Performance Study – REST vs SOAP for Mobile Applications by Steven Davelaar



To build functional and performant mobile apps, the back-end data services need to be optimized for mobile consumption. RESTful web services using JSON as payload format are widely considered as the best architectural choice for integration between mobile apps and back-end systems. Nevertheless, we have seen many customers of Oracle’s Mobile Application Framework (MAF) consuming SOAP web services in their mobile apps. One reason this is happening might be the nice declarative support in MAF/JDeveloper where you can easily create a SOAP-based data control through a wizard and build your pages using drag and drop. However, this wizard is only intended for really simple SOAP services. It cannot handle all XSD types, nor can it handle more complex, nested payloads. One way to work around these limitations is to process the SOAP payload programmatically in Java, but this is not a trivial task to do. While most of the issues around consuming more complex web services can ultimately be solved, this article explains why you should really abandon SOAP and go for REST-JSON services for one simple reason: performance. The differences in performance are staggering and get worse as the mobile device gets older.

Main Article

This articles discusses the results of a test conducted by Oracle’s A-Team to compare the performance of REST-JSON, REST-XML and SOAP service calls in MAF. We will first discuss the test set-up, then discuss the test results and we will end with a discussion of the options you have if you are currently consuming SOAP web services in your MAF application.

Test Set-Up

We have created an ADF Business Components (ADF BC) application that uses the HR schema to return a list of departments, including a nested list of employees for each department. So, the payload returned consists of 27 departments with 107 nested employee records.Each department row has 4 attributes, each employee row has 11 attributes.
In JSON format this payload is 26.2 KB, in XML format the payload is 77.3 KB in size (whitespace and carriage returns have been removed). Read the complete article here.

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About Jürgen Kress
As a middleware expert Jürgen works at Oracle EMEA Alliances and Channels, responsible for Oracle’s EMEA Fusion Middleware partner business. He is the founder of the Oracle SOA & BPM and the WebLogic Partner Communities and the global Oracle Partner Advisory Councils. With more than 5000 members from all over the world the Middleware Partner Community is the most successful and active community at Oracle. Jürgen manages the community with monthly newsletters, webcasts and conferences. He hosts his annual Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forums and the Fusion Middleware Summer Camps, where more than 200 partners get product updates, roadmap insights and hands-on trainings. Supplemented by many web 2.0 tools like twitter, discussion forums, online communities, blogs and wikis. For the SOA & Cloud Symposium by Thomas Erl, Jürgen is a member of the steering board. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences like the SOA & BPM Integration Days, JAX, UKOUG, OUGN, or OOP.

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