What is SOAP API?

SOAP, an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol, is a messaging protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of web services in computer networks. It uses XML to encode its messages and relies on application layer protocols, primarily HTTP or SMTP, for message negotiation and transmission.


Designed by Microsoft in 1998, SOAP is an essential component of the web services stack known as WS-* (WS-Star). It was developed as a simple mechanism to exchange structured and type-safe information between web applications.

Functionality and Features

SOAP APIs are designed for application-to-application communication, encoded in XML and operating over HTTP(s). They provide comprehensive standards for security and transaction compliance, making them a fit for enterprise-level, high-security applications.


The fundamental components of SOAP include the envelope, which defines the message structure, and the encoding rules for expressing instances of application-defined datatypes. Additionally, a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses is also part of its architecture.

Benefits and Use Cases

SOAP API offers reliable communication even in the presence of network failures, supports distributed processing models, and has robust security functionalities.

Challenges and Limitations

However, SOAP API is often complex to implement and requires more bandwidth and system resources. It is less performant compared to other API frameworks, such as REST.


Compared to REST, SOAP provides superior support for transactional operations and secure, reliable messaging, but it lacks in performance and simplicity. REST APIs are generally faster and easier to work with, but they don't offer built-in messaging standards.

Integration with Data Lakehouse

In a Data Lakehouse environment, SOAP API can facilitate information exchange between web services, but its complex and heavy structure may not be optimal for the diverse, flexible querying of a lakehouse. Solutions like Dremio surpass SOAP APIs in terms of performance and simplification of data accessibility in a lakehouse setup.

Security Aspects

SOAP comes with built-in WS-Security offering enhancements for message integrity, confidentiality. It also supports a range of security tokens.


The performance of SOAP APIs can be a drawback compared to alternative technologies. The bandwidth requirements and slower serialization and parsing of XML can lead to slower API responses.


What is SOAP API? SOAP API is a standard communication protocol system that allows programs that run on disparate operating systems to communicate using HTTP and XML.

What are the advantages of SOAP API? SOAP API offers a robust mode of communication between servers, supports distributed computing models, and provides exceptional support for security measures.

What are the drawbacks of SOAP API? SOAP API can be complex to implement, requires more system resources, and its overall performance can be slower than other API frameworks.

How does SOAP API compare to REST? SOAP API provides superior support for transactional operations and secure messaging, but it is often seen as overkill for simple operations, where REST may be a more efficient choice.

How does Dremio fit in? Dremio provides a data lakehouse service that surpasses SOAP APIs in terms of performance and simplification of data accessibility.


SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol, a messaging protocol for exchanging structured data.

Data lakehouse: A data architecture that combines the features of data warehouses and data lakes.

API: Application Programming Interface, a set of rules for building software applications.

XML: Extensible Markup Language, a software- and hardware-independent tool for carrying information.

Dremio: A data lakehouse platform that accelerates data analytics.

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