OData, REST, REST API What are the differences ?

In this post i will explain the differences between OData, REST, REST API

OData …
** Is built on top of the AtomPub protocol. The AtomPub protocol is one of the best examples of REST API design. So, in a sense you are right – the OData is just another REST API and each OData implementation is a REST-ful web service.
** It is protocol.
** OData – the best way to REST. It is an open protocol to allow the creation and consumption of queryable and interoperable RESTful APIs in a simple and standard way.

REST …
** Is architecture style and design pattern
** Is a generic design technique used to describe how a web service can be accessed. Using REST you can make http requests to get data. If you try it in your browser it would be just like going to a website except instead of returning a web page you would get back XML. Some services will also return data in JSON format which is easier to use with Javascript.
** Is an architecture of how to send messages over HTTP.
** REST is a software architechure style, just the description of what should you do and how do get yourself a scalable web service

REST API
** Application Programming Interface made by REST architechure standarts

In summary, OData is one way of REST. other people have explained REST is a design pattern an architectural, an interface while Data is a concrete protocol.
So, REST = Architectural style, Odata = protocol which is built with the aforementioned architectural style. REST API = an implementation which with the aforementioned architectural and may or may not use Data protocol

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