SOAP vs REST

I was recently asked the question about the conditions under which I would choose SOAP vs REST for writing a Web Service.  I was thoroughly intrigued by the question, because I was curious in which way the discussion would go, as that would tell me a lot about the other developer.

My reply essentially focused around the concept that some developer, or group of developers, decided that they would write a Web Service framework and do some programming for the sake of programming, instead of actually solving a problem.  I’ve always been curious as to why anyone would actually want to do that, but hey, some people like work more than I do apparently.  I enjoying designing software masterpieces, not working.  In other words, I don’t like work, I like to create art.

You know, people love creating solutions before there’s a problem.  Well, more specifically in this case, the problem of needing a way to deliver Web Services was already solved with a protocol that was created in the early 1990s called HTTP.  SOAP was just a useless wrapper for generic requests/responses, when HTTP was essentially already a superior wrapper protocol for the same.  I then proceeded to talk about how when REST came out I kind of chuckled, because I was thinking “Gee, you mean the standard web protocol HTTP is really more than enough? Who would have thunk?”

Apparently he liked that reply, lol.

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