Please, consider three pictures, I found in internet:


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I always thought, that REST and SOAP services are in service layer - see #1. However, if you look at #2, you'll see, that presentation layer provides restful service. #3 shows, that presentation layer includes only REST services, but not SOAP.

So, does presentation layer include REST and SOAP services?


2 Answers 2


The reason that diagram 2 calls this the "presentation layer" is because that's the conceptual "layer" in which REST is presented in ASP.NET MVC It's essentially an "end-point."

The reason that diagram 1 calls this the "Service Layer" is because that's where SOAP and REST are represented in that diagram. The "Presentation Layer" represents the UI in that diagram, so the diagram needs to call the layer that contains SOAP and REST something else.

Why are they different? Because that's how the world works. People co-opt different terms to suit their different purposes.

  • I think there's a typo and the second paragraph refers to diagram 1.
    – Rik D
    Nov 30, 2020 at 19:35
  • No. I'm saying that the diagrams call these layers what they want to call them. Where the actual services are placed depends on other factors that may have little to do with these diagrams. The diagrams are merely conceptual. Nov 30, 2020 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Pavel: Just like how the meaning of "presentation" can shift in a different context, so can the meaning of "services". The issue here is that you seem to expect that there is exactly one rigorous definition for each name you encounter. There isn't.
    – Flater
    Dec 1, 2020 at 16:20
  • 1
    @Pavel: Let me try to say what they are getting at in a different way. It's not that there is this template that says that there are Data Layer, Business Layer, Service Layer and Presentation Layer, and then developers say "we'll put this into the Service Layer" or "we'll put this other thing into the Pres. Layer". It's that developers decide how they'll conceptually divide the system into layers; they decide what the layers represent exactly, how they are going to call them, how many of them will be there. 1/2 Dec 1, 2020 at 17:10
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    It's just that certain ways of dividing the system into layers are common; but even then, what exactly each layer represents conceptually may be subtly different and depends entirely on the developers architecting the system (depends on how they think about it). In 3, they simply don't think about the service layer as being a separate layer. Regarding your question: in principle, REST & SOAP aren't presentation in general; however, they are either not being too careful about that here, or are trying to emphasize that these are, in their system, geared towards supporting a frontend. 2/2 Dec 1, 2020 at 17:11

There are many layered architectures; some use the same names for layers with slightly different responsibilities.

It also depends on what you consider the boundaries of the application. If you're making a REST service for others to consume, it's not uncommon to call the layer that contains the endpoints the Presentation layer.

If you're also building the application that consumes the REST endpoint, your effectively building two separate applications. The end-users and other stakeholders might not see it that way, but technically they are two separate applications, each with their own layers. And depending on the chosen architectures, some of these layers could have the same names.

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