When machines need to communicate with one another and exchange data, they require certain formatting for specific data types. That's where SOAP API and REST API come into play. They allow for communication and transfer of data, but each is different in several ways. From implementation to their required resources, various attributes separate one from the other.

Consider the following information and attributes of each to help you determine which is ideal for your specific needs and what they can do to help you extend your capabilities in business. 

Table of Contents

  1. What Is REST API?
  2. What Is SOAP API
  3. Differences Outlined
  4. How API Services Work
  5. How Integrate.io Can Help 

What Is Rest API

REST API, or RESTful API, stands for Representational State Transfer and is an architectural style of software commonly used with the World Wide Web. REST APIs or web APIs work to define how specific systems should behave. This application programming interface provides protocols related to integrations for software and web services

When referring to the API, it's basically a way for the call and the response to communicate and fulfill requests. There are specified definitions outlined for the API that allows for certain actions to occur to complete each request. For example, if you're wanting to gather some information for a request, the definitions may ask for specified entries to satisfy the query. 

Many advantages come with REST API, such as you don't need to identify how data is acquired or from where. This attribute makes using an API the ideal way to connect to various resources used to help propel businesses and web development which expands their abilities. 

The information delivered by the REST is in one of several formats such as JavaScript Object Notation , Java or JSON, HTML, Python, and XTL via HTTP protocol. The headers are used to provide identifying information such as cookies, metadata, URI, and more. This attribute is what makes REST so user-friendly and popular today. 


SOAP APIs stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. This is a communication system that allows specific systems to communicate with each other has. Their specific purposes can range from recovering deleted records to creating custom objects. 

This API allows for more effortless actions while using specific languages and can interact with various platforms. One of the characteristics that make SOAP API different from REST APIs is that it uses XML and HTTP, which means much larger file sizes. Having larger file sizes unfortunately makes SOAP slower and bulky. 

Compared to REST APIs, SOAP APIs are more specified in their use cases and are necessary for fewer instances. However, SOAP protocols are still required for some business processes, but for true flexibility, they aren't as capable or nimble. 

Differences Outlined

So, what is the difference between SOAP vs. REST? As you can see, there are many differences between REST APIs and SOAP APIs. One of the most significant differences is that REST is more versatile in that it allows the user to work with many data formats and smaller payloads. This option is ideal for connecting data warehouses to various apps and platforms. 

Naturally, the REST API is perfect for businesses that want to streamline their processes by having real-time data connections to help them power their businesses and improve functionality with fewer bandwidth requirements and the ability to use cacheable data. SOAP API only allows XML and requires much large file sizes to transfer metadata and creates slower connections and more bandwidth

Additionally, REST is commonly used when accessing the internet and web services and public APIs via a consistent services interface to access data. In contrast, SOAP uses more specific standards but can ultimately perform many of the same tasks. 

Many feel using REST APIs allows for more accessible executions and is thought to be more straightforward in most cases. It's also performed better for non-dynamic information. Although SOAP API has existed longer than REST API, today's most prolific companies prefer to use REST API for its versatility and performance aspects.

How API Services Work 

API service providers allow companies to connect their data with third-party apps or SaaS providers. Many of these providers offer a simple solution to businesses to allow them to quickly and simply connect without using code or need assistance from IT or a developer. In most instances, it's easier to work with companies offering REST APIs, but there are some that offer SOAP APIs for specific use cases where REST APIs won't work. 

Providers such as Integrate.io allow the user to sign up for their services and choose any of the wide variety of connections their platform allows. You simply choose your client-server connections and in minutes, there's a functional REST API in place to help facilitate data transfers to specific locations. 

Teaming up with these providers allows for many benefits, such as the following. 

  •  Development simplification 
  • Access to the top API architecture
  • Easier to communicate
  • Faster connections
  • Error handling

If you want ease and versatility, REST APIs are the best solution for businesses who want to connect to multiple platforms and websites without issues or complex specifics. They are widely used and easier to work with than SOAP APIs. 

Consider working with companies offering API management to make the most out of your abilities and help make connections that drive better business decisions and more. They can take the hassle out of using APIs and provide a user-friendly interface that requires little to no code skills. That means you can have your connection in place in just minutes without having to seek the services of a developer or an IT professional.

How Integrate.io Can Help

Integrate.io provides automated ETL tools that provide data integrations with features and a user-friendly uniform interface that simplify creating connections and customization. You can easily retrieve information from top websites and platforms with no issues. Integrate.io offers more than 100 connectors, including REST API, that give you the tools you need to expand and grow your capabilities. Using REST APIs is a flexible and efficient way to connect with apps, platforms, and much more. 

If you're ready to team up with leading ETL tools provided with the capability to provide REST APIs that can help you stay connected and streamline your business needs, contact us today to start a 7-day demo. We can help you connect in minutes with a simple tutorial and have access to the most popular apps and platforms used in business today.