Before diving into the debate of Rest API vs SOAP, we should learn what API is. API stands for Application Programming Interface. API is a program that enables two applications to communicate with each other. API acts as a messenger between two applications and helps resolve the issues of one while providing safe access to the database of the other. An example of APIs may include the usage of Google maps by ridesharing companies. This access to Google maps can be earned through the feature of APIs.  

Before beginning the debate on Rest API vs SOAP, let’s discuss the comparison components separately.

What Is SOAP?

As the acronym suggests, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a protocol that was developed to serve as a messenger, a messenger that communicates between two applications. SOAP is quite old as compared to Rest API. The interchanging of communication between 2 applications is the main purpose of SOAP. SOAP makes it possible for two applications based on two different or the same programming languages to interact with each other.

What Is Rest API?

Rest stands for Representational State Transfer. This API was introduced to deal with media, files, or other objects on a particular hardware device. A service based on the principles of Rest is a Restful service. The users do not hesitate to use Rest API as it’s very flexible and does not require depending on code libraries to run the web services.

Difference Between Rest API And SOAP

The Rest API vs SOAP debate is never-ending. Following are the differences between Rest API and SOAP:

Basic Difference Between Rest API And SOAP

Rest is an architectural style, while the SOAP is a protocol. SOAP is a design with certain specifications. On the other hand, Rest is an architectural style in which a web service is only treated as a Restful service.

Bandwidth Requirement 

Compared to Rest, SOAP requires more bandwidth as the messages it carries are fully filled with data. Thus, with a large amount of data under consideration, it requires more bandwidth. Meanwhile, when servers receive requests in Rest, they do not need much bandwidth as required by SOAP. This is because, through Rest messages, mostly JSON messages are transferable.

Difference Of Compatibility 

SOAP can only process into XML format. The messages that SOAP sends are in XML format. The SOAP feature cannot be accessed without XML. On the other hand, Rest allows different formats for its evaluation. Formats like HTML, XML, JSON etc. However, the Rest API follows the JSON format for its major uses. This difference gives the users an edge in the debate of Rest API vs SOAP.


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