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So now it's possible to deploy metadata using Rest approach (vs old-school classic and heavy SOAP one): https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api_meta.meta/api_meta/meta_rest_deploy.htm

Rest deployment is already supported in sfdx cli via special option.

But the question here is - Are there any practical benefits of using Rest vs SOAP deployment? In particular, is Rest deployment faster when it comes to large code base?

Currently we are deploying our project in 3 steps - on each step up to 10,000 files are deployed. Altogether it takes up to 1 hours for all 3 sequential deployments to finish (no tests).

As I get, with Rest we would still be limited to 10,000 per deployment bundle, but would it be at least faster? Does it make sense to switch to Rest deployment as a more progressive way of deploying stuff (expecting that they would be introducing new deployment options in the future, deprecating SOAP approach altogether)?

Any help would be appreciated.

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SOAP won't be deprecated in the near future (presumably); if it were, we'd be notified in advance. The primary benefit is upload speed/reduced bandwidth. As a secondary consideration, if you're already in a REST project, you don't need to switch to SOAP just to perform deployments. Also, technically speaking, certain languages excel at either XML or JSON, few do both equally well. This new option means you can now use your language's preferred transport protocol, instead of necessarily having to work with a less efficient method codewise.

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