Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) refer to computing systems communicating over a network. When designing a project, you’ll need to use the right API to increase security and functionality. We have a couple of popular options in this case.
SOAP vs REST API. Both APIs offer significant advantages. However, each impacts your business process improvement in different ways.
Throughout this guide, we’ll cover what SOAP and REST APIs are. We’ll also dive into their differences. That way, you can determine which one will increase the productivity of your workforce.
What Is SOAP API and How Does It Work?
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) ensures programs built on other platforms can easily exchange data. The protocol relies on a ‘listener,’ or server code at a specific URL.
This code will analyze an Extensible Markup Language (XML) request, make a procedure call, and wrap the resulting code in XML. In short, it relies on only XML for exchanging information.
What Is REST API and How Does It Work?
Representational State Transfer (REST) API uses stateless communications protocols. Stateless protocols send requests but don’t retain the session’s information. Developers designed it to work with files, objects on hardware devices, and media components.
While REST doesn’t follow strict standards, it does follow 6 constraints. These RESTraints include:
- Cacheable: labeled data
- Layered system: a system designed with hierarchical layers
- Code on demand: extend client functionality by executing and downloading code
- Uniform interface: simplified architectural style
- Client-server: separates interface from data storage concerns
- Stateless: each request must contain all necessary information
If you’re using REST API, you’ll need to understand the various technologies that use it. That’s why you’ll also want to look into reasons to upgrade from Epicor to Vantage. Both technologies run on REST.
Differences Between SOAP and REST
First, let’s dive into the benefits of using SOAP. It relies on Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Web Services Security (WS). Because of these encryption practices, many websites will use SOAP over REST when securing card numbers, passwords, and bank accounts.
Then there’s atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID) compliance. This type of compliance processes transactions in a secure yet timely manner. SOAP is ACID compliant, while REST isn’t. That means REST isn’t ideal to use in healthcare or financial industries.
Or any industry that manages personal data.
With its intensive security, SOAP also uses a lot of bandwidth. But REST doesn’t. Meanwhile, REST has more flexibility.
REST has more productivity benefits.
It’s not RESTricted to XML like SOAP. REST can also use JSON and Plain-text. And REST can use SOAP protocols, but SOAP can’t use REST.
SOAP vs REST API: Which Is Better?
SOAP vs REST API, which API is better? It depends on your usage. You’ll have to use SOAP when dealing with data security. However, REST offers more flexibility with protocols it can use while taking up less bandwidth.
Do you want to learn more about different protocols? Explore more of our guides covering topics like technology, services, and more.