Difference Between SOAP and REST API

Both of these are types of communication systems. The term REST is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, while the term SOAP is an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol. In this article, we will discuss the difference between REST API and SOAP API. But let us first understand how and when we use these.

Every machine understands different languages and deals with its systems with these languages. These machines require web services for establishing communication between various machines for exchanging data and information. To implement a set of restrictions on this type of communication, we have various sets of rules known as web services. They define the type and format of the data exchanged between different systems along with a contract that both the machines must be aware of before establishing a communication.

This type of communication system has two major categories- the SOAP and the REST. Read ahead to learn the ways in which they both vary.

Difference Between REST API and SOAP API

Here is a list of the differences between REST API and SOAP API.

Parameters REST API SOAP API
Type of Implementation The REST API has an architectural style. Thus, it does not have an official standard, and it stays implemented. The SOAP API, on the other hand, is a type of protocol. Thus, it consists of an official standard.
Internal Communication It makes use of various standards for data transfer and communication. These languages include XML, URL, JSON, and HTTP. This type of API works largely on the basis of XML and HTTP.
Description The REST API makes use of the web app description language to describe the overall functionalities that the web services have to offer. The SOAP API, on the other hand, makes use of the web services description language for the very same purpose.
Requirement of Resources This API uses and deploys various standards. Thus, it takes up much less bandwidth and requires fewer resources as compared to the SOAP API. This API, on the other hand, requires the conversion of the available data into XML. This process increases the overall payload, and we get large-sized files as a result. Thus, the SOAP API requires more bandwidth and resources as compared to the REST API.
Security It consists of HTTPS as well as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for security purposes. It consists of SSL along with WS-security. Due to this, we usually prefer the SOAP API over the REST API in cases such as Card Numbers, Bank Passwords, etc.
Abbreviation The term REST is an acronym for Representational State Transfer. This API can easily use SOAP in the form of an underlying protocol for the web services. It is because, in the end, the SOAP is just an architectural form of pattern.
Interchange The term SOAP is an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol. This API, on the other hand, cannot utilize REST. It is because SOAP is basically a protocol while the REST API is a type of architectural pattern.

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