As a developer, you should know why and when you should use SOAP versus REST. Both have value and their own benefits and challenges as a web service so how do you know which to use?

I came across an old post by Steve Francia that still has some valid points about the differences between SOAP and REST and why anyone would choose each of them. To summarize his points:

 Why REST:

  • Simpler based on using standard HTTP
  • SOAP only permits XML while REST permits many different data formats
  • Better performance and scalability
  • REST reads can be cached and SOAP reads cannot


  • WS-Security : SOAP supports SSL in addition to WS-Security which adds enterprise security features
  • WS-AtomicTransaction: SOAP works for ACID transactions over a service. It can provide 2-phase commit across transactional resources.
  • WS-ReliableMessaging: SOAP has successful/ retry logic built in and provides end to end reliability even through SOAP intermediaries

Interested in reading more? Check out his article at


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