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Do Web services violate REST principles?

Isn't the idea of RESTful "Web services" an oxymoron? Aren't the principles of REST violated in Web services standards?
Of course, that depends entirely on how you define "Web services"! It's certainly true that the vast majority of what you see implemented with SOAP and WSDL today is totally unRESTful, yes. But there are also some services around which many refer to as "Web services", which are mostly RESTful, and don't use WSDL or specify any kind of API, but do use SOAP; these are the "EDI"-style services, such as those developed using the ebXML family of specifications. These Web services deal in "state transfer", by placing a document inside a SOAP envelope which in turn is placed within an HTTP POST message. That is RESTful in that it respects REST's critical uniform interface constraint, though some of REST's other constraints (identification of resources, hypermedia as the engine of application state) aren't used.

So in short, you're likely correct in practice. But I'm still holding out hope that EDI-style Web services may begin to get enough traction that innovation will begin to target them rather than SOA services. And if that happens, full blown REST isn't very far away (really, they just need to add GET to their repertoire, and hypermedia and resource identification will follow naturally).

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