Our first article about
Clouds Communicate With APIs
Back when the internet was still being accessed by dial-up, computer programmers and IT were tasked with adapting and customizing various applications and getting them to communicate with one another. To help with this task, they came up with Simple Object Access Protocol or SOAP. SOAP is a protocol specification for
SOAP vs. REST
SOAP provides the Messaging Protocol layer in the protocol stack for
- an envelope to define the message’s structure and how it should be processed
- a set of rules for encoding (expresses occurrences of data types)
- a set function or data type to be presented when any of the rules are met
The main benefits of SOAP are:
- Security and WS-routing is significantly extendable
- Can operate over any protocol (such as HTTP, SMTP, TCP, UDP, or JMS) to get passed firewalls
- Any programming language or platform can be used
REST, on the other hand, is
- Clients-Server: separates the user interface (client) concerns from the data storage (server) concerns. No client context can be stored on the server between requests.
- Stateless: a server can transfer the state of a session to another service, but does not transfer information about the clients or the machine.
- Cacheable: clients and intermediaries can cache responses.
- Uniform Interface: server accesses data the same way with all clients and servers with no added requirements.
- Layered System- user can have access to an end server through another intermediate server without knowing the underlined implementations
- Code on Demand (optional): temporarily extends/customizes functionality by allowing code from the server to be sent off to the client for execution
Key differences of REST when compared to SOAP are:
- The entire message can be in any language (HTTP, XML, etc.)
- No protocol structure (envelope, rules, etc.) required
- Has natural resistance to system failures within the components, connectors, or data
- Mobility of components, simply move program code with the data
Using REST APIs is very simple and doesn’t always require knowledge of coding. That is part of the reason why in today’s technology world, REST is more popular with web services than SOAP. Because of this, Acumatica is fully functional on a RESTful API, but we will discuss that in a
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