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Years and years ago I made a casual (yet accurate) remark to Tim O’Reilly about the relative use of our SOAP and REST web services. At that time REST accounted for something like 85% of our usage. Tim blogged our conversation, which was subsequently picked up by Slashdot. It’s been fun to see this casual remark come back at me again and again. While I was in Tokyo last week it even came up in one of the interviews! Before you ask, I don’t even know our latest statistics.

I’ve recently collected a bunch of interesting SOAP and REST links. Some of these are actually kind of entertaining:

  • Pete Lacey started stirring the pot last month, with his Socratic dialog, The S Stands for Simple.
  • Ryan Tomakyo talks about How I Explained REST to My Wife. At the end of this entertaining post he even managed to take a backhanded slap at SOAP without even mentioning it by name: “We’re throwing out decades of real field usage and proven technique and starting over with something that looks a lot like other systems that have failed in the past.”
  • Adam Trachtenberg talks about REST vs. HTTP + POX vs. SOAP. He gets to the heart of one real barrier to using SOAP when he says “Its complexity in terms of trying to understand the hundreds of pages of XML specifications to generate the request and not having good examples of working XML documents to crib off of.”
  • Via another of Adam’s posts, I found out that Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby are writing a book on REST Web Services. Should be interesting.
  • Nelson Minar, formerly of Google, talks about Why SOAP Sucks. Nelson has some pretty harsh words for SOAP interoperability: “Let me say now I’d never choose to use SOAP and WSDL again. I was wrong.”


— Jeff;

Modified 2/11/2021 – In an effort to ensure a great experience, expired links in this post have been updated or removed from the original post.
Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.