Automation and Customization are two key features of Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions. When it comes to configuring these MFT solutions via APIs, administrators often debate between using REST and SOAP API’s. While REST APIs are convenient, accessible, and resource and bandwidth efficient, they are not considered highly secure. And because of this challenge are not the ideal choice for controlling your MFT server. This blog will discuss why SOAP API is the better API for your MFT solution.  

What is a SOAP API?  

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is an API specification developed to help organizations transfer data throughout their corporate networks. SOAP APIs format data into XML and primarily communicate over HTTP but can use other protocols like SFTP or TCP. While SOAP was created in the 90s, it still offers significant extensibility because it gives administrators a large degree of control over how they can structure their messages.  

How are SOAP APIs Implemented?  

SOAP developers can use any programming language supported by web services to code their applications. Provided those applications follow SOAP’s guidelines, they will be able to send and receive messages independent of the communicating machines’ application language or operating system.   

In practice, SOAP APIs are used in millions of unique ways all across the internet. They allow users to create, update, delete and recover sensitive data such as passwords, account information, and custom objects thousands of times per second.   

Of course, many of the above activities are accomplished through file transfer servers, which brings us back to MFT servers.  

Why Should You Choose a SOAP API for Your MFT Server?  

While every organization chooses either REST API or SOAP API, the security benefits of using SOAP in Managed File Transfer include the following:  

  • Enhanced Security   
    • SOAP supports SSL for data protection, just like REST, but also adds Web Services Security (WSS) protection. WSS gives senders additional security options in order to customize how aspects such as message integrity and sender authentication are handled.  
  • Protocol Flexibility  
    • SOAP APIs’ formatting of messages into XML allows them to function across communication protocols such as simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP), transmission control protocol (TCP), and HTTP. This makes them ideal for situations where several different clients may be making data requests across a variety of protocols.  
  • Less Coding/Smaller Learning Curve  
    • When supporting complex MFT server operations, SOAP requires minimal coding in the application layer for executing transactions, security, and other commands. This makes SOAP’s learning curve more manageable than other APIs.  
  • Programming Language Flexibility  
    • SOAP APIs are compatible with any web programming language, which helps you’rehelps your MFT server extensible to support future applications, environments, and staff skills.
  • Deliverability  
    • SOAP’s use of the standard HTTP protocol makes operating across proxies and firewalls easier without needing to make any modifications.  
  • Transaction Reliability   
    • SOAP’s use of HTTP allows for greater transaction reliability, assisting with ACID-compliant transactions in case of errors, power failures, or other mishaps occurring.  
  • Greater Extensibility  
    • Whip SOAP is approaching its 40th birthday; it remains a highly flexible choice for data transfer due to the fine-grained message and security control it gives developers. It also has the flexibility to communicate across any protocol your organization might use now or in the future.  

We hope this blog helps you understand why a SOAP API is the right choice for your MFT Server. To learn more about Cerberus’s MFT capabilities, click here. To learn more about Cerberus FTP Server, visit