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REST in peace, SOAP

SOAPLooks like the tide of the web API protocol war (if there ever was one) has shifted firmly in REST’s favor while SOAP has been forced back. Web developers have cast their votes, they want RESTful APIs.

Here is the distribution of the different API protocols and styles, comparing the situation in 2008 versus that of 2010, based on ProgrammableWeb’s directory of more than 2,000 web APIs.

SOAP vs REST, 2008 vs 2010
Source: ProgrammableWeb, May 2010.

Interesting enough, REST was already the dominant web API style even two years ago, and it keeps gaining ground.

If that’s not convincing enough, there’s Google to help us. The below graph should make it abundantly clear what the trend is.

Interest over time for REST API versus SOAP API:
Interest in REST API vs SOAP API
Source: Google Insights for Search.

So not only is REST the dominant API style by far, interest in it is growing rapidly, while interest in SOAP is declining.

Many of you probably knew this already, especially if you’re into web development, but it’s always nice to have to actual numbers to go with those assumptions, right?