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Web Technology: Theory and Practice by M. Srinivasan

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9.11 SOAP VS. REST

Both SOAP and REST are relevant technologies that are being used and will continue to be used. How do we make a decision whether it is SOAP or REST (or both!) that will be well suited to an application? It all depends on what really is required, from a business and an architectural point of view. The following table summarizes the categories that are applicable to both the schools of thought.

Category SOAP REST
Classification Middleware interoperability standards Architectural style for web services
Comprehensiveness Generic (more comprehensive) Specialized (less comprehensive)
Integration styles RPC and Messaging—Heterogeneous RPC—Heterogeneous
Contractual obligations Contractual since it includes WS-Reliability, ...

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