In Chapter 21, I described the use of the Flex
HTTP Service component to make requests and handle responses from Web resources formatted as arbitrary XML data structures. The strength of REST and generic XML is that you can create and use Web services that employ any arbitrary data structure. The potential weakness of this strategy is that each application must have specific knowledge of the particular XML structure being used.
SOAP-based Web services take a different approach: They employ industry-standard XML languages to format both messages and metadata. The SOAP language itself is used to format requests and responses between a client and a server, while WSDL (Web Services Description Language) is used to declare to Web service consumers the structure and capabilities of Web service operations.
The strength of SOAP-based Web services lies in their industry-level standardization and their ability to strongly data type parameter and return values in a way that REST ful operations typically can't.
SOAP servers and clients are designed to be interoperable, so that you can easily call functions (known in SOAP as operations) from objects on remote servers without knowing what platform is hosting the service or what programming language was used to develop it, because many support SOAR And, as data is passed between client and server, its data types are maintained as long as both tiers of the application use compatible types.
The term ...