SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representational State Transfer) are both web service communication protocols, but they have some key differences in how they function and the type of applications they are best suited for.
SOAP is a protocol for exchanging structured data in the implementation of web services. It is typically used for enterprise-level applications and is known for its strong security features and ability to handle complex data structures. SOAP messages are typically sent as XML over HTTP or HTTPS and require a specific format for the message.
An example of a SOAP request would look like this:
POST /InStock HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/soap+xml; charset=utf-8
On the other hand, REST (Representational State Transfer) is a lightweight protocol for exchanging data over HTTP or HTTPS. It is typically used for building simple, lightweight, and fast web services and is known for its scalability and ease of use. REST messages are typically sent as simple HTTP requests and responses, using standard methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.
An example of a REST request would look like this:
GET /users/123 HTTP/1.1
In summary, SOAP is a more heavy-weight and complex protocol, while REST is a simple and lightweight protocol. SOAP is best suited for enterprise-level applications that need to handle complex data structures and require strong security features, while REST is best suited for building simple, lightweight, and fast web services.