Soap vs Rest API

There is no escape from the APIs! And developers do not even want to escape from APIs. why?-because APIs bring lots of benefits for developers. Or we can say that there is no better alternative to APIs when it comes to ensuring the intercommunication of the applications. 

When we ask our newly hired developers at Vyrazu Labs to choose the best API for the next development project, they seem a bit confused. Actually, not only they but also a lot of developers get confused when it comes to choosing the best one from Soap Vs Rest. 

Soap and Rest both are popular names in the world of API. Rest is an architectural style and Soap is a protocol. The Rest API can easily utilize the soap protocol as it can use HTTP. In order to solve all this confusion and let them easily choose the best API according to the project type, below we are going to dig more about both APIs. And just after that, we will jump to the Soap API Vs Rest API battlefield. 

What is an API?

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API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is actually a software intermediary to allow two applications to communicate with each other. A non-technical person may think that API is for developers only. But the reality is different. We all are using APIs. How? When you scroll FB newsfeed and get a message from your Facebook friend and you rush to Messenger to give him/her a reply, you are using APIs. 

In other words, we can say that API is actually a piece of software that connects one application rightly to the data and services of another application. An API makes it possible after getting access permission to certain parts of a server. APIs are helpful in letting two important pieces of software communicate seamlessly. 

On a regular basis, we are taking the help of APIs every time when we do something on our mobile phones. APIs help us to properly streamline IT architectures, power-effective marketing efforts, and easy data set sharing. 

Benefits of APIs for developers

More or less we all know what APIs do for mobile users. But there is very limited discussion on the benefits of APIs for developers. And that’s why today we are here with the list of benefits that developers can get from API.

Desired Automation 

This is the first major benefit that developers get from APIs. APIs take well care of some of the tasks of developers. We can say that APIs perform the tasks instead of developers. When APIs can do the tasks of a developer, without any doubt, tasks get completed within a short span of time. We have seen that many software development companies across the world equip their developers with the right APIs in order to boost their productivity levels. 

More Scope

Just by implementing API into the system, a developer can make an application layer distribute information easily and smoothly to other systems. And in this way, they can introduce their services to new users. With the help of an API, a developer can easily develop a personalized service for new audiences or customers. Today, developers agree that APIs have the ability to bring a dynamic change to organizational systems. 

Efficiency

With the help of the API, publishing new content becomes super easy. The system becomes able to publish content automatically. It also makes the content available for all the channels. And as a result, reaching the content to a massive audience becomes easier than ever. We can say that this feature is cost-effective as well as time-effective in comparison with traditional marketing efforts. The increased efficiency is another major reason for which more and more organizations are enabling APIs in their system. 

Adaption

Updating the system over time is important. With the help of custom APIs, an organization can easily change its system fast. You know that when it comes to enabling a new system, companies need to spend a lot of time and money. But with proper API support, you can experience better data migration and review them accordingly. 

Availability of new data

Social equality is another great fact about API. If there is a need of sharing information with every person in the city, you can make it possible with API. In order to make it possible, you also have to choose the right API from the flock otherwise you will not get the desired result. 

Integration 

With the help of API, you can easily embed content from any site or application. In this way, you will get increased fluid information delivery along with an integrated user experience. 

These are the best six benefits that developers can expect from API. But in order to get the benefits at the best level, choosing the right API is also important. 

Soap api

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SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Control. Soap is known as its own protocol. According to experts, soap is a bit more complex than Rest API. You can notice the differences in the standard of security and how messages are sent. It is true that it is a bit more complex but it can be a fine choice for organizations that are in need of comprehensive features in the transaction, security, and ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) factors. 

SOAP has entered the genre before REST. The sole aim of designing soap was to ensure that the programs built on various platforms and languages can easily exchange data. 

Reasons to choose SOAP API

We have seen that a lot of organizations or developers choose soap instead of other available options. We have outlined three reasons for doing such

  • SOAP comes with a better security facility. It comes with WS-Security along with SSL. WS-Security is known as a built-in standard and it offers soap some advanced as well as enterprise-level security features. So, there are some companies with adding security requirements and they choose this API option instead of others available in the market. 
  • Reliable communication for messaging applications is another great fact of this API. REST does not come with a standard messaging system. REST is only able to address the retried communication failures. SOAP comes with successful in-built retry logic and offers end-to-end reliability. SOAP is also able to offer end-to-end reliability through its intermediaries. 
  • SOAP is rich in in-built ACID compliance. Maybe you know that ACID compliance is helpful in reducing anomalies. Along with this, it also suggests how transactions should interact with the database in order to protect the integrity of the database. According to experts, ACID is better i.e. conservative than other available data consistency models. And that’s why a lot of organizations choose soap API for successfully handling financial or sensitive transactions. 

REST API

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REST stands for Representational State Transfer. It is known as a true web service API. According to experts, REST APIs are based on Uniform Resource Identifier and specific HTTP protocols. You know that JSON is super browser compatible and REST API uses it for the data format. REST is also able to use soap API and we have already mentioned that above. 

According to expert developers, REST APIs are comparatively easy to build as well as scale. There are certain reasons for which a lot of developers prefer to use this API instead of any other API options available in the market. Below, we are going to list down the reasons.

Reasons to choose REST API

  • Due to the HTTP protocols, REST API is extremely simple and easy to use.
  • It is able to properly facilitate client-server communication and architectures. Along with this, REST uses a single uniform interface. Just by requiring the interface, it properly simplified how applications interact with API. But this has both benefits and drawbacks at the same time. 
  • It is an optimized option for the web. Due to JSON as the data format REST is fully compatible with browsers. 
  • When it comes to performance and scalability, a lot of developers pick REST. But there is a probability that just like any other technology it can also vog down your application. In this kind of situation languages like GraphQL can act as a savior as they can solve the problem that REST API cannot. 

War begins: Soap Vs Rest

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SubjectSOAP APIREST API
Soap Vs Rest: ImplementationSOAP API comes with an official standard as it is a protocol. On the other hand, REST API does not come with any official standard as it is only an architectural style. 
Soap Vs Rest: Internal CommunicationWhen it is about data communication and standard, we can say that SOAP is largely based and only uses HTTP and XML for internal communication. REST API is able to use multiple standards like JSON, URL, XML, and HTTP for proper data transfer and communication. 
Soap Vs Rest: Resource RequirementAfter seeing these two APIs closely and now in this battle of Soap API Vs Rest API, we can say that soap API requires comparatively more resources as well as bandwidth. Soap API converts data into XML. XML increases the payload and as a result, we get large-sized files.  We have already mentioned that REST API is able to deploy as well as use multiple standards. And that’s why it is able to work with fewer resources and bandwidth in comparison with soap API. In the battle of Soap API Vs Rest API, here rest gets an adding score. 
Soap Vs Rest: DescriptionSOAP API uses web service description language for properly describing the functionalities that are offered by web services. On the other hand, REST API uses web application description language in order to describe the functionalities. 
Soap Vs Rest: SecuritySOAP API comes with a Secure Socket layer (SSL) and WS security. And that’s why in the case of money cards or bank account passwords, experts prefer to use soap over the rest. In the battle of Soap API Vs Rest API, here soap gets an adding point. On the contrary, REST API comes with REST and SSL, and HTTPS for security. 
Soap Vs Rest: AbbreviationYou already know that SOAP stands for Simple Object Access ProtocolREST stands for Representational State Transfer
Soap Vs Rest: Interchange SOAP cannot make use of the REST API as the rest is an architectural style and soap is a protocol. But REST is able to make use of soap because of its underlying protocol for web services. You know that in the end rest is just architectural style. 
Soap Vs Rest: Payload handlingSOAP comes with a strict communication contract and needs to do everything before performing any interaction. REST does not need any knowledge of the API before the interaction. 
Soap Vs Rest: Data formatSOAP is able to use only XML. After taking a close look at Soap Vs Rest web services, we can say that REST is able to support different data formats such as plain text, XML, HTTP, JSON, and so on. It also ensures browser compatibility.
Soap Vs Rest: ACID ComplianceSOAP has inbuilt ACID compliance in order to reduce anomalies REST lacks ACID compliance 
Soap api Vs Rest api: Data CacheSOAP cannot be cached. REST can be cached properly. Here, data can be marked as cacheable. I mean it can be reused by the browser later. And for that, there is no need to initiate another request back to the server. It also saves time and resources. 

From the above table of the Soap Vs Rest web services battle, we can understand the advantage as well as drawbacks of both APIs. But it will be better if we go a bit deeper and check when to use which one. 

Soap Vs Rest web services: When to use SOAP API?

  • You can use soap API in the case of asynchronous processing and subsequent invocation. In a simpler tone, we can say that if your client needs a guaranteed level of reliability as well as security, you can use the new soap API standard of SOAP 1.2. It comes with a wide range of features, especially the advanced security feature. 
  • You can use soap API for the formal communication requirement. If both client and server agree to exchange format. SOAP 1.2 can help here at the best level. For example, in an online store, users add items before the payment. Here the web service will only accept the cart item name, price, and quantity. In this kind of scenario, it will be better if you use the SOAP protocol. 
  • You can use soap API for proper stateful operations. If the application comes with a requirement that should be maintained from one request to another, you can use it as it provides the WS structure to satisfy such requirements. 

Soap Vs Rest web services: When to use REST API?

  • You can use REST API for limited resources and bandwidth. Maybe you know that soap messages are heavier in content and grab a greater bandwidth, so you can use rest instead of soap where network bandwidth is a constraint. 
  • If there is no need to maintain the proper state of information from one request to another, you can easily use rest API. For the proper information flow, you should deploy soap API instead of rest. 
  • If you need to cache a lot of requests, the rest API will be the perfect solution for you. In this way, clients will be able to request the same resource a lot of times. It will increase the number of requests that will be sent to the server. Proper cache implementation will help in storing frequent queries in an intermediate location. 
  • So, after getting the client’s request for a resource, the rest API will check the cache at the first move.  For the existing resources, it will not proceed to the server. Proper caching will help in reducing the number of trips that will be made to the webserver. 
  • Rest also offers ease of coding. According to developers, coding rest services along with the subsequent implementation is far easier than the soap API. So, if you need a quick win solution for web services, you can easily go for REST. 

Challenges in SOAP API

After analyzing Soap Vs Rest API examples, we have noticed some challenges that each API comes with. Before using any API or in order to choose the best API for the next development project, exploring the challenges is also important. 

  • According to expert developers, WSDL is itself a challenge to the SOAP API. The WSDL file is nothing but a document that tells the client about all the operations that the web service can perform. It contains all information such as data types, available operations, and so on. Generally, WDFL files have a ‘tutorial name’ element. If you change the WSDL file based on the business requirements, the tutorial name has to become the tutorial description. And as a result, all the connected clients need to make the corresponding change in their code for accommodating the change in the WSDL file. Here just a single change can leave a large impact on the entire client applications. 
  • The next challenge is the document size of the SOAP messages. SOAP messages get transferred from the client to the server. You know that soap contains large messages and using them in places where bandwidth is limited will be a major issue. 

Challenges in REST API

While closely looking at Soap Vs Rest API examples, we have noticed some challenges in REST API also. Below, we are going to list them down.

  • The lack of proper security is prominent in the REST API. But soap is a good option when it is about security. And that’s why expert developers do not prefer the rest of the public available URLs. But in the case of transferring confidential data between the client and server, again rest will be a poor choice for web services. 
  • Along with a lack of security, the lack of state is another challenge in the REST API. For example, we can say that an online shopping store with the mechanism of having a cart, rest needs to know the number of items in the shopping cart before the actual payment is done. And this process just makes the application of the client heavier and more difficult to maintain. 

Conclusion

After a long discussion over Soap Vs Rest web services, now we have reached the conclusion point. Declaring one winner is difficult here. If you go through this entire blog, it will be easier for you to understand the best API for your next development project. The above discussion has pointed out the benefits, drawbacks, and best use case ideas with you so that you can easily make a wise decision. 

If you have more queries related to Soap Vs Rest, you can reach us at any time to get the required guidance. 

That’s all for today! Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback on this blog in our comment box!

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2000+ successful projects with 1000+ satisfied clients

Your winning idea is super secure with our NDA