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   Re: [xml-dev] What Does SOAP/WS Do that A REST System Can't?

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> After all the threads on this, I can't remember ever 
> seeing this question answered.  Can someone point me 
> to a list of the capabilities that one gets using 
> SOAP/WS* that one won't get using REST?

I don't think you'll find anything close to a comprehensive list for two 
major reasons
	Its almost as much political as technical
	The WS-xxx stack is a long way from being done, to say nothing
	of getting various standards committees working on the parts.

If we compare WS-xxx with HTTP (as the most widely deployed example of 
REST), a few things come to mind, some of which will matter, and some 
which won't:
	SOAP supports richer message patterns, including multiple parties 
processing a message along the way.
	HTTP proxies might require you to put no-transform in your header to 
avoid someone converting your message. (14.9.5 of HTTP1.1 spec) -- yuk. 
  In fact, the whole proxy stuff in HTTP plays havoc with your meta-data
	Speaking of which, SOAP has a place for metadata and a rich set of 
standards; HTTP has a place (the headers) with problematic standards
	There is no standard way to RSA-sign a request or a response

My biggest problem with REST, the architecture, goes back to a thread 
Rusty and I had months ago.  REST is requires all state to live in the 
messages exchanged between the two parties, and the only standard way to 
sign content goes against acceptable security practices -- everything 
uses your "login" key, as opposed to a session key.  Yes, you could 
define appropriate media types and use of HTTP 40[123] to effect a state 
machine and do the right thing, but , err, yuk. :)


Rich Salz, Chief Security Architect
DataPower Technology                           http://www.datapower.com
XS40 XML Security Gateway   http://www.datapower.com/products/xs40.html


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