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SOAP API 

What Is a SOAP API? 

SOAP, which stands for, Simple Object Access Protocol, is a standard messaging protocol system that permits processes using different operating systems like Linux and Windows to communicate via HTTP and its XML. SOAP APIs are designed to create, recover, update and delete records like accounts, passwords, leads, and custom objects.

How does SOAP work?

The SOAP specification describes a standard, XML-based way to encode requests and responses, including:

  • Requests to invoke a method on a service, including in parameters
  • Responses from a service method, including return value and out parameters
  • Errors from a service

SOAP describes the structure and data types of message payloads by using the emerging W3C XML Schema standard issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). SOAP is a transport-agnostic messaging system; SOAP requests and responses travel using HTTP, HTTPS, or some other transport mechanism.

In general, a SOAP service remote procedure call (RPC) request/response sequence includes the following steps:

  1. A SOAP client formulates a request for a service. This involves creating a conforming XML document, either explicitly or using Oracle SOAP client API.
  2. A SOAP client sends the XML document to a SOAP server. This SOAP request is posted using HTTP or HTTPS to a SOAP Request Handler running as a servlet on a Web server.
  3. The Web server receives the SOAP message, an XML document, using the SOAP Request Handler Servlet. The server then dispatches the message as a service invocation to an appropriate server-side application providing the requested service.
  4. A response from the service is returned to the SOAP Request Handler Servlet and then to the caller using the standard SOAP XML payload format. 

How is SOAP different from REST?

The term web API generally refers to both sides of computer systems communicating over a network: the API services offered by a server, as well as the API offered by the client such as a web browser.

The server-side portion of the web API is a programmatic interface to a defined request-response message system, and is typically referred to as the Web Service. There are several design models for web services, but the two most dominant are SOAP and REST.

SOAP provides the following advantages when compared to REST:

  • Language, platform, and transport independent (REST requires use of HTTP)     
  • Works well in distributed enterprise environments (REST assumes direct point-to-point communication)
  • Standardized
  • Provides significant pre-build extensibility in the form of the WS* standards
  • Built-in error handling
  • Automation when used with certain language products

REST is easier to use for the most part and is more flexible. It has the following advantages when compared to SOAP:

  • Uses easy to understand standards like swagger and OpenAPI Specification 3.0
  • Smaller learning curve
  • Efficient (SOAP uses XML for all messages, REST mostly uses smaller message formats like JSON)
  • Fast (no extensive processing required)
  • Closer to other Web technologies in design philosophy


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SOAP API 

October 14, 2020

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

What Is a SOAP API? 

SOAP, which stands for, Simple Object Access Protocol, is a standard messaging protocol system that permits processes using different operating systems like Linux and Windows to communicate via HTTP and its XML. SOAP APIs are designed to create, recover, update and delete records like accounts, passwords, leads, and custom objects.

How does SOAP work?

The SOAP specification describes a standard, XML-based way to encode requests and responses, including:

  • Requests to invoke a method on a service, including in parameters
  • Responses from a service method, including return value and out parameters
  • Errors from a service

SOAP describes the structure and data types of message payloads by using the emerging W3C XML Schema standard issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). SOAP is a transport-agnostic messaging system; SOAP requests and responses travel using HTTP, HTTPS, or some other transport mechanism.

In general, a SOAP service remote procedure call (RPC) request/response sequence includes the following steps:

  1. A SOAP client formulates a request for a service. This involves creating a conforming XML document, either explicitly or using Oracle SOAP client API.
  2. A SOAP client sends the XML document to a SOAP server. This SOAP request is posted using HTTP or HTTPS to a SOAP Request Handler running as a servlet on a Web server.
  3. The Web server receives the SOAP message, an XML document, using the SOAP Request Handler Servlet. The server then dispatches the message as a service invocation to an appropriate server-side application providing the requested service.
  4. A response from the service is returned to the SOAP Request Handler Servlet and then to the caller using the standard SOAP XML payload format. 

How is SOAP different from REST?

The term web API generally refers to both sides of computer systems communicating over a network: the API services offered by a server, as well as the API offered by the client such as a web browser.

The server-side portion of the web API is a programmatic interface to a defined request-response message system, and is typically referred to as the Web Service. There are several design models for web services, but the two most dominant are SOAP and REST.

SOAP provides the following advantages when compared to REST:

  • Language, platform, and transport independent (REST requires use of HTTP)     
  • Works well in distributed enterprise environments (REST assumes direct point-to-point communication)
  • Standardized
  • Provides significant pre-build extensibility in the form of the WS* standards
  • Built-in error handling
  • Automation when used with certain language products

REST is easier to use for the most part and is more flexible. It has the following advantages when compared to SOAP:

  • Uses easy to understand standards like swagger and OpenAPI Specification 3.0
  • Smaller learning curve
  • Efficient (SOAP uses XML for all messages, REST mostly uses smaller message formats like JSON)
  • Fast (no extensive processing required)
  • Closer to other Web technologies in design philosophy


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