Daniel Morrison

Making REST Difficult

VinPOWER’s VinLINK is a fairly simple web service for looking up car VIN data, but they make it sound really complicated:

The VinLINK system is a standard HTTP POST protocol.

  1. Open TCP/IP connection to VinLINK server.
  2. Send request formatted as an HTTP POST (RFC 2616, see http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2616.html).
    (for example: http://service.vinlink.com/report?type=basic&vin=1FMCUo4112KA7126 )
  3. The VinLINK server will access vehicle data, format it as XML, output the information through the same TCP/IP connection and close the connection.
    The information is sent as a standard HTTP reply, with content set to "text/xml".
  4. Reads the information and close your side of the TCP/IP connection.

Meanwhile, one of their competitors says:

You will find that using the decoder web service is as simple as making an HTTP request.

Using REST/XML you should be able to implement within 1 hour.

Two similar services. Two very different explanations.


  1. Ed Brown — January 24, 2007

    Hey Dan, are either of these services “free” or are they charging per decoded VIN? Glad to see your new blog.

  2. Daniel — February 01, 2007


    They all charge, usually per decoded VIN. I don’t remember exactly off the top of my head, but it starts around 20ยข/decode and drops with volume.

  3. Jami — January 19, 2024

    Using the decoder web service is straightforward, just like making an watermelon game.

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