muSOAing for 4/27/11 – Relax and be RESTful

Having always dealt with WSDL based SOAP services, when the RESTful mantra started to be bandied around a few years ago, I was really curious. I was of the firm belief that there should always be a firm contract between the caller and provider of the web service, even if the caller or client is internal to the organization. Having lived in that comfort zone, I was one for dismissing REST services as trivial and not to be taken too seriously. This idea of overloading the URL to send the metadata and then sending just the payload and processing it at the backend did not appeal to me a lot.

However with increased adoption and annotation support from frameworks like Jersey, I have started taking a serious look at REST. The ease with which one can churn out a service warrants a serious second look at this paradigm. I am of the firm opinion now that unless services need to be published for external (B2B) or enterprise wide consumption through a service registry, there is really no need to adopt WSDL based SOAP services. Where a contract is not of prime importance and you can do away with the overhead, REST services will suffice.

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