Current trends inspired from the development of the Web 2.0 advocate designing smart things (e.g., wireless sensors nodes or home appliances) as service platforms. Interoperable services are mainly achieved using two different approaches: WS-* and RESTful Web services. These approaches have previously been compared with respect to performance and features, but no work has been done to elicit the developers' preferences and programming experiences. We conducted a study in which 69 novice developers learned both technologies and implemented mobile phone applications that retrieve sensor data, both through a RESTful and through a WS-* service architecture. The results complement the available technological decision framework when building Internet of Things applications. The results suggest that developers find REST easier to learn than WS-* and consider it more suitable for programming smart things. However, for applications with advanced security and Quality of Service requirements, WS-* Web services are perceived to be better suited.
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