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How do the RESTful Web services characteristics differ from those that are SOAP-based?

How do the RESTful Web services characteristics differ from those that are SOAP-based?

It's more appropriate to compare REST (Represtational State Transfer) with SOA (service oriented architecture) than it is to compare REST with SOAP. REST is an architectural style. SOAP is a messaging protocol. RESTful web services may use SOAP, although in many cases they simply use XML over HTTP. The key distinction between REST and SOA is in terms of appliction interfaces. In REST, all applications have a uniform interface (typically the HTTP methods: GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE). In SOA, each application type has a unique interface (e.g., getQuote, submitOrder, provisionEmployee, etc.).

This was first published in April 2005

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