For Application Development & Program Management Professionals (Length: 6 pages)

September 13, 2004

SOAP Versus REST: A Comparison

The Key Tradeoff Is Simplicity Versus Quality Of Service

by Randy Heffner

with Mike Gilpin

Executive Summary (This is a document excerpt)

While the major vendors and standards bodies continue to build the core Web services stack around SOAP, a small and sometimes vocal minority eschews SOAP in favor of Web services based on Representational State Transfer (REST). While there is some truth in proponents' claims that REST is simpler and faster, they tend to ignore issues of quality of service (QoS), which are the primary driver of the growing complexity of the SOAP-based Web services stack. Oddly enough, today's REST versus SOAP debate sounds almost the same as the SOAP versus CORBA debates from four years ago. REST has a place as a transition step to Web services, and it may even garner a long-term place for simple create-read-update-delete types of interactions, but tooling and infrastructure for SOAP provide greater productivity, making it a more strategic investment for a wider range of long-term requirements.

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Analyst: Randy Heffner
Technology: Application Development, Architecture & Technology Strategy, SOA & Web Services
Geography: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America

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