REST vs SOAP | Know the Difference

In this tutorial, we will see the difference between REST and SOAP web services. Please do read the tutorial introduction to Web Services before this tutorial. This will help you get a better understanding of web services. So, let’s begin with – REST vs SOAP.

Difference between REST and SOAP

REST Web ServiceSOAP Web Service
REST is an architectural style, any web service following REST architecture is called RESTFul Web Service.SOAP is a protocol, a set of rules which must be followed while creating a web service
Doesn’t impose any constraint in data format, supports multiple data formats – JSON, XML, CSV etc.Supports XML message format only
REST resources are exposed by the service URI and HTTP Verbs- GET, PUT, POST and DELETESOAP exposes its named methods to be consumed by a client. For example – a SOAP web service “WeatherWS” exposes its various operations as methods like – GetWeatherInformationResponse, GetCityForecastByZIP, WeatherDescription etc.
REST is considered light weight and faster(no XML parsing is required)Slower than REST because of the use of verbose XML format. But it is considered more secure. This is because it uses WS-security, a component of Web Service Specification for improving web service security.
REST APIs consume less bandwidth. This is because the request doesn’t require SOAP headers in every message. REST make use of HTTP headers for any meta informationSOAP Web services use SOAP headers with their requests. These headers contain meta/additional information about the request
RESTful web services are easier and faster to createSOAP web service follow a contract and are preferred for implementing complex logic
Last difference, REST stands for Representational State TransferSOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol


This completes our tutorial on REST vs SOAP. Check other commonly asked difference between questions below.

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Verification vs ValidationQuality Assurance vs Quality Control
SDLC vs STLCTest Plan vs Test Strategy
Test Case vs Test ScenarioAgile vs Waterfall Model
Agile vs Scrum MethodologyREST vs SOAP Web Service
Web Application vs Desktop ApplicationWeb Service vs Website
Assert vs VerifyError, Defect, Fault, Failure & Bug

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