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RESTful APIs Preferred for Mobile

Mobile developers prefer RESTful APIs: is that a problem for enterprises?*


“Mobile app developers are not going to start developing for SOAP web services. Enterprises are not going to rush to replace massive earlier investments in SOAP even with the advent of mobile apps. Neither side is switching.”

That’s the conundrum presented in a recent white paper published by the gang at SOA Software, which proposes that there is a happy middle ground in which these two worlds can be brought together.

Much of the enterprise infrastructure that has proliferated over the past decade has been built on SOAP-based web services, which were designed to support enterprise-scale messaging, integration, resiliency, extensibility and security. As mobile interfaces become an even bigger part of the enterprise, there’s an urgent need to span the gap between SOAP-based enterprise services and REST.

Many proponents say REST-JSON is the only way to go with mobile app-based services, “because it is smaller and less bloated than SOAP-XML.” John Sprunger, writing in a post late last year, agrees that REST-JSON is faster and more effective for mobile app deployments, but for enterprises, the best approach is a big “it depends.”

Resful API,
Courtesy of ESRI

However, there is a way both worlds can co-exist — ensuring that enterprises still benefit from the maturity of SOAP-based web services environments, while taking advantage of the flexibility of REST-based interfaces for a new generation of mobile clients. “The secret is to let everything be. Let SOAP be the application integration powerhouse in the enterprise. Let REST be the dominant mode of interaction in the mobile app world.”

Connect mobile apps with enterprise back end systems is to transform the existing SOAP web service into a RESTful API. This way, the SOAP service can stay in place, doing what it does, but the mobile app can easily access the data and procedures it needs.

*This article was originally published by ZDNet. Read the original article here

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