Wed Apr 22 2020

Advantages and disadvantages of RestAPI over SOAP

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Advantages and disadvantages of RestAPI over SOAP

As the Internet industry improves day by day, creating a REST API becomes more concrete with emerging best practices. As RESTful web services don't follow a prescribed standard except for HTTP, it's important to build your RESTful API in accordance with best practices to ease development and increase client adoption.


A RESTful API is an application program interface that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It's based on representational state transfer (REST) technology, an architectural style, and approach to communications often used in web services development.

An API for a website is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. The REST used by browsers can be thought of as the language of the internet.

REST is a logical choice for building APIs that allow users to connect and interact with cloud services. the RESTful model is also helpful in cloud services because binding to a service through an API is a matter of controlling how the URL is decoded.

RESTful API design was defined by Dr. Roy Fielding in his 2000 doctorate dissertation. RESTful APIs are used by such sites as Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

RESTful Web services allow the requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of Web resources by using a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations.

Advantages and disadvantages of RestAPI over SOAP

  • REST technology generally preferred to the more robust Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) technology. But both offered different methods to invoke a web service. REST is an architectural style, while SOAP defines a standard communication protocol specification for XML-based message exchange. REST applications can use SOAP.

  • RESTful web services are stateless. A REST-based implementation is simple compared to SOAP, but users must understand the context and content being passed along, as there’s no standard set of rules to describe the REST web services interface.

  • REST services are useful for restricted profile devices, such as mobile, and are easy to integrate with existing websites.

  • SOAP requires less plumbing code than REST services design. The Web Services Description Language describes a common set of rules to define the messages, bindings, operations, and location of the service. SOAP web services are useful for asynchronous processing and invocation.

  • REST operates through a solitary, consistent interface to access named resources. It’s most commonly used when you’re exposing a public API over the Internet. SOAP, on the other hand, exposes components of application logic as services rather than data. Additionally, it operates through different interfaces.

  • REST allows a greater variety of data formats, whereas SOAP only allows XML.

  • Thanks to JSON, REST offers better support for browser clients.

  • REST provides superior performance, particularly through caching for information that’s not altered and not dynamic.

  • SOAP was originally created by Microsoft, and it’s been around a lot longer than REST. But REST has been around for a good time now as well. Plus, it entered the scene as a way to access web services in a much simpler way than possible with SOAP by using HTTP.

  • SOAP is that it offers built-in retry logic to compensate for failed communications. REST, on the other hand, doesn’t have a built-in messaging system.

  • In some cases, designing SOAP services can actually be less complex compared to REST.

  • REST does not need much bandwidth when requests are sent to the server. Where SOAP requires more bandwidth for its usage.

  • SOAP can only work with XML format. Where, REST permits different data format such as Plain text, HTML, XML, JSON, etc. But the most preferred format for transferring data is JSON.

  • Since SOAP messages are heavier in content and consume a far greater bandwidth, REST should be used in instances where network bandwidth is a constraint.

  • Coding REST Services and subsequent implementation is far easier than SOAP. So if a quick win solution is required for web services, then REST is the way to go.

  • REST does not impose any sort of security like SOAP. This is why 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.

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