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I am Developing a E-Commerce Web Application as a part of my learning using Spring Hibernate and AngularJs.

I have written some Rest API's Controllers in Spring and then from the Web Component i am invoking the same using Angular Js like the below :-

 storezillaadminapp.service('CategoryService',function($http){

    var listCategories = [];

     this.getAllCategories = function() { 
         return $http.get(_contextPath+'/categories');
     };

     this.addCategory = function(category) {
       return $http.post(_contextPath+'/categories/add',category);  
     };

     this.updateCategory = function(category) {
       return $http.put(_contextPath+'/categories/edit',category);  
     };

     this.removeCategory = function(id) {
         return $http.delete(_contextPath+'/categories/remove/'+id);
     };
 });
  1. The concern here is, It is a Good idea to expose the rest api's from javascript code like the above ? The reason for asking this is that, at the end of the day, all the js files get downloaded onto the clients machines making your API more vulnerable. What would be the ways to hide this even if the approach is used.

  2. I have seen lots of applications which write some Server side Ajax Code to handle Ajax Requests.

Thanks !

  • All you (hopefully) expose is the API's interface. This is common enough and no reason for concern assuming that your code is safe. Basically your REST API should not be much different from a normal site, just you return JSON data instead of HTML. Comparing your sample code that's just the same info I get about a web site looking at its URLs. (also there is no reasonable save way to hide your JS code). Of course all the business logic should be kept on the server and be handled by the code that responds to the API requests. – thorsten müller Jul 10 '16 at 13:16
  • On a related but side note, I'd change the name of storezillaadminapp to something more readable if possible. camelCase (i.e. storeZillaAdminApp, maybe something shorter), would work wonders. – grooveplex Jul 10 '16 at 13:36
  • @thorsten müller Thanks ! your answer sounds more convincing. Now here is a scenario wherein i am putting REST URI's in Js file and on the more the Angular Routing part in Js files too. One can easily take those url and call it from external tools rather than from applications itself. But on the second thoght i feel that there's no other way to protect your API url's from external world. – Mitesh Manani Jul 10 '16 at 13:40
  • You should never assume that if you have a publicly facing API that you are protecting that API by not making the client code easily visible. Someone could just find your server on the internet and start sending requests to it and seeing what happens. If you want to restrict access to the server you should always implement authentication and authorisation on the server, whether the client code is in a easy to read JS script or in a hard to read compiled C++ library. – Cormac Mulhall Jul 11 '16 at 8:56
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If we're talking about JavaScript then yes, it is a good idea, because it's, sadly, the only tool at your disposal.

Think of your REST API as a public website. When you are creating a website and you do not want users to do something, you do not implement that functionality or forbid certain users from using it. With a REST API which should have public endpoints it is pretty much the same, you need to treat it like a public website.

Your REST API should be robust enough not to allow invalid operations, such as access to data from a different user.

If you are worried that some people could (D)DoS the server on which the REST web service runs, you are worrying too much. The same may happen even when you do not have a (REST) web service at all and everything is processed through standard requests.

If the REST API provides back-end logic for a public application you should treat the REST API the same, with the same accessibility. If you have a REST API which should be private then it obviously should not be a part of a public website and should be shared through private channels, and if deemed necessary be restricted only to specific users/IPs.

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