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Making REST, SOAP, API mashup choices

Expert Amy Reichert discusses API mashups, REST and SOAP.

When making decisions about application program interface (API) development and uses, developers have been known to debate the comparative values of the REST and SOAP standard communication protocols. In this podcast, veteran software-development consultant Amy Reichert lays out the arguments for and against using REST and SOAP in various use cases. She also gives advice about the best uses for API mashups and the WebSocket protocol.

What lies behind REST’s appeal as a Web service is its simplicity, exemplified by a lower learning curve than that of SOAP, according to Reichert. REST carries a lighter messaging layer and services that are easier to integrate with existing websites, the reason for the latter being that REST services are exposed with XML, a markup language that’s easily mated with standard HTML webpages.

SOAP shines in complex API settings because it has built-in context and state. Supporting complex actions with REST would require writing code in the application layer that already exists in SOAP, Reichert says.

Take a listen to this podcast and find out more about API settings, REST and SOAP.

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