In this tutorial we will see the difference between a SOAP and REST Web service. Please do read the tutorial Introduction to Web Services before this tutorial, to get a better understanding of web services.
|REST Web Service||SOAP 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 DELETE||SOAP exposes its named methods to be consumed by a client e.g. an open SOAP web service “WeatherWS” exposes its various operations as methods- 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 considered more secure (uses WS-security, a component of Web Service Specification for improving web service security)|
|REST APIs consume less bandwidth as the request doesn’t require SOAP headers in every message. REST make use of HTTP headers for any meta information||SOAP Web services uses SOAP headers with its requests that contain meta/additional information about the request|
|RESTful web services are easier and faster to create||SOAP web service follow a contract and are preferred for implementing complex logic|
|Last difference, REST stands for Representational State Transfer||SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol|
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Kuldeep is the founder and lead author of ArtOfTesting. He is skilled in test automation, performance testing, big data, and CI-CD. He brings his decade of experience to his current role where he is dedicated to educating the QA professionals. You can find him on LinkedIn.