Powering education with RestWS and Views XML Backend modules

This post will probably make some Services module users mad.. but I REALLY like the simplicity and scope of a module called RestWS.  RestWS stands for Restful Web service and it definitely has overlap with the Services module use-case in the Drupal ecosystem.  There are two major differences I’ve noticed from Services though that made me jump ships:

  • Services has a much more cumbersome setup where as RestWS is just sort of turn it on and it’s working for both single item return an querying
  • RestWS is ONLY for entities where Services has more capability for getting data exposed

As I’m creating a web service that’s basically a relational database done in Nodes and Field collections, it made the most sense to use something that only has this scope.

This screencast shows how you can use RestWS on Drupal site A and Views XML Backend on site B to connect the two.  The end result is that B is able to query A (securely) and visualize it via Views!  Plans are currently to use this approach in combination with LTI to extend the LMS experience directly into our services.  These services can then scale, change, upgrade, and migrate independently of one another.