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What is a REST API and how does it work?

REST (Representational State Transfer) is an architectural style for building web services. RESTful APIs use HTTP requests to POST (create), PUT (update), GET (read), and DELETE (delete) data.

A REST API defines a set of functions in which developers can perform requests and receive responses via HTTP protocols such as GET and POST. When a client makes a request to a REST API, it typically sends an HTTP request to a specific endpoint (or URL) with a specific HTTP method (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). The server then responds to the request with a status code indicating the outcome of the request, and a response body that may contain the requested data or a description of the error.

The key characteristic of a RESTful API is that it uses a uniform interface, which makes it possible for clients written in different programming languages to communicate with the API. REST APIs are widely used for building web-based applications, microservices, and mobile applications.