REST vs SOAP APIs – A Beginner’s Friendly Guide

Thu May 19 2022

2 min read

REST and SOAP APIs are two of the widely used APIs for communication between client and the server. SOAP is a protocol designed before REST whereas, REST is an architectural style. SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. REST (Representational State Transfer) was made to fix problems with SOAP and provides a simple method of accessing web services.

Let’s talk about the differences between these two services from a beginner’s perspective. If you are not a beginner then consider reading this guide out.

REST vs SOAP APIs

Abbreviations

SOAP is Simple Object Access Protocol and REST is Representational State Transfer. SOAP is a Protocol whereas REST is an Architectural Style.

Security

SOAP supports WS-Security which is more good for integration with enterprise-level security tools. REST uses the more secure version i.e. HTTPS. REST is very appropriate for public available URLs, but when it comes down to confidential data being passed between the client and the server, REST is the worst mechanism to be used for web services.

Bandwidth

SOAP requires more bandwidth as its request contains more data than a REST request. As REST is more lightweight it does not have a negative impact on systems with large amounts of traffic like SOAP.

Payload

Payload is the carrying capacity of transmission data. REST uses HTTP and JSON, which lighten the payload whereas SOAP relies more on XML.

Caching

SOAP based calls cannot be cached. On the other hand, REST is the perfect solution when it comes to caching a lot of requests.

Ease of Coding

When it comes to coding the web services, REST is far easier than SOAP.

Wrap Up

After reading this guide, beginners will have an idea of what to use for web services.

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