Both SOAP and REST are web services that allows machine-to-machine communications. They are API that allow your application to interact with another application.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
- More structured.
- Only XML.
- More complexity and overhead in getting a connection setup.
- Comes with definitions that allows you to generate classes/objects in your application.
- Multiple application layer protocol like HTTP, SMTP, TCP, or UDP.
- Security, authorization, and error-handling are built into the protocol.
- Used in enterprise-level web services that require high security and complex transactions such as financial services and payment gateways.
REST (Representational State Transfer)
- More lightweight, flexible, and better performance.
- Allows different messaging formats, the most common being JSON.
- Accessed via URI.
- Only HTTP operations, GET, POST, PUT, DELETE.
- Statelessness – each request should contain all the information needed for server to process the request.
- API calls be cached.
- Public APIs for web services, mobile services, and social networks.
High security, standardized, extensibility.
Scalability, better performance, browser-friendliness, flexibility.
|Cons||Poorer performance, more complexity, less flexibility.||Less security, not suitable for distributed environments.|