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Author's profile photo Prabaharan Asokan

SOAP & REST based webservices. What are they ? When to use each of them or use both ?

Hello Experts,

We are aware that SAP Gateway is a product offering from SAP which has now close to 8K customer installations (may be higher than this). This is really a tremendous growth and achievement from both SAP as well as its customers/partners standpoint enabling technology simple to consume SAP data through any popular environment or device or browsers following REST principles. Prior to Gateway we had something called “Web services” to integrate SAP data with Microsoft etc.  We also have NW Mobile, BAPI, LMS but I am taking web services into the table.

Few advantages which I believe Gateway is preferable over SOAP based web services are

1.Easy consumption in all channels like browsers, mobile phones etc.

2. OData defines an abstract & common data model and a protocol that let any client access information exposed by any data source by using common libraries.


3.OData requests are simple as like a SQL DB query. However web services which use SOAP request are quite complex to consume in thin client like mobile. A typical SOAP request look like


4. SOAP exposes application –defined services but OData allows access to an entire application-defined data model.


5. Summarizing REST & SOAP features.


1.What are the ideal use cases for choosing Web services (SOAP) and for SAP Gateway(OData based REST services) from a customer perspective?

For Applications involving more users interactions like B2C(Business to Consumer), Multi-Channel consumption(Desktop ,Mobile,Tablets), Lightweight,Synchronous & Stateless applications chossing REST methodology is a wise option.For Integration scenarios,A2A(Application to Application),B2B(Business to Business), System-System communications, Asynchronous support, Connecting to NON-SAP backends, creating stateful & heavy weight applications SOAP based services could be used. So it depends upon the business requirements to choose developing a REST service or a SOAP service.  Below blog & Teched session discusses them in detail.

Gateway or Process Integration – which is the Right Tool for the Job :

SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and SAP NetWeaver Gateway: When to Use What (Dont miss the fun at the end of the video)

A typical customer who has both SAP Gateway and SAP Process orchestration installations enjoy the benefits of both the world.

Is ther any plans from SAP in the roadmap to bring this both product features into a single product offering either on-premise or on-demand ?

@ Experts ,Gateway topic leaders and everyone : Please share your thoughts !

References :


Prabaharan Asokan

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      Author's profile photo Vishnu Pankajakshan Panicker
      Vishnu Pankajakshan Panicker

      great blog mate



      Author's profile photo Prabaharan Asokan
      Prabaharan Asokan
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks vishnu.

      Author's profile photo Rakesh Verma
      Rakesh Verma

      Hi Prabaharan,

      We can use OData based REST Adapter when we are using REST WS, it is basically used for Lightweight Devices and can even communicate in XML and JSON format.

      As now a days API technology is immersing day by day SAP has come up with OData Adapter so that it can communicate with REST services.

      And in conclusion I would like to say that Either the use SOAP or OData depends on your requirement. 😉



      Author's profile photo Prabaharan Asokan
      Prabaharan Asokan
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rakesh,

      Thanks for the comments. I updated the blog based on your feedbacks. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Harsha Sinha
      Harsha Sinha

      Very informative blog.

      Good job!!