SOAP vs. REST in the Real World

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There’s a lot of focus these days on SOAP vs REST and the proliferation of WS-* specifications. Sometimes you wonder if WS-* solves problems that aren’t all that common or have already been solved.

For example, some in the REST camp will say, HTTP has security built in. It#8217;s called SSL. Why not use it instead of building WS-Security.

Another example is WS-Addressing. This places addressing information within the SOAP envelope so that the message can be delivered via transports other than HTTP. At first glance, I wonder how often this will be useful for web services when HTTP is the predominant mode of transport.

However, Pat Caldwell illustrates a real world scenario in which WS-Addressing solved a real need that REST couldn#8217;t and doesn#8217;t address.

REST has its place, but for some of those nitty gritty situations, SOAP keeps everything clean.

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One response

  1. Avatar for Nitin Reddy
    Nitin Reddy January 7th, 2008

    Although SOAP is quite popular in the .NET world, I prefer to use REST for cross platform development. It's easier to deal with since it's just a matter of making Http requests with the parameters passed in as key-value pairs and parsing the resulting XML. SOAP is developer-unfriendly unless you're using tool or a framework to wrap around it.