Web services that are used to communicate in-between applications that are being developed in many programming-languages and running on different platforms. Like a Java application running on linux platform can communicate with a PHP application running on windows platform. There are two types of web services, SOAP and REST. Let us discuss some main differences between them.
- SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol.
- SOAP is a protocol. It defines some standards that should be followed strictly.
- SOAP is highly secure as it defines its own security.
- SOAP message request is processed slower as compared to REST.
- SOAP supports only XML data format.
- SOAP is not very easy to implement so it is preferred less.
- SOAP requires more bandwidth and resources.
- In java SOAP web services are implemented using JAX-WS API.
- It does not use web caching mechanism.
- SOAP is commonly used in payment gateways, financial and telecommunication services.
- REST stands for Representational State Transfer.
- REST is an architectural style. It doesn’t define so many standards like SOAP.
- REST inherits security measures from the underlying transport.
- REST message request is processed faster as compared to SOAP.
- REST supports data formats like plain text, XML, HTML, JSON, etc.
- REST is easier to implement so it is preferred more.
- REST requires less bandwidth and resources.
- In java RESTful web services are implemented using JAX-RS API.
- It uses web caching mechanism.
- REST is commonly used in social media, web chat and mobile services.
SOAP or REST?
If the security is a major concern and the resources are not limited then we should use SOAP web services. Like if we are creating a web service for banking related work then we should go with SOAP as here high security is needed.
On the other hand if security is not a major concern and we have limited resources. Or we want to create an API that will be easily used by other developers publicly then we should go with REST web services.