RPC vs SOAP: Difference and Comparison

Web services play an important role while communicating our inputs to convert them into output over the World Wide Web. It’s indeed necessary to have a functional web service to access the internet.

The design structure defines the running speed of the Internet. The RPC and Soap both are XML based web service providers that have their different roles to perform, which are discussed below:

Key Takeaways

  1. RPC (Remote Procedure Call) is a protocol for executing code on remote systems, while SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a messaging protocol based on XML for exchanging data.
  2. RPC can use multiple protocols, including SOAP, while SOAP exclusively relies on XML and HTTP.
  3. SOAP offers better interoperability and standardization compared to RPC, which can lead to simpler implementation across various platforms.


RPC provides a simple and lightweight communication protocol, whereas SOAP provides a standardized messaging framework that can be used across different platforms and programming languages. RPC is faster and more efficient than SOAP, but SOAP provides additional features to its users.


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RPC  is an abbreviation of Remote Procedure Call which is an internet access protocol prominently called XML-RPC.

We need web-based services such as XML-RPC to access the information over the internet. It works by supporting HTTP post requests and transfer values among computers.

It prevents complexities while using an internet server. 

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is an internet-based messaging protocol or a web-based service that helps in exchanging information over computers.

It is an XML-based protocol that is used for web communication. The implementation of SOAP is language-specific, likely PHP or WSDL. SOAP can be used for many types of messaging systems.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRPC SOAP
Architecture RPC-XML utilizes simple architecture for exchanging data.SOAP has a complex architecture that exchanges data through SOAP- Envelope.
Named ParametersRPC has relevant orders that do not require named parameters for procedures.SOAP has irrelevant orders that require named parameters for procedures.
SizeRPC- XML fits only in 6 pages and is considered less strong.SOAP has 1.2 specs fits 44 pages which are considered strong.
Python SupportIn the Standard library, the RPC has great compatibility with Python Support.In the Standard library, the SOAP has weak compatibility with Python Support.
FunctionsRPC is used for accessing information over the internet.SOAP is used for exchanging structured information over the internet.

What is RPC?

The term RPC refers to a spec and set of implementations supporting software’s smooth running on different operating systems.

It works on XML and is abbreviated as Remote Procedure Call, which runs on different environments to make online process calls.

For user convenience, the design and architecture of the Remote Process Cell are as simple as they can be. 

This is a very old technology, even before the web, to give an interface mechanism to a web developer over the network.

It uses HTTP protocol to exchange information from client to server computers. The information transmission process takes place with very small messages or requests.

RPC was originated in early 1998 through userLand software and introduced in their frontier product, to integrate multiple computing environments, we require RPC-XML.

The RPC is the best technology to establish a large variety of computing among network systems.

It consists of three parts: The data model, request structures, response structures that support passing parameters, and HTTP requests and returns the value for the final output of information.

The system of RPT is also termed a sub-set of Simple object Protocol as well. Limitation of RPC- XML has basic authentication only.

What is SOAP?

The term SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a technology used for exchanging information among computers using the internet.

It’s a communication protocol used to communicate on the internet with its complex design.

Broadcasting of Messages, Completing documents for remote calls, and Data transmissions are the services available with the help of SOAP.

The way of explaining which and how the information is transferred through XML is possible with a web-based service of SOAP.

It is completely dependent on the programming language, which also provides a connection to remote services with client applications through XML. SOAP is an important part of web-based communication systems with service oriented-architecture since it allows a logical path to transfer the message of the sender.

It itself provides a secure connection while exchanging information.

The main de-merit of SOAP is heavy protocol with heavy architecture, which makes data transmission lengthy. Still, SOAP was the first technology for widely used protocol as a midway connection for web services in a Service-Oriented Architecture.

Since it was originated from Microsoft, a very long path already covered, and it is not as simple as its name depicts.

It has a very rigid set of message patterns to en-route information, and rules are very important to run SOAP.

Main Differences Between RPC and SOAP

  1. Language RPC refers to the program-to-program language-agnostic transfer of data where it primarily goes over HTTP/HTTPS on the other hand, SOAP can transfer its messages over email also.
  2. Usage: RPC is used for transferring data values, structure sets, and lists, whereas SOAP is used for transferring document levels.
  3. Implementation: RPC, the Remote Protocol calls, are predecessors to SOAP, the Simple Object Access Protocol and vice-versa.
  4. Goals: RPC works humbly towards its goal as it seeks a simple and effective method to request information and doesn’t set out a direct solution, contrary to SOAP pick up where RPC left the user-defined data.
  5. Capacity: RPC is less powerful in comparison to SOAP as defined in terms of capabilities, and even after being powerful, SOAP is verbose.
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/fullHtml/10.1145/966389.966392
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1284068

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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