Differences between Rest API and SOAP Services

Other than REST API, we have Web Services, WCF Services to expose the functionality to different clients. Today, we discuss what are the exact differences between REST API and SOAP Services.

  1. REST stands for Representational State Transfer and SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol.
  2. Rest is not a protocol; it is just an architectural style. SOAP is protocol which builds on one of the http/https, TCP/IP, or SMTP protocol in XML format.
  3. Rest API implements completely stateless. But SOAP can implement stateless or stateful depending on the requirement.
  4. Through Rest API, request and response can be in XML or JSON format. But SOAP supports only XML format that means request and response will be in XML format only.
  5. In SOAP everything is in XML format and it has its own header which is also in XML format. Whereas Rest API uses standard built-in http header. Through SOAP, all requests/responses should be in XML format which is heave-weighted, REST supports JSON format also which is light-weighted compared to XML. Because of this REST API is very fast as compared with SOAP services.
  6. Rest uses URI, and GET, POST, PUT, DELETE & PATCH verbs to expose its resources. SOAP exposes its functionality through defined named methods.

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