XML Web Service using PHP and SOAP

July 28, 2009

The basic Web services platform is XML and HTTP. XML provides a language which can be used between different platforms and programming languages. The HTTP protocol is the most used Internet protocol. Web services platform elements are SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), WSDL (Web Services Description Language).

Here I have talking about SOAP, NuSOAP and how it will use in PHP with example. So now let’s start. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a simple XML-based protocol to let applications exchange information over HTTP.  Today’s Web Service (SOAP) is most popular and it provides a way to communicate between applications running on different operating systems, with different technologies and programming languages.

Actually, the SOAP API itself has not been deprecated– just some of the functions. NuSOAP is a PHP library that allows you to send and receive SOAP messages. NuSOAP is a group of PHP classes that allow developers to create and consume SOAP services. It does not require any special PHP extensions. To use NuSOAP You must download NuSOAP library. Click Here to download library first.

Once you have downloaded a library file, you simply need to place it in your code tree so that you can include it from your PHP code. For my examples, I placed it in the same directory as the sample code itself.

I will start with the ubiquitous “Hello, World” example. This will demonstrate the basic coding of NuSOAP clients and servers.

I am going to start with the server code. The server exposes a single SOAP method named “Hello”, which takes a single string parameter for input and returns a string. Hopefully, the comments within the code provide sufficient explanation. For example server.php is a file name.

Now create a client side Script which will save it to the file clients.php. There are a few important things to note. First, when the instance of soap client is created, the parameter specified is the URL to the service. Second, when calling the service, the first parameter is the service name. This must match with the method registered within server.php. Finally, the second parameter in the call is an array of parameters that will be passed to the SOAP service method. Since the hello method of server.php requires a single parameter, this array has one element.

NuSOAP also provides a debug information. Adding the following to the client code will display this  debugging information.

I showed above code how  to display the SOAP request and response. Here is what the request from the client..php looks like.

You can CLICK HERE to download the source for this example as well.

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