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.
SOAP is Simple Object Access Protocol and REST is Representational State Transfer. SOAP is a Protocol whereas REST is an Architectural Style.
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.
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 is the carrying capacity of transmission data. REST uses HTTP and JSON, which lighten the payload whereas SOAP relies more on XML.
SOAP based calls cannot be cached. On the other hand, REST is the perfect solution when it comes to caching a lot of requests.
When it comes to coding the web services, REST is far easier than SOAP.
After reading this guide, beginners will have an idea of what to use for web services.