Differences SOAP vs REST: 🔍 Comparison of protocols and their security

  • Why should a developer choose and ditch others?
  • Can these two be used at a time?
  • …and so on.

What Is SOAP?

Basic Features of SOAP

  • It is built with XML and can only be used for web services.
  • SOAP uses a lot of bandwidth for message processing as SOAP messages hold a huge chunk of data.
  • SOAP can’t be used by REST

When To Use SOAP?

  1. Use it for synchronous processing and invocation subsequently

Example SOAP API

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<m:Trans xmlns:m="https://www.example.com/transaction/"
<m:GetEmployee xmlns:m="https://www.example.com/prices">

Pros and Cons Of SOAP

  • With SOAP, developers will be able to use WSDL. WSDL is the Web Services Description Language used widely to explain web service procedures and access methods. It serves as a comprehensive resource to learn about API consumption. It makes API development a seamless experience.
  • SOAP is a great tool to have when working with multiple extensions is the aim. It has an amazing compatibility extension like WS Addressing, WS Security, and WS Federation and can join hands with them to double-up the application capabilities. In short, it makes creating highly functional apps a little strenuous task.
  • SOAP is a protocol-neutral protocol and can be accessed easily via HTTP, SMTP, TCP, and many other kinds of application protocols. This also means a wide range of users can bring it into practice.
  • While SOAP is doing a wonderful job, it lacks at certain fronts. And, before you think of using it, knowing the areas wherein can disappoint you is crucial.
  • The biggest drawback of SOAP is that it uses XML for payload data transfer. XML takes longer than usual time for this job that further gives birth to multiple performance issues.
  • The second thing that can force people to stay away from SOAP is its complicated syntax. It can only work with XML and it demands a little more effort and time to extract or read data from envelopes. So, it lengthens the API development time.

What Is REST?

Basic features of REST

  • REST takes the help of Uniform Service locators to reach at the heart of the hardware device components.
  • REST is the base for data communication, which happened in the modern application infrastructure.
  • While SOAP can’t use REST, REST can use SOAP. It uses it as a key protocol of web services describing the tool. In fact, it will need SOAP for completing the application development as it’s only an architectural pattern and doesn’t have any standard format for explaining web services.

When to use REST?

  1. Use it when you have restricted bandwidth

Example REST API

"name": "XYZ",
"location": "India",
"title": “developer”,
joinYear: 2010

Pros and Cons Of REST

  • REST came into being a little later than SOA. Yet, it has managed to garner a notable significance all because of the impressive benefits it renders to the end-users. Here are the perks that every REST user will enjoy.
  • REST is a stateless pattern and allows each web service call to carry all the necessary information. It doesn’t bank upon any other client-server context for information storing. Because of this, it speeds up the entire process.
  • APIs developed using REST are highly flexible and can collect the server data in multiple formats. Formats like Atom, JSON, and XML are well supported with REST. So, great freedom in using the format is granted.
  • In REST, responses are catchable. Such responses are great to improve the web service performance as all the unwanted calls to the backend are removed.
  • No matter how lucrative REST seems, it has some downsides as well. For instance, there are no specific and globally recognized standards, which is the case with SOAP. Because of this, developers end up using it as per their choices and API development becomes complex.
  • There are a couple of REST permutations.
  • REST-based applications are also very cramped to the HTTP protocol which restricts them.

Why is REST Faster Than SOAP Web Services?

SOAP vs REST API: Which is More Secure?

Benefits of REST Over SOAP

  1. REST grants a wide range of data formats to work with. SOAP is very limited at this front. Other than XML, it doesn’t support anything else.
  2. REST, when used with JSON, is a piece of cake. Without much complexity, it can be used.
  3. Brower clients, using REST, are going to enjoy great technical support.
  4. As caching of information, done is REST, is not altered, and is dynamic, the applications will have better performance.
  5. It’s most commonly used and has been praised by leaders like Amazon, eBay, Google, and Yahoo for its seamless operations.
  6. REST is easy to work with at every front. Whether you talk about its ability to work with less bandwidth or amazing integration power, it stands out at every front. Developers will be able to work from scratch and finish the job in less time. However, that speediness will have no negative impact on the functionality. It will still be top-notch.

Benefits of SOAP Over REST

  1. SOAP offers a pre-made retry logic that is used as compensation for failed communication. REST has no such thing. In case of communication failure, retrying is the only option.
  2. SOAP is a highly standardized format and suggests a certain set of rules. Because of this, maintaining quality and standardization becomes easy. REST has no standard rules.
  3. The standard HTTP protocol of SOAP makes it possible to remain functional across multiple firewalls and proxies without getting involved in tedious modification.
  4. When it comes to compatibility with extensions, SOAP has an upper hand as it can work wonderfully with WS-Addressing, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Coordination, and various other options, as suggested by W3C.





CEO at Wallarm. Application security platform to prevent threats and discover vulnerabilities in a real-time.

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Ivan Novikov

Ivan Novikov

CEO at Wallarm. Application security platform to prevent threats and discover vulnerabilities in a real-time.

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