The SOAP WS supports both remote procedure call (i.e. RPC) and message oriented middle-ware (MOM) integration styles. The Restful Web Service supports only RPC integration style.
The SOAP WS is transport protocol neutral. Supports multiple protocols like HTTP(S), Messaging, TCP, UDP SMTP, etc. The REST is transport protocol specific. Supports only HTTP or HTTPS protocols.
The SOAP WS permits only XML data format.You define operations, which tunnels through the POST. The focus is on accessing the named operations and exposing the application logic as a service. The REST permits multiple data formats like XML, JSON data, text, HTML, etc. Any browser can be used because the REST approach uses the standard GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE Web operations. The focus is on accessing the named resources and exposing the data as a service. REST has AJAX support.
It can use the XMLHttpRequest object. Good for stateless CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations.
GET – represent()
POST – acceptRepresention()
PUT – storeRepresention()
DELETE – removeRepresention()
SOAP based reads cannot be cached. REST based reads can be cached. Performs and scales better.
SOAP WS supports both SSL security and WS-security, which adds some enterprise security features like maintaining security right up to the point where it is needed, maintaining identities through intermediaries and not just point to point SSL only, securing different parts of the message with different security algorithms, etc. The REST supports only point-to-point SSL security. The SSL encrypts the whole message, whether all of it is sensitive or not.
The SOAP has comprehensive support for both ACID based transaction management for short-lived transactions and compensation based transaction management for long-running transactions. It also supports two-phase commit across distributed resources. The REST supports transactions, but it is neither ACID compliant nor can provide two phase commit across distributed transactional resources as it is limited by its HTTP protocol.
The SOAP has success or retry logic built in and provides end-to-end reliability even through SOAPintermediaries. REST does not have a standard messaging system, and expects clients invoking the service to deal with communication failures by retrying.