My SOAP hatred vindicated

Posted by Tim Connor Wed, 22 Nov 2006 16:00:00 GMT

For a decent while now there has been an anti-SOAP movement among Rails peeps, REST advocates, and the like. Most recently see: The S Stands for Simple. I’ve been on that bandwagon for a while now, but sort of felt like (due to my own experiences) the enterprisey folks could blow it off as kvetching among the unwashed masses. Well, now, I am at least partially vindicated.

The aforementioned post caused a huge response, all in agreement basically. And among those are people with the enterprise cred and experience with SOAP to make it stick. For example, how about Google’s search and Adwords API? It doesn’t get much more enterprise than that does it?

As someone who bears some past responsibility for well used SOAP services (Google’s APIs for search and AdWords) let me say now I’d never choose to use SOAP and WSDL again. I was wrong.

It’s almost enough to make me want to email old clients.

Of course, the worst SOAP experiences I’ve had is not entirely the fault of SOAP, but a vendor tacking on a SOAP API, when all their docs and code actually directly calls either the Java API or the .NET API. But, that has more than a little to do with the fact that SOAP is a pain in the ass, and the point of the REST approach: Keep It Simple Stupid. Make your API almost exactly the same as your browser based interface, for free.

Oh, and have some more gloating