REST vs. SOAP

31 May 2006

Okay I finally began a little analysis of the project. So essentially, we have two mini-projects within this one, the first thing to do would be design and implement a web service for repodoc, which is an experimental tool to validate GuideXML documents. Instead of directly invoking the tool on the server, we decided that it would be more secure and useful if a web service for the same could be prepared.

So which kind of web service do we implement? Three options that immediately pop up are XML-RPC, SOAP and REST. We ruled out XML-RPC because of all the security vulnerabilities, so the debate essentially boils down to SOAP vs. REST. SOAP is a more feature rich and robust option, while REST has the advantage of extreme simplicity and lesser security issues. I’m quite comfortable with SOAP and would not face any trouble in implementing a web serice using it, but my mentor is a bit keen on using REST because of its simplicity and suitability for this project.

I’m taking a deeper look at REST right now, because I’m not too familiar with it. Hopefully, I should make a final decision on this, because according to the schedule I put on the proposal, my analysis phase ends today ;)

We’re more or less decided on the other factors though. PHP 5.1 all the way, Smarty for templating the editor and a nice Javascript based WYSIWYG editor for the base. Lot’s of options for the WYSIWYG editor though, we have the classic ones like TinyMCE and FCKEditor, and some really funky ones like Bitflux, Kupu and SPAW.