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Rest and Soap Web Services

Hi, Hope you are doing well. This post is focused on Rest & Soap.

Let start with introduction.

What is SOAP?

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It is a XML-based protocol for accessing web services.
SOAP is a W3C recommendation for communication between two applications.
It is platform independent and language independent. 

SOAP is a protocol which was designed before REST and came into the picture. The main idea behind designing SOAP was to ensure that programs built on different platforms and programming languages could exchange data in an easy manner. SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol.

What is REST?

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer.
REST is an architectural style not a protocol.

REST was designed specifically for working with components such as media components, files, or even objects on a particular hardware device. Any web service that is defined on the principles of REST can be called a RestFul web service. A Restful service would use the normal HTTP verbs of GET, POST, PUT and DELETE for working with the required components. REST stands for Representational State Transfer.

Difference Between Rest and Soap

  1. SOAP is a protocol. whereas REST is an architectural style.

  2. SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol and REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer.

  3. SOAP can't use REST because it is a protocol but REST can use SOAP web services because it is a concept and can use any protocol like HTTP, SOAP.

  4. SOAP uses services interfaces to expose the business logic whereas REST uses URI to expose business logic.

  5. JAX-WS is the java API for SOAP web services and JAX-RS is the java API for RESTful web services.

  6. SOAP defines standards to be strictly followed and REST does not define too much standards like SOAP.

  7. SOAP requires more bandwidth and resource than REST and REST requires less bandwidth and resource than SOAP.

  8. SOAP defines its own security whereas RESTful web services inherits security measures from the underlying transport.

  9. SOAP permits XML data format only and REST permits different data format such as Plain text, HTML, XML, JSON etc.

  10. SOAP is less preferred than REST.

When to use Rest ?

This means areas that REST works really well for are:

  • Limited bandwidth and resources; remember the return structure is really in any format (developer defined). Plus, any browser can be used because the REST approach uses the standard GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE verbs. Again, remember that REST can also use the XMLHttpRequest object that most modern browsers support today, which adds an extra bonus of AJAX.

  • Totally stateless operations; if an operation needs to be continued, then REST is not the best approach and SOAP may fit it better. However, if you need stateless CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations, then REST is it.

  • Caching situations; if the information can be cached because of the totally stateless operation of the REST approach, this is perfect.

When to use Soap?

if you have the following then SOAP is a great solution:

  • Asynchronous processing and invocation; if your application needs a guaranteed level of reliability and security then SOAP 1.2 offers additional standards to ensure this type of operation. Things like WSRM – WS-Reliable Messaging.

  • Formal contracts; if both sides (provider and consumer) have to agree on the exchange format then SOAP 1.2 gives the rigid specifications for this type of interaction.

  • Stateful operations; if the application needs contextual information and conversational state management then SOAP 1.2 has the additional specification in the WS* structure to support those things (Security, Transactions, Coordination, etc). Comparatively, the REST approach would make the developers build this custom plumbing.

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