While browsing SO today I found this question here and it starts with this:

Sure, you're gonna tell me that SOAP is depracated and all, well i'm forced to use it

Found lots of statement like this one on SO up till now, this one just triggered me to ask this question.

REST has its uses, SOAP has its uses, in some places they intersect as functionality but they are not replaceable to one another.

So I wonder, why do people think SOAP is "deprecated"? Is it ignorance? Complexity of SOAP and WS-* specs? REST hype? What?

If you think SOAP is deprecated please tell me why. I'm curious!

  • 33
    SOAP is deprecated because many of us have moved to shower gel. ;) Jun 21, 2011 at 15:56
  • 4
    See SOAP and Evolution of Language.
    – Josh K
    Jun 21, 2011 at 15:57
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    I think hammer->nail is complexity of the SOAP and especially the WS-* specs. Those things developed far beyond industry average comprehension ability before anyone really noticed, and suddenly people are being expected to walk into the industry and pick those up, they likely failed to and made large mistakes due to that a number of times, resulting in them saying "Huh, how about I just use JSON and forget all this crazy..." Aug 5, 2013 at 15:11

4 Answers 4


In case of SOAP based web services, WSDL and UDDI were supposed to be the silver bullet. The tools were suppose to create WSDLs almost automatically, UDDI was supposed to automatically detect services and connect clients. Neither really took off. Without these tools SOAP is just too complicated comparing with RESTful.

Also, at about same time XML hype has died out, being replaced by light-languages hype. SOAP's is XML, and overhead on simple messages is huge.


SOAP promised glorious, life-saving, auto-detection, problem-solving, never-work-again features. However, we never really made it that far. Then along came JSON and other light, simple, cros-platform alternatives which left SOAP looking like a silly choice.

It might have been a great city if everyone had moved to it.


I think its ignorance and hype, both then and now.

To qualify this:

  1. A lot of projects that would have used SOAP/WS-* a few years ago, will not today and for good reasons.

  2. RESTful interfaces solve a lot of use cases that are particularly prevalent in Internet applications.

  3. The "enterprise" applications tried to hop on the webservice bandwagon a decade ago and then remembered that they actually need many of the features they were trying to escape from in their legacy COM+, CORBA and J2EE RMI/IIOP platforms. Everyone else still hates this stuff.


I think its because SOAP spec 1.2 refers to itself as WS-* and not SOAP anymore. It makes a distinction between itself (as a highly-formatted XML based system) and SOAP (which it says is a lump of XML that happens to be a little bit standardised and full of 'issues').

so while they've standardised it over a few years, its still SOAP, but I think they dropped the term as the primary acronym.

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