Tuesday, April 21, 2009

soapUI: Open Source way to explore WSDL

SOAP is my least favorite server side web service to hook into. It can be one unforgiving SOB... I've spent countless hours trying to bend and break code to get it to interact with different soap variations. Seems like every company has their own namespace and naming convention to follow and many times these conventions are not labeled or easily found. Tech support for one of these lovely companies recently pointed me to an outstanding piece of open source: soapUI.

Open it up, drop in the URL to the WSDL and it will immediately show you all the Operations that are available. You can then explore any operation and view the variables and structure of the XML that the Operation is expecting. It will even let you enter in variables and hit submit to see what kind of response you will get. This is 100x easier than trying to figure out why the call failed via logs and Flash stack traces... which usually just say streaming error or something else equally generic.

On a side note... anyone have a better tool than wellconsidered as for as AS3 Soap methods go? I greatly appreciate Pieter Michels efforts, they helped me immensely during my first SOAP excursion. However, the more I use it the more I realize how it is unfinished and lacking key functionality. We are considering trying to create a Flex swf just for the SOAP methods and load it into our Flash project next time... but seems like there should be an easier way.


Pieter said...


I know a lot of people are frustrated that not all webservice functionalities are implemented in the webservice classes I made. I do want to extend this but lack of time keeps me from it.

Nonetheless I do have plans to start another run of development work on it with unit tests to ensure code stability and consistency.

Another note: the classes were made for our development / flash work at Proximity BBDO. Until now we still have all the available functionalities in the classes, but to be honest: we know the limitations and act to it ... :)

Ickydime said...

@Pieter, thanks for posting. Hopefully my post didn't come across as a slam against you or your work. The fact that you provided this giant step forward to the community is greatly appreciated.

I completely understand creating work for a particular function and am glad you still decided to share it in its current state. It has been a tremendous help.

Keep me posted if you do find time to add to the project. Would love to check it out and help where needed.

SoaMoaFan said...

Hi ickydime,

soapui is realy a super tool. You should also see SoaMoa http://soamoa.org

Jason said...

Suggested reading:
Advanced ActionScript 3 with Design Patterns
by Joey Lott and Danny Patterson
Go to chapter 15 for a better and complete solution.

Ickydime said...

Joke? Spam?

There are only 13 chapters in the book, unless I am looking at the wrong one. ;)