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What is the difference between SOAP and REST web services

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In this tutorial we are going to learn about SOAP and REST web services.

SOAP Web Services

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol which relies exclusively on XML to provide messaging services.

Microsoft originally developed SOAP to take the place of older technologies that didn’t work well on the internet such as the distributed component object model and common object request broker architecture.

These technologies fail because they rely on binary messaging. The XML messaging that SOAP relies works better over the internet.

REST Web Services

REST stands for Representational state transfer is a software architectural style which uses a subset of HTTP. It is commonly used to create interactive applications that use Web services.

A Web service that follows these guidelines is called RESTful. Such a Web service must provide its Web resources in a textual representation and allow them to be read and modified with a stateless protocol and a predefined set of operations.

This approach allows interoperability between the computer systems on the Internet that provide these services. REST is an alternative to, for example, SOAP as way to access a Web service.

Many developers found SOAP cumbersome and hard to use. For example, working with SOAP in java scripts means writing a ton of code for a developer simply kills the time because you must create the required XML structure every time. Unlike SOAP, REST doesn’t have to use XML to provide response and you can find REST based web services that output the data in comma separated values.

Java script object notation and really simple syndications. The point is you can obtain the output you need in the form which is easy to parse within the language used within the application.

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