CRUD is the short form of Create, Read, Update and Delete. It refers to the action of writing data in a storage system like a database where you can create, read, update or delete records. REST is the short form of Representational State Transfer. It is sort of an architecture such as a collection of web pages in a website and how they can be navigated. In recent times, it is related to web services or APIs and it has become RESTful. An API is an object that has a return value such as information about a product listed on the website or background information like the stock of a product and likewise.

One might think that REST is no way related to CRUD but it is. There are certain operations involved in REST and it is based on HTTP protocol. It uses GET method to read data, PUT method to modify data, POST method to create data and DELETE method to remove data. The comparison arises when one has to choose between the operation sets both of them provide. One can either choose GET, PUT, POST, DELETE or CREATE, READ, UPDATE, DELETE.

REST Vs CRUD – Similarities and Differences –

Difference In Working  –

REST can be worked on any object or resource starting from media file, website to document and other services. There is literally no restriction as you would expect in the web service. But the resources should be pointed via HTTP protocol only. RESTful architecture helps in creating a stable application surrounded by simplicity.

On the other hand, all the operations associated with CRUD as basically applicable to database records only. It is not yet that advance to help in creating APIs like REST. It does not get classified as an architecture as it is the case with REST. It is more of a cycle because, in a website or application, there are various cycles of CRUD that can exist. For example, in an e-cart website, a buyer can create an account, update the account, read the information, and even delete it. Similarly, he can create items in the shopping cart and perform every other CRUD operations.

Features –

RESTful architecture essentially establishes a relationship or a way of communication between the server and the client. On the client side, a customer sends a request to perform a certain action or fetch data and the server responds accordingly. It lets the option to select the operations possible and it works in statelessness mechanism whereby the request contains all the information necessary. It also helps in efficient use of the cache mechanism by determining whether the responses sent by the server are cacheable or not.

One of the main features that catapult REST architecture in the widespread API world is the fact that it prohibits the use of multiple interfaces within an API and lets one interface be distributed. It is the layered mechanism it uses that makes it scalable. There are multiple layers present in an interface and middleware can be added without any disruption.

For obvious reasons, CRUD lacks all these features as they are not required in its operation. It is more into SQL, DDS and HTTP protocol. CRUD is more for manipulating data while REST is more for interacting with a system like an application or website.

Integration –

You might have come across the concept of mapping CRUD into REST because the method of operations is similar. The methods of CRUD are essential and an integral part of REST. But that is where the similarities end. The vice versa is not possible due to lack of features and robustness in CRUD.  RESTful software architecture is meant to be more than just mapping GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE. The architectural system is built around resources and hypermedia. Resources are not just database or static data as it is the case with CRUD. The hypermedia means the relationships between the resources and their representations have to be uniform for the establishment of connections. CRUD, on the other hand, focuses more on the permanent storage of data and its persistent storage outlives the process that is responsible for creating it.

Final Verdict –

Even though beginners have preferred CRUD for various database related operations in a website or application, there are very limit scopes for expanding and making the development robust. On the other hand, REST or RESTful architecture is literally the choice of the professionals because there are various exclusive features that REST brings on the table that makes it give high performance, option to scale and develop with simplicity and reliability. The demand for RESTful architecture is always on the rise just as there is a massive decline in CRUD. REST can be defined as the CRUD of HTTP resources and then there is more which is where the differences lie.

Kitty Gupta