First and foremost, the Kiva API is a web-service API. It works like the web (e.g., HTTP) and works well with the tools of the web (e.g., browsers). More specifically, the Kiva API is a RESTful web-service API. To us, “REST” means that our API is resource-oriented where the method calls are actually URLs that point to data you fetch or modify. The “ful” part of this means that we are not that picky about a formal definition of REST and actually quite happy to use our intuition about things as we go along.
At Kiva, our resources are generally the nouns you think of when visiting our site – Loans, Lenders, Field Partners, and Lending Teams. Thus, in true RESTful fashion, if you wanted to fetch data about a loan at Kiva, you'd make an HTTP
GET request accompanied by the proper URI for the loan about which you want information. To create a loan, you might send a
POST request to a similar URI. Since the Kiva API currently only supports fetching data, you only need to concern yourself with
GET requests for now.
Generally, the RESTful nature of an API is wrapped up on the manner in which that API lets users modify, remove, or fetch data. However, it has some healthy implications for how other very important parts of the API work too.