • Added CookieAuthenticator in the org.restlet.ext.crypto extension to provide customizable and secure authentication via cookies, in a way that is as compatible as possible with HTTP challenge based authentication
  • Added ConnegService providing a way to control the content negotiation behavior at the application level. It offers two modes: strict and flexible (default) but additional algorithms can be implemented.
  • Added org.restlet.ext.emf extension supporting the conversion between EMF generated beans and XML or XMI representations. It can also automatically write simple HTML representations for navigating your web API.
  • Added HTTPS server connector based on the internal non-blocking NIO connector. Co-developed with NetDev.
  • Many minor enhancement to the Restlet API for conveniency purpose such as a new Representation.append(Appendable) method.

API breaking change

When retrieving or updating the raw headers in the Request or Response attributes, the type should now be Series<Header> instead of Series<Parameter>

 

Recent contributors

  • Bryan Hunt
  • Cyril Lakech
  • David Bordoley
  • David Hamilton
  • Glenn Bruns
  • Jean-Pascal Boignard
  • Jeroen Goubert
  • John Logdson
  • Konstantin Pelykh
  • Martin Svensson
  • Nikhil Purushe
  • Ray Waldin
  • Remi Dewitte
  • Scott S. McCoy
  • Tim Peierls
  • Thomas Eskenazi

Thanks to all others who helped us in various ways for this milestone.

Additional resources

Changes log:
http://www.restlet.org/documentation/2.0/jse/changes
http://www.restlet.org/documentation/2.1/jse/changes

Download links:
http://www.restlet.org/downloads/

Maven repositories:
http://maven.restlet.org

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Restlet supports OData, the Open Data Protocol March 15, 2010

Posted by Jerome Louvel in GData, OData, RDF, Restlet.
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OData adoption

Since the release of our Restlet extension for ADO.NET Data Services in September 2009, many changes happened on this front. Microsoft has been busy enhancing their technology, splitting it into an open specification for the REST API called OData, for Open Data Protocol, and using WCF Data Services for the server-side framework. This article gives an overview of the technology, and this page the full specifications of the protocol.

The OData protocol has also been embraced by IBM in its Java-based WebSphere eXtreme Scale product and Microsoft has leveraged it in several of its products like Excel PowerPivot, SharePoint Server, Windows Azure Table Storage and SQL Server Reporting. Other recent initiatives are the project code-named “Dallas“, which offers a market place for data services with full support for access control and billing, and the OData visualizer part of Visual Studio 2010.

In addition, public OData services are starting to pop-up, like the one to access Netflix’s media catalog. Microsoft has been providing examples via the OGDI initiative and for the MIX’10 conference. Here is a longer list of producers.

Enhanced Restlet extension

While preparing our recent Restlet Framework 2.0 RC1 release, we enhanced our Restlet extension for OData, moving it from the “org.restlet.ext.dataservices” to the “org.restlet.ext.odata” package and adding support for those advanced features:

  • Projections, similar to database views
  • Transparent server-side paging
  • Blobs, to expose media resources
  • Row counts retrieval
  • Customizable Atom feeds
  • Version headers
  • Operations, to expose stored procedures

The extension is also available on the Restlet edition for Android, allowing you to directly access OData services, for example hosted on Azure cloud computing platform, from a smart phone.

The diagram above illustrates how useful the Restlet extension for OData is becoming, as a high-level client for data services powered by a growing number of server-side technologies. For explanation on how to use this extension, read the Restlet user guide page for the extension as well as a detailed tutorial.

Towards standardization

All those initiatives have caught attention with articles and posts like:

An interesting thing to watch going forward is how this technology will be compared with Google Data Protocol (GData) alternative. In his OData Q&A page, Microsoft hopes for a collaboration with Google on an official set of extension to the Atom suite of standards.

Yahoo! has also worked on a similar technology called DataRSS, and finally the W3C is pushing the Linked Data, an application of the Semantic Web, as a way to transform the Web of documents into a Web of data, with technologies like RDF and SPARQL.

Updates: