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Difference between Soap and Rest | Know more about it

Last updated on 30th Jan 2023, Artciles, Blog

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Bharathi Suresh (Talend ETL Developer )

Bharathi Suresh has extensive experience with SQL, Teradata, Data warehousing, Talend open studio,MDM & MDM, ETL, mySQL. His articles assist in sharing information and abilities in core fields and provide students with informative knowledge.

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    • In this article you will learn:
    • 1.Introduction.
    • 2.What is SOAP?
    • 3.What is REST?
    • 4.Features of SOAP.
    • 5.Features of REST.
    • 6.SOAP vs REST.
    • 7.SOAP Advantages.
    • 8.REST Advantages.
    • 9.Conclusion.


When people say words like “soap” and “rest” it’s normal to think about them. In the IT field however these words have very different meanings. You can choose from a wide range of IT platforms and programming languages. Because of this variety there is a need for ways for these different things to talk to each other. Application Programming Interface or API is what you need.APIs make it possible for data to move from one application to another no matter what platform or language they use. The API gets requests and sends responses back using internet protocols like HTTP and SMTP.

What is SOAP?

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is the protocol for accessing web services over HTTP. It is based on XML. It is made as a middle language so that programmes written in different programming languages can talk to each other well. SOAP is used by Web services to share XML data between applications. Both stateful and stateless operations can be done with SOAP. Stateful means that the server keeps the information it gets from a client even after it has been asked for more than once. These requests are linked together so that a server can see what requests have already been made. Some examples are bank transactions, booking flights and so on. A Stateless messaging has enough information about the state of the client so that the server doesn’t have to worry about it.

What is REST?

REST which stands for “Representational State Transfer” is an architectural method for communicating that is often used in the development of different web services. It is the client-server model without state. RESTful web services are web services that are based on the idea of REST. When a client uses a RESTful API to make a request it sends the server a representation of the state of a resource. HTTP can send this information in different formats like JSON, HTML, XLT and plain text but JSON is the most common language because it is easy for both machines and people to understand.


Features of SOAP:

  • SOAP is an XML-based protocol and XML is also used to format data which makes it easy for programmers to understand.
  • It is the protocol that works on any platform.
  • It is an open standard protocol which means that anyone can use it.
  • It is a way to add XML messaging to the HTTP protocol.
  • SOAP messaging can be used to send messages from one computer to many others.
  • A client-server architecture is also possible to set up. By sending a SOAP protocol message the client can call a remote procedure call that is on the server side.
  • SOAP is a way for web services to send and receive data.
  • SOAP works by sending an envelope with information about what to do with the web services. The WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) file is usually sent in a SOAP envelope with a header and a body. SOAP needs more bandwidth because this whole envelope is sent to a service provider.

Features of REST:

  • These web services are fast because they use less bandwidth and other resources.
  • Any programming language can be used to write REST.
  • Any platform can be used to do these things.
  • It is a REST-based service that is small and easy to scale.
  • For CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) operations it uses HTTP verbs like GET, POST, DELETE, PUT and PATCH.
  • It supports basic encryption for communication through TLS (Transport Layer Security) so it is less secure than SOAP.
  • It is simple to make.
  • Compared to SOAP it needs less bandwidth to work.
    Full form It stands for a Simple Object Access Protocol It stands for a REpresentational State Transfer.
    Design It is the standardized protocol for a pre-defined rules to be follow. It has architectural style with a loose guidelines.
    Statefulness SOAP is by a default stateless, but it is possible to make this of API stateful. It is a stateful i.e. no server-side sessions can occur.
    Approach It is a functional-driven means that data here is available as a services eg getUser It is a data-driven meaning that data is available as a resources.
    Security It has a WS-security (Enterprise-level security) with the SSL support. It also has built-in ACID(Atomicity, Consistency, Integrity, Durability) compliance which is good feature for transactions and that’s why a SOAP is used while exchanging a sensitive information. It supports the HTTPS and aslo SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
    Caching SOAP API calls cannot be a cached. REST API calls can be a cached.
    Performance It requires a more bandwidth and computing power It requires a less resources and this makes it a more powerful.
    Messaging Format It only supports an XML format. It supports the various formats like a HTML, XML and JSON.
    Transfer Protocol It works on a HTTP, SMP, UDP, etc. So it is a recommended It only works on a HTTPS.
    JAVA API A JAX-WS is a java API for a SOAP web services. A JAX-RS is a java API for REST.
    Usage with one another SOAP cannot use a REST because SOAP is the protocol and REST has architectural style. REST can use a SOAP as protocol for a web services.
    An Exposing methods SOAP uses a WSDL to show which methods are supported and to give technical information. REST makes methods available through URIs but there are no technical details.
Soap and Rest

SOAP Advantages:

Here’s why it’s a good idea to use a SOAP:

  • Built-in an error handling.
  • It’s a standardized.
  • It functions well in distributed an enterprise environments.
  • It’s a platform, language, and transport independent.
  • It supplies the automation with the some language products.

REST Advantages:

Here’s why need a REST:

  • It has shorter learning curve.
  • It’s an efficient and fast.
  • It’s a design philosophy is more in-line with the other web technologies.
  • Employs simple -to-understand standards such as an OpenAPI Specification 3.0 and Swagger.

REST’s Drawbacks:

  • It’s not as secure as a SOAP.
  • It’s not suited for a distributed environments.


The two most popular web services are SOAP and REST. Both have their own importance in various scenarios. Need to choose one of them based on a requirements and the complexity of application. REST is simpler to a develop but on other hand SOAP provides a various other alternatives, therefore it is a slightly complex to develop.

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