SOAP stands for Simple Objects Access Protocol. It is form of protocols for web communication and is mainly used for exposing web services and exchanging data and is based on XML format. It also particularly follows predefined standards like structure for messaging, rules for encoding, and an outline for requests and responses regarding procedures
SOAP has an integrated function for creating web services and this enables SOAP to manage communications and responses independently of any platform or language.
SOAP can sometimes be extremely complicated to work with. To counter this, there are some languages which use SOAP shortcuts to bring down the complexities. SOAP API s also have the benefit of creating web based protocols like HTTP and XML which runs the operating systems. This makes it easy for developers to manage web services and they do not need to worry about the language or platform.
Another interesting feature of SOAP is the integrated mechanism of handling errors. In case of any issue with the request, the response also has the information regarding the error which can be useful to solve the issue. The process of reporting the error also uses standardized codes which makes it possible to automate error handling.
Difference between SOAP and REST APIs
Here are some of the common differences between SOAP and REST APIs which must be considered thoroughly before making a choice between the two.
It is an architectural style.
It is a protocol and has standards.
A variety of standards are used like HTTP, JSON, URL etc.
Uses only XML formats.
Requires less resources and bandwidth
Requires high bandwidth
Uses Uniform Service locator for accessing components on the hardware.
Uses service interface for exposing functions to client applications.
Can make use of SOAP as an underlying protocol for web services. REST is an architectural style.
Cannot use REST because it is a protocol.