Types of Web Services Tutorial : SOAP Introduction for Beginners

Types of Web Service

In my previous post “Introduction to Web Services” helped you to understand what is web services? Need of web service, benefits of web services and how it works?

Now it’s time to move ahead and discuss “Types of Web Services”. If you have started looking for the types of web services, you will find there are majorly two types of web services industry are using nowadays. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representational State Transfer) are two types of web services are available. Out of these two types, REST is more popular nowadays.

Conceptual level, Web services are the service which helps two different systems to communicate with each other over the transport layer. This is the basic behind the web service and which is true for both services like SOAP and REST.

About SOAP:

Web Services concept started with SOAP. It is developed by Microsoft in 1998 and named it as Simple Object Access Protocol. The idea behind developing this platform is to replace middleware available that time like DCOM and CORBA. After one year i.e. in 1999, they make it public and in the last quarter of 1999 they released version 1.0. Some wherever in the middle of 2000, updated version 1.1 is submitted to W3C and started gaining popularity after that. Till the time I wrote this post, their war SOAP 1.2 is the latest version available on W3C site.

The powerful combination of XML and WSDL have gained wide acceptance in recent years of web service. On the top of that development tools have made possible to develop complex web services with simplicity.

Web service should define the formal contract for the interface web service offer. WSDL is the way by which we can define the details of the contract. Within WSDL you can include binding, message, operation and location of web service. Publishing WSDL is not mandatory for making it public. If you have JAX-WS still you can process SOAP message.

The best part of SOAP is, it is not tied up with any particular protocol, programming language, platform or operating system. As far as two different system can formulate and understand SOAP message can talk with each other.

Google like organization still used SOAP platform and still it popular in some other major organizations. Although REST is emerging as one the best option in this industry.

Advantages of SOAP Services:

• Language agnostic, platform independent.
• Able to manage distributed environments
• Extensibility
• Capability to handle faults

Disadvantages of SOAP Services

• Difficult to implement than REST
• More verbose
• Difficult to develop
• Need development tools