Web services are of two kinds: Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST).
Web services provide a standard means of interoperating between different software applications, running on a variety of platforms and/or frameworks. The Web services architecture is an interoperability architecture: it identifies those global elements of the global Web services network that are required in order to ensure interoperability between Web services.
SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. SOAP defines standards to be strictly followed. REST does not define too much standards like SOAP. SOAP requires more bandwidth and resource than REST. REST requires less bandwidth and resource than SOAP.
Web Services Architecture – SOAP vs REST which is best?
Well it is difficult to compare. It’s like comparing Apples and Oranges. Since the first is a protocol and the second is an architectural style. In general, REST is more preferred than SOAP.
I would like to share few URLs.
This article discusses about the XML formatted messages that SOAP uses and XML, YAML, JSON or any machine readable format that REST uses for message formatting.
I like this article below as this discusses about mobile based applications where lean mechanism is required, REST become the obvious choice.