REST and SOAP

Anybody active in the field of integrating applications using web based protocols should have read about the two flavors:

The irony is that “Simple” in SOAP drills down to pretty complex. In most situations REST is the simpler of the two. REST relies on the concept of representing some piece of data typically in XML. Soap uses the concept of gluing two applications by code together.

My advice is to use SOAP if one of these two conditions are true:

  • The webservice has many consumers these consumers tend to be outside your control. A payment provider would use SOAP.
  • The webservice not only provides read capabilities but also instructions for modifying data.

In all other cases use REST, it simpler to build, to debug and is easier to adapt to changing requirements.

Oh and yes this is another incarnation of the ever going static vs dynamic typing debate.

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