Difference between REST and SOAP

REST vs Soap

Difference between REST and SOAP

In this post, we’ll differentiate REST and SOAP .

REST : REST is an architectural style, unlike SOAP which is a standardized protocol. REST makes use of existing and widely adopted technologies, specifically HTTP, and does not create any new standards. REST is very data-driven, compared to SOAP, which is strongly function-driven.

SOAP : SOAP relies heavily on XML, and together with schema, defines a very strongly typed messaging framework.It is a mature protocol with a complete spec and is designed to expose individual operations – or pieces of operations – as web services. One of the most important characteristics of SOAP is that it uses XML rather than HTTP to define the content of the message.

Difference between REST and SOAP :

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol.
REST is an architectural style. SOAP is a protocol.
REST Created in 2000 by Roy Fielding SOAP created in 1998 by Dave Winer
REST can use SOAP web services because it is a concept and can use any protocol like HTTP, SOAP. SOAP can’t use REST because it is a protocol.
REST uses URI to expose business logic. SOAP uses services interfaces to expose the business logic.
JAX-RS is the java API for RESTful web services. JAX-WS is the java API for SOAP web services.
REST does not define too much standards like SOAP. SOAP defines standards to be strictly followed.
REST requires less bandwidth and resource than SOAP. SOAP requires more bandwidth and resource than REST.
RESTful web services inherits security measures from the underlying transport. SOAP defines its own security.
REST permits different data format such as Plain text, HTML, XML, JSON etc. SOAP permits XML data format only.
REST more preferred than SOAP. SOAP is less preferred than REST.
REST makes data available as resources SOAP makes data available as a service
REST follows the philosophy of the Open Web SOAP follows formal enterprise approach
REST works on top of the HTTP protocol Works on top of any communication protocol
REST can return data in multiple formats (JSON, XML etc) SOAP Uses only XML
Hard to enforce authorization and security on top of it Hard to implement and is unpopular among Web and mobile developers
REST can be used When clients and servers operate on a Web environment SOAP can be used when clients need to have access to objects available on servers
REST can be used when information about objects doesn’t need to be communicated to the client SOAP Can be used when you wants to enforce a formal contract between client and server
Famous REST example : LinkedIn Famous SOAP example : SalesForce, Paypal

Why REST is better than SOAP?

  • REST can be consumed by any client e.g.: Java, Python, Web Browser.
  • REST is lightweight as compared to SOAP.
  • REST has excellent support of Java with lots of choices e.g. REST Assured, Jersy, RESTLet etc.
  • REST is quite new technology than SOAP and used by major technical giants e.g. Twitter, Google

Conclusion :

The best way to choose in between REST and SOAP depends on their usage. HTTP standard makes REST a very attractive option for public APIs. Coupled together with JSON, which makes something like adding an optional parameter very simple, makes it very flexible and allows for frequent releases without any impacting .

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