SOAP::Lite - Client and server side SOAP implementation


  use SOAP::Lite;
  print SOAP::Lite
    -> uri('')
    -> proxy('')
    -> f2c(32)
    -> result;

The same code with autodispatch:

  use SOAP::Lite +autodispatch =>
    uri => '',
    proxy => '';
  print f2c(32);

Code in OO-style:

  use SOAP::Lite +autodispatch =>
    uri => '',
    proxy => '';
  my $temperatures = Temperatures->new(32); # get object
  print $temperatures->as_celsius;          # invoke method

Code with service description:

  use SOAP::Lite;
  print SOAP::Lite
    -> service('')
    -> getQuote('MSFT');

Code for SOAP server (CGI):

  use SOAP::Transport::HTTP;
    -> dispatch_to('/Your/Path/To/Deployed/Modules', 'Module::Name', 'Module::method') 
    -> handle;

Visual Basic client (through COM interface):

  MsgBox CreateObject("SOAP.Lite").new( _
    "proxy", "";, _
    "uri",   "urn:xmethods-delayed-quotes" _

mod_soap enabled SOAP server:

  SetHandler perl-script
  PerlHandler Apache::SOAP
  PerlSetVar dispatch_to "/Your/Path/To/Deployed/Modules, Module::Name"

ASP/VB SOAP server:

    Response.ContentType = "text/xml"
    Response.Write(Server.CreateObject("SOAP.Lite") _
      .server("SOAP::Server") _ 
      .dispatch_to("/Your/Path/To/Deployed/Modules") _
      .handle(Request.BinaryRead(Request.TotalBytes)) _


SOAP::Lite is a collection of Perl modules which provides a simple and lightweight interface to the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) both on client and server side.

This version of SOAP::Lite supports the SOAP 1.1 specification ( ).

The main features of the library are:


See t/*.t, examples/*.pl and the module documentation for a client-side examples that demonstrate the serialization of a SOAP request, sending it via HTTP to the server and receiving the response, and the deserialization of the response. See examples/server/* for server-side implementations.


This table should give you a quick overview of the classes provided by the library.
 -- SOAP::Lite           -- Main class provides all logic
 -- SOAP::Transport      -- Supports transport architecture
 -- SOAP::Data           -- Provides extensions for serialization architecture
 -- SOAP::Header         -- Provides extensions for header serialization
 -- SOAP::Parser         -- Parses XML file into object tree
 -- SOAP::Serializer     -- Serializes data structures to SOAP package
 -- SOAP::Deserializer   -- Deserializes results of SOAP::Parser into objects
 -- SOAP::SOM            -- Provides access to deserialized object tree
 -- SOAP::Constants      -- Provides access to common constants
 -- SOAP::Trace          -- Provides tracing facilities
 -- SOAP::Schema         -- Provides access and stub(s) for schema(s)
 -- SOAP::Schema::WSDL   -- WSDL implementation for SOAP::Schema
 -- SOAP::Server         -- Handles requests on server side 
 -- SOAP::Server::Object -- Handles objects-by-reference 
 -- SOAP::Fault          -- Provides support for Faults on server side
 -- SOAP::Utils          -- A set of private and public utility subroutines
 -- SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Client  -- Client interface to HTTP transport
 -- SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server  -- Server interface to HTTP transport
 -- SOAP::Transport::HTTP::CGI     -- CGI implementation of server interface
 -- SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Daemon  -- Daemon implementation of server interface
 -- SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Apache  -- mod_perl implementation of server interface
 -- SOAP::Transport::POP3::Server  -- Server interface to POP3 protocol
 -- SOAP::Transport::MAILTO::Client -- Client interface to SMTP/sendmail
 -- SOAP::Transport::LOCAL::Client -- Client interface to local transport
 -- SOAP::Transport::TCP::Server -- Server interface to TCP protocol
 -- SOAP::Transport::TCP::Client -- Client interface to TCP protocol
 -- SOAP::Transport::IO::Server -- Server interface to IO transport


All methods that SOAP::Lite provides can be used for both setting and retrieving values. If you provide no parameters, you will get current value, and if parameters are provided, a new value will be assigned to the object and the method in question will return the current object (if not stated otherwise). This is suitable for stacking these calls like:

  $lite = SOAP::Lite
    -> uri('')
    -> proxy('')

The order is insignificant and you may call the new() method first. If you don't do it, SOAP::Lite will do it for you. However, the new() method gives you an additional syntax:

  $lite = new SOAP::Lite
    uri => '',
    proxy => ''

new() accepts a hash with method names as keys. It will call the appropriate methods together with the passed values. Since new() is optional it won't be mentioned anymore.


Provides access to the SOAP::Transport object. The object will be created for you. You can reassign it (but generally you should not).


Provides access to the SOAP::Serializer object. The object will be created for you. You can reassign it (but generally you should not).


Shortcut for transport->proxy(). This lets you specify an endpoint (service address) and also loads the required module at the same time. It is required for dispatching SOAP calls. The name of the module will be defined depending on the protocol specific for the endpoint. The prefix SOAP::Transport will be prepended, the module will be loaded and object of class (with appended ::Client) will be created.

For example, for http://localhost/, the class for creating objects will look for SOAP::Transport:HTTP::Client;

In addition to endpoint parameter, proxy() can accept any transport specific parameters that could be passed as name => value pairs. For example, to specify proxy settings for HTTP protocol you may do:

               proxy => ['http' => 'http://my.proxy.server/']);

Notice that since proxy (second one) expects to get more than one parameter you should wrap them in array.

Another useful example can be the client that is sensitive to cookie-based authentication. You can provide this with:

               cookie_jar => HTTP::Cookies->new(ignore_discard => 1));

You may specify timeout for HTTP transport with following code:

  $soap->proxy('http://localhost/', timeout => 5);

Lets you specify an endpoint without changing/loading the protocol module. This is useful for switching endpoints without switching protocols. You should call proxy() first. No checks for protocol equivalence will be made.


Lets you specify the kind of output from all method calls. If true, all methods will return unprocessed, raw XML code. You can parse it with XML::Parser, SOAP::Deserializer or any other appropriate module.


Shortcut for serializer->autotype(). This lets you specify whether the serializer will try to make autotyping for you or not. Default setting is true.


Shortcut for serializer->readable(). This lets you specify the format for the generated XML code. Carriage returns <CR> and indentation will be added for readability. Useful in the case you want to see the generated code in a debugger. By default, there are no additional characters in generated XML code.


Shortcut for serializer->use_prefix(). This lets you turn on/off the use of a namespace prefix for the children of the /Envelope/Body element. Default is 'true'. (This was introduced in 0.61 for better .NET compatibility)

When use_prefix is set to 'true', serialized XML will look like this:

  <SOAP-ENV:Envelope ...attributes skipped>
      <namesp1:mymethod xmlns:namesp1="urn:MyURI" />

When use_prefix is set to 'true', serialized XML will look like this:

  <SOAP-ENV:Envelope ...attributes skipped>
      <mymethod xmlns="urn:MyURI" />

Shortcut for serializer->namespace(). This lets you specify the default namespace for generated envelopes ('SOAP-ENV' by default).


Shortcut for serializer->encodingspace(). This lets you specify the default encoding namespace for generated envelopes ('SOAP-ENC' by default).


Shortcut for serializer->encoding(). This lets you specify the encoding for generated envelopes. It does not actually change envelope encoding, it will just modify the XML declaration ('UTF-8' by default). Use undef value to not generate XML declaration.


Shortcut for serializer->typelookup(). This gives you access to the typelookup table that is used for autotyping. For more information see SOAP::Serializer.


Shortcut for serializer->uri(). This lets you specify the uri for SOAP methods. Nothing is specified by default and your call will definitely fail if you don't specify the required uri.

WARNING: URIs are just identifiers. They may look like URLs, but they are not guaranteed to point to anywhere and shouldn't be used as such pointers. URIs assume to be unique within the space of all XML documents, so consider them as unique identifiers and nothing else.


Shortcut for serializer->multirefinplace(). If true, the serializer will put values for multireferences in the first occurrence of the reference. Otherwise it will be encoded as top independent element, right after method element inside Body. Default value is false.


DEPRECATED: Use SOAP::Header instead.

Shortcut for serializer->header(). This lets you specify the header for generated envelopes. You can specify root, mustUnderstand or any other header using SOAP::Data class:

  $serializer = SOAP::Serializer->envelope('method' => 'mymethod', 1,
    SOAP::Header->name(t1 => 5)->mustUnderstand(1),
    SOAP::Header->name(t2 => 7)->mustUnderstand(2),

will be serialized into:

  <SOAP-ENV:Envelope ...attributes skipped>
      <t1 xsi:type="xsd:int" SOAP-ENV:mustUnderstand="1">5</t1>
      <t2 xsi:type="xsd:int" SOAP-ENV:mustUnderstand="1">7</t2>
      <namesp1:mymethod xmlns:namesp1="urn:SOAP__Serializer">
        <c-gensym6 xsi:type="xsd:int">1</c-gensym6>

You can mix SOAP::Header parameters with other parameters and you can also return SOAP::Header parameters as a result of a remote call. They will be placed into the header. See My::Parameters::addheader as an example.


This lets you specify a handler for on_action event. It is triggered when creating SOAPAction. The default handler will set SOAPAction to "uri#method". You can change this behavior globally (see DEFAULT SETTINGS) or locally, for a particular object.


This lets you specify a handler for on_fault event. The default behavior is to die on an transport error and to do nothing on other error conditions. You may change this behavior globally (see DEFAULT SETTINGS) or locally, for a particular object.


This lets you specify a handler for on_debug event. Default behavior is to do nothing. Use +trace/+debug option for SOAP::Lite instead. If you use if be warned that since this method is just interface to +trace/+debug it has global effect, so if you install it for one object it'll be in effect for all subsequent calls (even for other objects).

See also: the SOAP::Trace manpage;


This lets you specify a handler for on_nonserialized event. The default behavior is to produce a warning if warnings are on for everything that cannot be properly serialized (like CODE references or GLOBs).


Provides alternative interface for remote method calls. You can always run SOAP::Lite->new(...)->method(@parameters), but call() gives you several additional options:

prefixed method

If you want to specify prefix for generated method's element one of the available options is do it with call() interface:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> call('myprefix:method' => @parameters)
    -> result;

This example will work on client side only. If you want to change prefix on server side you should override default serializer. See examples/server/soap.* for examples.

access to any method

If for some reason you want to get access to remote procedures that have the same name as methods of SOAP::Lite object these calls (obviously) won't be dispatched. In that case you can originate your call trough call():

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> call(new => @parameters) 
    -> result;
implementation of OO interface

With autodispatch you can make CLASS/OBJECT calls like:

  my $obj = CLASS->new(@parameters);
  print $obj->method;

However, because of side effects autodispatch has, it's not always possible to use this syntax. call() provides you with alternative:

  # you should specify uri()
  my $soap = SOAP::Lite
    -> uri('') # <<< CLASS goes here
    # ..... other parameters
  my $obj = $soap->call(new => @parameters)->result;
  print $soap->call(method => $obj)->result;
  # $obj object will be updated here if necessary, 
  # as if you call $obj->method() and method() updates $obj
  # Update of modified object MAY not work if server on another side 
  # is not SOAP::Lite
ability to set method's attributes

Additionally this syntax lets you specify attributes for method element:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> call(SOAP::Data->name('method')->attr({xmlns => 'mynamespace'})
            => @parameters)
    -> result;

You can specify any attibutes and name of SOAP::Data element becomes name of method. Everything else except attributes is ignored and parameters should be provided as usual.

Be warned, that though you have more control using this method, you should specify namespace attribute for method explicitely, even if you made uri() call earlier. So, if you have to have namespace on method element, instead of:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> uri('mynamespace') # will be ignored 
    -> call(SOAP::Data->name('method') => @parameters)
    -> result;


  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> call(SOAP::Data->name('method')->attr({xmlns => 'mynamespace'})
            => @parameters)
    -> result;

because in the former call uri() will be ignored and namespace won't be specified. If you run script with -w option (as recommended) SOAP::Lite gives you a warning:

  URI is not provided as attribute for method (method)

Moreover, it'll become fatal error if you try to call it with prefixed name:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> uri('mynamespace') # will be ignored 
    -> call(SOAP::Data->name('a:method') => @parameters)
    -> result;

gives you:

  Can't find namespace for method (a:method)

because nothing is associated with prefix 'a'.

One more comment. One case when SOAP::Lite will change something that you specified is when you specified prefixed name and empty namespace name:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> new(....)
    -> uri('') 
    -> call('a:method' => @parameters)
    -> result;

This code will generate:

  <method xmlns="">....</method>

instead of

  <a:method xmlns:a="">....</method>

because later is not allowed according to XML Namespace specification.

In all other aspects ->call(mymethod => @parameters) is just a synonim for ->mymethod(@parameters).


Returns object reference to global defaul object specified with use SOAP::Lite ... interface. Both class method and object method return reference to global object, so:

  use SOAP::Lite
    proxy => ''
  my $soap = SOAP::Lite->proxy('http://my.local.server');
  print $soap->self->proxy;

prints '' (the same as SOAP::Lite->self->proxy). See DEFAULT SETTINGS for more information.


Does exactly the same as autodispatch does, but doesn't install UNIVERSAL::AUTOLOAD handler and only install AUTOLOAD handlers in specified classes. Can be used only with use SOAP::Lite ... clause and should be specified first:

  use SOAP::Lite 
    dispatch_from => ['A', 'B'], # use "dispatch_from => 'A'" for one class
    uri => ....,
    proxy => ....,


The SOAP::Header class is a subclass of the SOAP::Data class. It is used in the same way as a SOAP::Data object, however SOAP::Lite will serialize objects of this type into the SOAP Envelope's Header block.


You can use this class if you want to specify a value, a name, atype, a uri or attributes for SOAP elements (use value(), name(), type(), uri() and attr() methods correspondingly). For example, SOAP::Data->name('abc')->value(123) will be serialized into <abc>123</abc>, as well as will SOAP::Data->name(abc => 123). Each of them (except the value() method) can accept a value as the second parameter. All methods return the current value if you call them without parameters. The return the object otherwise, so you can stack them. See tests for more examples. You can import these methods with:



  import SOAP::Data 'name';

and then use name(abc => 123) for brevity.

An interface for specific attributes is also provided. You can use the actor(), mustUnderstand(), encodingStyle() and root() methods to set/get values of the correspondent attributes.

    ->name(c => 3)

will be serialized into:

  <c SOAP-ENV:encodingStyle="";


Usually you don't need to interact directly with this module. The only case when you need it, it when using autotyping. This feature lets you specify types for your data according to your needs as well as to introduce new data types (like ordered hash for example).

You can specify a type with SOAP::Data->type(float => 123). During the serialization stage the module will try to serialize your data with the as_float method. It then calls the typecast method (you can override it or inherit your own class from SOAP::Data) and only then it will try to serialize it according to data type (SCALAR, ARRAY or HASH). For example:

  SOAP::Data->type('ordered_hash' => [a => 1, b => 2])

will be serialized as an ordered hash, using the as_ordered_hash method.

If you do not specify a type directly, the serialization module will try to autodefine the type for you according to the typelookup hash. It contains the type name as key and the following 3-element array as value:

  check_function (CODE reference), 
  typecast function (METHOD name or CODE reference)

For example, if you want to add uriReference to autodefined types, you should add something like this:

  $s->typelookup->{uriReference} =
    [11, sub { $_[0] =~ m!^http://! }, 'as_uriReference'];

and add the as_uriReference method to the SOAP::Serializer class:

  sub SOAP::Serializer::as_uriReference {
    my $self = shift;
    my($value, $name, $type, $attr) = @_;
    return [$name, {'xsi:type' => 'xsd:uriReference', %$attr}, $value];

The specified methods will work for both autotyping and direct typing, so you can use either

  SOAP::Data->type(uriReference => '')>

or just


and it will be serialized into the same type. For more examples see as_* methods in SOAP::Serializer.

The SOAP::Serializer provides you with autotype(), readable(), namespace(), encodingspace(), encoding(), typelookup(), uri(), multirefinplace() and envelope() methods. All methods (except envelope()) are described in the SOAP::Lite section.


This method allows you to build three kind of envelopes depending on the first parameter:

  envelope(method => 'methodname', @parameters);


  method('methodname', @parameters);

Lets you build a request/response envelope.

  envelope(fault => 'faultcode', 'faultstring', $details);


  fault('faultcode', 'faultstring', $details);

Lets you build a fault envelope. Faultcode will be properly qualified and details could be string or object.

  envelope(freeform => 'something that I want to serialize');


  freeform('something that I want to serialize');

Reserved for nonRPC calls. Lets you build your own payload inside a SOAP envelope. All SOAP 1.1 specification rules are enforced, except method specific ones. See UDDI::Lite as example.


The register_ns subroutine allows users to register a global namespace with the SOAP Envelope. The first parameter is the namespace, the second parameter to this subroutine is an optional prefix. If a prefix is not provided, one will be generated automatically for you. All namespaces registered with the serializer get declared in the <soap:Envelope /> element.


The find_prefix subroutine takes a namespace as a parameter and returns the assigned prefix to that namespace. This eliminates the need to declare and redeclare namespaces within an envelope. This subroutine is especially helpful in determining the proper prefix when assigning a type to a SOAP::Data element. A good example of how this might be used is as follows:

SOAP::Data->name(``foo'' => $inputParams{'foo'})


The xmlschema subroutine tells SOAP::Lite what XML Schema to use when serializing XML element values. There are two supported schemas of SOAP::Lite, they are:, and (default)

For more examples see tests and


All calls you are making through object oriented interface will return SOAP::SOM object, and you can access actual values with it. Next example gives you brief overview of the class:

  my $soap = SOAP::Lite .....;
  my $som = $soap->method(@parameters);
  if ($som->fault) { # will be defined if Fault element is in the message
    print $som->faultdetail; # returns value of 'detail' element as
                             # string or object
    $som->faultcode;   #
    $som->faultstring; # also available
    $som->faultactor;  # 
  } else {
    $som->result; # gives you access to result of call  
                  # it could be any data structure, for example reference 
                  # to array if server didi something like: return [1,2];
    $som->paramsout; # gives you access to out parameters if any
                     # for example, you'll get array (1,2) if
                     # server returns ([1,2], 1, 2); 
                     # [1,2] will be returned as $som->result
                     # and $som->paramsall will return ([1,2], 1, 2)
                     # see section IN/OUT, OUT PARAMETERS AND AUTOBINDING
                     # for more information
    $som->paramsall; # gives access to result AND out parameters (if any)
                     # and returns them as one array
    $som->valueof('//myelement'); # returns value(s) (as perl data) of
                                  # 'myelement' if any. All elements in array
                                  # context and only first one in scalar
    $h = $som->headerof('//myheader'); # returns element as SOAP::Header, so
                                       # you can access attributes and values
                                       # with $h->mustUnderstand, $h->actor
                                       # or $h->attr (for all attributes)

SOAP::SOM object gives you access to the deserialized envelope via several methods. All methods accept a node path (similar to XPath notations). SOM interprets '/' as the root node, '//' as relative location path ('//Body' will find all bodies in document, as well as '/Envelope//nums' will find all 'nums' nodes under Envelope node), '[num]' as node number and '[op num]' with op being a comparison operator ('<', '>', '<=', '>=', '!', '=').

All nodes in nodeset will be returned in document order.


Accepts a path to a node and returns true/false in a boolean context and a SOM object otherwise. valueof() and dataof() can be used to get value(s) of matched node(s).


Returns the value of a (previously) matched node. It accepts a node path. In this case, it returns the value of matched node, but does not change the current node. Suitable when you want to match a node and then navigate through node children:

  $som->match('/Envelope/Body/[1]'); # match method
  $som->valueof('[1]');              # result
  $som->valueof('[2]');              # first out parameter (if present)

The returned value depends on the context. In a scalar context it will return the first element from matched nodeset. In an array context it will return all matched elements.


Same as valueof(), but it returns a SOAP::Data object, so you can get access to the name, the type and attributes of an element.


Same as dataof(), but it returns SOAP::Header object, so you can get access to the name, the type and attributes of an element. Can be used for modifying headers (if you want to see updated header inside Header element, it's better to use this method instead of dataof() method).


Returns the uri associated with the matched element. This uri can also be inherited, for example, if you have

  <a xmlns='http://my.namespace'>

this method will return same value for 'b' element as for 'a'.

SOAP::SOM also provides methods for direct access to the envelope, the body, methods and parameters (both in and out). All these methods return real values (in most cases it will be a hash reference), if called as object method. Returned values also depend on context: in an array context it will return an array of values and in scalar context it will return the first element. So, if you want to access the first output parameter, you can call $param = $som->paramsout; and you will get it regardless of the actual number of output parameters. If you call it as class function (for example, SOAP::SOM::method) it returns an XPath string that matches the current element ('/Envelope/Body/[1]' in case of 'method'). The method will return undef if not present OR if you try to access an undefined element. To distinguish between these two cases you can first access the match() method that will return true/false in a boolean context and then get the real value:

  if ($som->match('//myparameter')) {
    $value = $som->valueof; # can be undef too
  } else {
    # doesn't exist

Returns the value (as hash) of the root element. Do exactly the same as $som->valueof('/') does.


Returns the value (as hash) of the Envelope element. Keys in this hash will be 'Header' (if present), 'Body' and any other (optional) elements. Values will be the deserialized header, body, and elements, respectively. If called as function (SOAP::SOM::envelope) it will return a Xpath string that matches the envelope content. Useful when you want just match it and then iterate over the content by yourself. Example:

  if ($som->match(SOAP::SOM::envelope)) {
    $som->valueof('Header'); # should give access to header if present
    $som->valueof('Body');   # should give access to body
  } else {
    # hm, are we doing SOAP or what?

Returns the value (as hash) of the Header element. If you want to access all attributes in the header use:

  # get element as SOAP::Data object 
  $transaction = $som->match(join '/', SOAP::SOM::header, 'transaction')->dataof;
  # then you can access all attributes of 'transaction' element

Returns a node set of values with deserialized headers. The difference between the header() and headers() methods is that the first gives you access to the whole header and second to the headers inside the 'Header' tag:

  $som->headerof(join '/', SOAP::SOM::header, '[1]');
  # gives you first header as SOAP::Header object
  # gives you value of the first header, same as
  $som->valueof(join '/', SOAP::SOM::header, '[1]');
  # gives you value of name_of_your_header_here

Returns the value (as hash) of the Body element.


Returns the value (as hash) of Fault element: faultcode, faultstring and detail. If Fault element is present, result(), paramsin(), paramsout() and method() will return an undef.


Returns the value of the faultcode element if present and undef otherwise.


Returns the value of the faultstring element if present and undef otherwise.


Returns the value of the faultactor element if present and undef otherwise.


Returns the value of the detail element if present and undef otherwise.


Returns the value of the method element (all input parameters if you call it on a deserialized request envelope, and result/output parameters if you call it on a deserialized response envelope). Returns undef if the 'Fault' element is present.


Returns the value of the result of the method call. In fact, it will return the first child element (in document order) of the method element.


Returns the value(s) of all passed parameters.


Returns value(s) of the output parameters.


Returns value(s) of the result AND output parameters as one array.


Return an array of MIME::Entities if the current payload contains attachments, or returns undefined if payload is not MIME multipart.


Returns true if payload is MIME multipart, false otherwise.


SOAP::Schema gives you ability to load schemas and create stubs according to these schemas. Different syntaxes are provided:

You can create stub with stubmaker script:


and you'll be able to access SOAP services in one line:

  perl "-MStockQuoteService qw(:all)" -le "print getQuote('MSFT')"

or dynamically:

  perl "-MSOAP::Lite service=>'file:./quote.wsdl'" -le "print getQuote('MSFT')"

Other supported syntaxes with stub(s) are:

Support for schemas is limited for now. Though module was tested with dozen different schemas it won't understand complex objects and will work only with WSDL.


SOAP::Trace provides you with a trace/debug facility for the SOAP::Lite library. To activate it you need to specify a list of traceable events/parts of SOAP::Lite:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace =>
    [qw(list of available traces here)];

Available events are:

 transport  -- (client) access to request/response for transport layer
 dispatch   -- (server) shows full name of dispatched call 
 result     -- (server) result of method call
 parameters -- (server) parameters for method call
 headers    -- (server) headers of received message
 objects    -- (both)   new/DESTROY calls
 method     -- (both)   parameters for '->envelope(method =>' call
 fault      -- (both)   parameters for '->envelope(fault =>' call
 freeform   -- (both)   parameters for '->envelope(freeform =>' call
 trace      -- (both)   trace enters into some important functions
 debug      -- (both)   details about transport

For example:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace =>
    [qw(method fault)];

lets you output the parameter values for all your fault/normal envelopes onto STDERR. If you want to log it you can either redirect STDERR to some file

  BEGIN { open(STDERR, '>>....'); }

or (preferably) define your own function for a particular event:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace =>
    [ method => sub {'log messages here'}, fault => \&log_faults ];

You can share the same function for several events:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace =>
    [method, fault => \&log_methods_and_faults];

Also you can use 'all' to get all available tracing and use '-' in front of an event to disable particular event:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace =>
    [ all, -transport ]; # to get all logging without transport messages


  use SOAP::Lite +trace;

will switch all debugging on.

You can use 'debug' instead of 'trace'. I prefer 'trace', others 'debug'. Also on_debug is available for backward compatibility, as in

  use SOAP::Lite;
  my $s = SOAP::Lite
    -> uri('')
    -> proxy('')
    -> on_debug(sub{print@_}) # show you request/response with headers
  print $s->GetVocabulary(SOAP::Data->name(Query => 'something')->uri(''))

or switch it on individually, with

  use SOAP::Lite +trace => debug;


  use SOAP::Lite +trace => [debug => sub {'do_what_I_want_here'}];

Compare this with:

  use SOAP::Lite +trace => transport;

which gives you access to actual request/response objects, so you can even set/read cookies or do whatever you want there.

The difference between debug and transport is that transport will get a HTTP::Request/HTTP::Response object and debug will get a stringified request (NOT OBJECT!). It can also be called in other places too.


Supports the SOAP Transport architecture. All transports must extend this class.


This class gives you access to Fault generated on server side. To make a Fault message you might simply die on server side and SOAP processor will wrap you message as faultstring element and will transfer Fault on client side. But in some cases you need to have more control over this process and SOAP::Fault class gives it to you. To use it, simply die with SOAP::Fault object as a parameter:

  die SOAP::Fault->faultcode('Server.Custom') # will be qualified
                 ->faultstring('Died in server method')
                 ->faultdetail(bless {code => 1} => 'BadError')

faultdetail() and faultactor() methods are optional and since faultcode and faultstring are required to represent fault message SOAP::Lite will use default values ('Server' and 'Application error') if not specified.


This class gives you access to a number of subroutines to assist in data formating, encoding, etc. Many of the subroutines are private, and are not documented here, but a few are made public. They are:

  Returns a valid xsd:datetime string given a time object returned by
  Perl's localtime function. Usage:
  print SOAP::Utils::format_datetime(localtime);


This class gives you access to number of options that may affect behavior of SOAP::Lite objects. They are not true contstants, aren't they?


SOAP::Lite's HTTP Transport module attempts to provide a simple patch to LWP::Protocol to enable HTTP Keep Alive. By default, this patch is turned off, if however you would like to turn on the experimental patch change the constant like so:


By default SOAP::Lite tries to load XML::Parser and if it fails, then to load XML::Parser::Lite. You may skip the first step and use XML::Parser::Lite even if XML::Parser is presented in your system if assign true value like this:

  $SOAP::Constants::DO_NOT_USE_XML_PARSER = 1;

By default SOAP::Lite specifies charset in content-type. Since not every toolkit likes it you have an option to switch it off if you set $DO_NOT_USE_CHARSET to true.


By default SOAP::Lite verifies that content-type in successful response has value 'multipart/related' or 'multipart/form-data' for MIME-encoded messages and 'text/xml' for all other ocassions. SOAP::Lite will raise exception for all other values. $DO_NOT_CHECK_CONTENT_TYPE when set to true will allow you to accept those values as valid.



Though this feature looks similar to autodispatch they have (almost) nothing in common. It lets you create default object and all objects created after that will be cloned from default object and hence get its properties. If you want to provide common proxy() or uri() settings for all SOAP::Lite objects in your application you may do:

  use SOAP::Lite
    proxy => 'http://localhost/cgi-bin/soap.cgi',
    uri => ''
  my $soap1 = new SOAP::Lite; # will get the same proxy()/uri() as above
  print $soap1->getStateName(1)->result;
  my $soap2 = SOAP::Lite->new; # same thing as above
  print $soap2->getStateName(2)->result;
  # or you may override any settings you want
  my $soap3 = SOAP::Lite->proxy('http://localhost/'); 
  print $soap3->getStateName(1)->result;

Any SOAP::Lite properties can be propagated this way. Changes in object copies will not affect global settings and you may still change global settings with SOAP::Lite->self call which returns reference to global object. Provided parameter will update this object and you can even set it to undef:


The use SOAP::Lite syntax also lets you specify default event handlers for your code. If you have different SOAP objects and want to share the same on_action() (or on_fault() for that matter) handler. You can specify on_action() during initialization for every object, but you may also do:

  use SOAP::Lite 
    on_action => sub {sprintf '%s#%s', @_}

and this handler will be the default handler for all your SOAP objects. You can override it if you specify a handler for a particular object. See t/*.t for example of on_fault() handler.

Be warned, that since use ... is executed at compile time all use statements will be executed before script execution that can make unexpected results. Consider code:

  use SOAP::Lite proxy => 'http://localhost/';
  print SOAP::Lite->getStateName(1)->result;
  use SOAP::Lite proxy => 'http://localhost/cgi-bin/soap.cgi';
  print SOAP::Lite->getStateName(1)->result;

BOTH SOAP calls will go to 'http://localhost/cgi-bin/soap.cgi'. If you want to execute use at run-time, put it in eval:

  eval "use SOAP::Lite proxy => 'http://localhost/cgi-bin/soap.cgi'; 1" or die;

or use



SOAP::Lite gives you access to all parameters (both in/out and out) and also does some additional work for you. Lets consider following example:


In that case:

  $result = $r->result; # gives you 'name1'
  $paramout1 = $r->paramsout;      # gives you 'name2', because of scalar context
  $paramout1 = ($r->paramsout)[0]; # gives you 'name2' also
  $paramout2 = ($r->paramsout)[1]; # gives you 'name3'


  @paramsout = $r->paramsout; # gives you ARRAY of out parameters
  $paramout1 = $paramsout[0]; # gives you 'res2', same as ($r->paramsout)[0]
  $paramout2 = $paramsout[1]; # gives you 'res3', same as ($r->paramsout)[1]

Generally, if server returns return (1,2,3) you will get 1 as the result and 2 and 3 as out parameters.

If the server returns return [1,2,3] you will get an ARRAY from result() and undef from paramsout() . Results can be arbitrary complex: they can be an array of something, they can be objects, they can be anything and still be returned by result() . If only one parameter is returned, paramsout() will return undef.

But there is more. If you have in your output parameters a parameter with the same signature (name+type) as in the input parameters this parameter will be mapped into your input automatically. Example:


  sub mymethod {
    shift; # object/class reference
    my $param1 = shift;
    my $param2 = SOAP::Data->name('myparam' => shift() * 2);
    return $param1, $param2;


  $a = 10;
  $b = SOAP::Data->name('myparam' => 12);
  $result = $soap->mymethod($a, $b);

After that, $result == 10 and $b->value == 24! Magic? Sort of. Autobinding gives it to you. That will work with objects also with one difference: you do not need to worry about the name and the type of object parameter. Consider the PingPong example (examples/My/ and examples/


  package My::PingPong;
  sub new { 
    my $self = shift;
    my $class = ref($self) || $self;
    bless {_num=>shift} => $class;
  sub next {
    my $self = shift;


  use SOAP::Lite +autodispatch =>
    uri => 'urn:', 
    proxy => 'http://localhost/'
  my $p = My::PingPong->new(10); # $p->{_num} is 10 now, real object returned 
  print $p->next, "\n";          # $p->{_num} is 11 now!, object autobinded


WARNING: autodispatch feature can have side effects for your application and can affect functionality of other modules/libraries because of overloading UNIVERSAL::AUTOLOAD. All unresolved calls will be dispatched as SOAP calls, however it could be not what you want in some cases. If so, consider using object interface (see implementation of OO interface).

SOAP::Lite provides an autodispatching feature that lets you create code which looks the same for local and remote access.

For example:

  use SOAP::Lite +autodispatch =>
    uri => 'urn:/My/Examples', 
    proxy => 'http://localhost/'

tells SOAP to 'autodispatch' all calls to the 'http://localhost/' endpoint with the 'urn:/My/Examples' uri. All consequent method calls can look like:

  print getStateName(1), "\n";
  print getStateNames(12,24,26,13), "\n";
  print getStateList([11,12,13,42])->[0], "\n";
  print getStateStruct({item1 => 10, item2 => 4})->{item2}, "\n";

As you can see, there is no SOAP specific coding at all.

The same logic will work for objects as well:

  print "Session iterator\n";
  my $p = My::SessionIterator->new(10);     
  print $p->next, "\n";  
  print $p->next, "\n";

This will access the remote My::SessionIterator module, gets an object, and then calls remote methods again. The object will be transferred to the server, the method is executed there and the result (and the modified object!) will be transferred back to the client.

Autodispatch will work only if you do not have the same method in your code. For example, if you have use My::SessionIterator somewhere in your code of our previous example, all methods will be resolved locally and no SOAP calls will be done. If you want to get access to remote objects/methods even in that case, use SOAP:: prefix to your methods, like:

  print $p->SOAP::next, "\n";

See for example of a script, that works with the same object locally and remotely.

SOAP:: prefix also gives you ability to access methods that have the same name as methods of SOAP::Lite itself. For example, you want to call method new() for your class My::PingPong through OO interface. First attempt could be:

  my $s = SOAP::Lite 
    -> uri('')
    -> proxy('http://localhost/cgi-bin/soap.cgi')
  my $obj = $s->new(10);

but it won't work, because SOAP::Lite has method new() itself. To provide a hint, you should use SOAP:: prefix and call will be dispatched remotely:

  my $obj = $s->SOAP::new(10);

You can mix autodispatch and usual SOAP calls in the same code if you need it. Keep in mind, that calls with SOAP:: prefix should always be a method call, so if you want to call functions, use SOAP->myfunction() instead of SOAP::myfunction().

Be warned though Perl has very flexible syntax some versions will complain

  Bareword "autodispatch" not allowed while "strict subs" in use ...

if you try to put 'autodispatch' and '=>' on separate lines. So, keep them on the same line, or put 'autodispatch' in quotes:

  use SOAP::Lite 'autodispatch' # DON'T use plus in this case
    => .... 


SOAP::Lite gives you direct access to all headers and the whole envelope on the server side. Consider the following code from

  sub byname { 
    my($a, $b, $c) = @{pop->method}{qw(a b c)};
    return "a=$a, b=$b, c=$c";

You will get this functionality ONLY if you inherit your class from the SOAP::Server::Parameters class. This should keep existing code working and provides this feature only when you need it.

Every method on server side will be called as class/object method, so it will get an object reference or a class name as the first parameter, then the method parameters, and then an envelope as SOAP::SOM object. Shortly:

  $self [, @parameters] , $envelope

If you have a fixed number of parameters, you can do:

  my $self = shift;
  my($param1, $param2) = @_;

and ignore the envelope. If you need access to the envelope you can do:

  my $envelope = pop;

since the envelope is always the last element in the parameters list. The byname() method pop->method will return a hash with parameter names as hash keys and parameter values as hash values:

  my($a, $b, $c) = @{pop->method}{qw(a b c)};

gives you by-name access to your parameters.


Let us scrutinize the deployment process. When designing your SOAP server you can consider two kind of deployment: static and dynamic. For both, static and dynamic, you should specify MODULE, MODULE::method, method or PATH/ when creating useing the SOAP::Lite module. The difference between static and dynamic deployment is that in case of 'dynamic', any module which is not present will be loaded on demand. See the SECURITY section for detailed description.

Example for static deployment:

  use SOAP::Transport::HTTP;
  use My::Examples;           # module is preloaded
    # deployed module should be present here or client will get 'access denied'
    -> dispatch_to('My::Examples') 
    -> handle;

Example for dynamic deployment:

  use SOAP::Transport::HTTP;
  # name is unknown, module will be loaded on demand
    # deployed module should be present here or client will get 'access denied'
    -> dispatch_to('/Your/Path/To/Deployed/Modules', 'My::Examples') 
    -> handle;

For static deployment you should specify the MODULE name directly. For dynamic deployment you can specify the name either directly (in that case it will be required without any restriction) or indirectly, with a PATH In that case, the ONLY path that will be available will be the PATH given to the dispatch_to() method). For information how to handle this situation see SECURITY section.

You should also use static binding when you have several different classes in one file and want to make them available for SOAP calls.


    # dynamic dispatch that allows access to ALL modules in specified directory
    # 1. specifies directory 
    # -- AND --
    # 2. gives access to ALL modules in this directory without limits
    # static dispatch that allows access to ALL methods in particular MODULE
    #  1. gives access to particular module (all available methods)
    #    module should be loaded manually (for example with 'use ...')
    #    -- OR --
    #    you can still specify it in PATH/TO/MODULES
    # static dispatch that allows access to particular method ONLY
    # same as MODULE, but gives access to ONLY particular method,
    # so there is not much sense to use both MODULE and MODULE::method 
    # for the same MODULE

In addition to this SOAP::Lite also supports experimental syntax that allows you bind specific URL or SOAPAction to CLASS/MODULE or object:

    URI => MODULE,        # '' => 'My::Class',
    SOAPAction => MODULE, # '' => 'Another::Class',
    URI => object,        # '' => My::Class->new,

URI is checked before SOAPAction. You may use both dispatch_to() and dispatch_with() syntax and dispatch_with() has more priority, so first checked URI, then SOAPAction and only then will be checked dispatch_to(). See t/03-server.t for more information and examples.


Due to security reasons, the current path for perl modules (@INC) will be disabled once you have chosen dynamic deployment and specified your own PATH/. If you want to access other modules in your included package you have several options:

  1. Switch to static linking:

       use MODULE;

    It can be useful also when you want to import something specific from the deployed modules:

       use MODULE qw(import_list);
  2. Change use to require. The path is unavailable only during the initialization part, and it is available again during execution. So, if you do require somewhere in your package, it will work.

  3. Same thing, but you can do:

       eval 'use MODULE qw(import_list)'; die if $@;
  4. Assign a @INC directory in your package and then make use. Don't forget to put @INC in BEGIN{} block or it won't work:

       BEGIN { @INC = qw(my_directory); use MODULE }


SOAP::Lite provides you option for enabling compression on wire (for HTTP transport only). Both server and client should support this capability, but this logic should be absolutely transparent for your application.

Compression can be enabled by specifying threshold for compression on client or server side:

  print SOAP::Lite
    -> uri('http://localhost/My/Parameters')
    -> proxy('http://localhost/', options => {compress_threshold => 10000})
    -> echo(1 x 10000)
    -> result
  my $server = SOAP::Transport::HTTP::CGI
    -> dispatch_to('My::Parameters')
    -> options({compress_threshold => 10000})
    -> handle;

For more information see COMPRESSION section in HTTP transport documentation.


SOAP::Lite implements an experimental (yet functional) support for objects-by-reference. You should not see any difference on the client side when using this. On the server side you should specify the names of the classes you want to be returned by reference (instead of by value) in the objects_by_reference() method for your server implementation (see soap.pop3, soap.daemon and

Garbage collection is done on the server side (not earlier than after 600 seconds of inactivity time), and you can overload the default behavior with specific functions for any particular class.

Binding does not have any special syntax and is implemented on server side (see the differences between My::SessionIterator and My::PersistentIterator). On the client side, objects will have same type/class as before (My::SessionIterator->new() will return an object of class My::SessionIterator). However, this object is just a stub with an object ID inside.


Microsoft's .NET

To use .NET client and SOAP::Lite server

qualify all elements

use fully qualified names for your return values, e.g.:

  return SOAP::Data->name('myname') 

Use namespace that you specify for URI instead of ''.

In addition see comment about default incoding in .NET Web Services below.

To use SOAP::Lite client and .NET server

declare proper soapAction (uri/method) in your call

For example, use on_action(sub{join '', @_}).

disable charset in content-type

Specify $SOAP::Constants::DO_NOT_USE_CHARSET = 1 somewhere in your code after use SOAP::Lite if you are getting error:

  Server found request content type to be 'text/xml; charset=utf-8',
  but expected 'text/xml'
qualify all elements

Any of following actions should work:

use fully qualified name for method parameters

Use SOAP::Data->name(Query => 'biztalk')->uri('') instead of SOAP::Data->name('Query' => 'biztalk').

Example of SOAPsh call (all parameters should be in one line):

  > perl 
    "on_action(sub{join '', @_})" 
    "GetVocabulary(SOAP::Data->name(Query  => 'biztalk')->uri(''))"
make method in default namespace

instead of

  my @rc = $soap->call(add => @parms)->result;
  # -- OR --
  my @rc = $soap->add(@parms)->result;


  my $method = SOAP::Data->name('add')
                         ->attr({xmlns => ''});
  my @rc = $soap->call($method => @parms)->result;
modify .NET server if you are in charge for that

Stefan Pharies <>:

SOAP::Lite uses the SOAP encoding (section 5 of the soap 1.1 spec), and the default for .NET Web Services is to use a literal encoding. So elements in the request are unqualified, but your service expects them to be qualified. .Net Web Services has a way for you to change the expected message format, which should allow you to get your interop working. At the top of your class in the asmx, add this attribute (for Beta 1):


Another source said it might be this attribute (for Beta 2):


Full Web Service text may look like:

  <%@ WebService Language="C#" Class="Test" %>
  using System;
  using System.Web.Services;
  using System.Xml.Serialization;
  public class Test : WebService {
    public int add(int a, int b) {
      return a + b;

Another example from Kirill Gavrylyuk <>:

``You can insert [SoapRpcService()] attribute either on your class or on operation level''.

  <%@ WebService Language=CS class="DataType.StringTest"%>
  namespace DataType {
    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
    using System.Web.Services.Description;
   public class StringTest: WebService {
     public string RetString(string x) {

Example from Yann Christensen <>:

  using System;
  using System.Web.Services;
  using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
  namespace Currency {
    public class Exchange {
      public double getRate(String country, String country2) {
        return 122.69;

Thanks to Petr Janata <>, Stefan Pharies <>, Brian Jepson <>, and others for description and examples.


+autodispatch doesn't work in Perl 5.8

There is a bug in Perl 5.8's UNIVERSAL::AUTOLOAD functionality that prevents the +autodispatch functionality from working properly. The workaround is to use dispatch_from instead. Where you might normally do something like this:

   use Some::Module;
   use SOAP::Lite +autodispatch =>
       uri => 'urn:Foo'
       proxy => 'http://...';

You would do something like this:

   use SOAP::Lite dispatch_from(Some::Module) =>
       uri => 'urn:Foo'
       proxy => 'http://...';
HTTP transport

See TROUBLESHOOTING section in documentation for HTTP transport.

COM interface
Can't call method ``server'' on undefined value

Probably you didn't register Lite.dll with 'regsvr32 Lite.dll'

Failed to load PerlCtrl runtime

Probably you have two Perl installations in different places and ActiveState's Perl isn't the first Perl specified in PATH. Rename the directory with another Perl (at least during the DLL's startup) or put ActiveState's Perl on the first place in PATH.

XML Parsers
SAX parsers

SAX 2.0 has a known bug in org.xml.sax.helpers.ParserAdapter rejects Namespace prefix used before declaration


That means that in some cases SOAP messages created by SOAP::Lite may not be parsed properly by SAX2/Java parser, because Envelope element contains namespace declarations and attributes that depends on this declarations. According to XML specification order of these attributes is not significant. SOAP::Lite does NOT have a problem parsing such messages.

Thanks to Steve Alpert ( for pointing on it.


Processing of XML encoded fragments

SOAP::Lite is based on XML::Parser which is basically wrapper around James Clark's expat parser. Expat's behavior for parsing XML encoded string can affect processing messages that have lot of encoded entities, like XML fragments, encoded as strings. Providing low-level details, parser will call char() callback for every portion of processed stream, but individually for every processed entity or newline. It can lead to lot of calls and additional memory manager expenses even for small messages. By contrast, XML messages which are encoded as base64, don't have this problem and difference in processing time can be significant. For XML encoded string that has about 20 lines and 30 tags, number of call could be about 100 instead of one for the same string encoded as base64.

Since it is parser's feature there is NO fix for this behavior (let me know if you find one), especially because you need to parse message you already got (and you cannot control content of this message), however, if your are in charge for both ends of processing you can switch encoding to base64 on sender's side. It will definitely work with SOAP::Lite and it may work with other toolkits/implementations also, but obviously I cannot guarantee that.

If you want to encode specific string as base64, just do SOAP::Data->type(base64 => $string) either on client or on server side. If you want change behavior for specific instance of SOAP::Lite, you may subclass SOAP::Serializer, override as_string() method that is responsible for string encoding (take a look into as_base64()) and specify new serializer class for your SOAP::Lite object with:

  my $soap = new SOAP::Lite
    serializer => My::Serializer->new,
    ..... other parameters

or on server side:

  my $server = new SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Daemon # or any other server
    serializer => My::Serializer->new,
    ..... other parameters

If you want to change this behavior for all instances of SOAP::Lite, just substitute as_string() method with as_base64() somewhere in your code after use SOAP::Lite and before actual processing/sending:

  *SOAP::Serializer::as_string = \&SOAP::Serializer::as_base64;

Be warned that last two methods will affect all strings and convert them into base64 encoded. It doesn't make any difference for SOAP::Lite, but it may make a difference for other toolkits.


As soon as you have telnet access to the box and XML::Parser is already installed there (or you have Perl 5.6 and can use XML::Parser::Lite) you may install your own copy of SOAP::Lite even if hosting provider doesn't want to do it.

Setup PERL5LIB environment variable. Depending on your shell it may look like:

  PERL5LIB=/you/home/directory/lib; export PERL5LIB

lib here is the name of directory where all libraries will be installed under your home directory.

Run CPAN module with

  perl -MCPAN -e shell

and run three commands from CPAN shell

  > o conf make_arg -I~/lib
  > o conf make_install_arg -I~/lib
  > o conf makepl_arg LIB=~/lib PREFIX=~ INSTALLMAN1DIR=~/man/man1 INSTALLMAN3DIR=~/man/man3

LIB will specify directory where all libraries will reside.

PREFIX will specify prefix for all directories (like lib, bin, man, though it doesn't work in all cases for some reason).

INSTALLMAN1DIR and INSTALLMAN3DIR specify directories for manuals (if you don't specify them, install will fail because it'll try to setup it in default directory and you don't have permissions for that).

Then run:

  > install SOAP::Lite

Now in your scripts you need to specify:

  use lib '/your/home/directory/lib';

somewhere before 'use SOAP::Lite;'




Information about XML::Parser for MacPerl could be found here:

Compiled XML::Parser for MacOS could be found here:


You can download the latest version SOAP::Lite for Unix or SOAP::Lite for Win32 from the following sources:

* SOAP::Lite Homepage: * CPAN: * Sourceforge:

You are welcome to send e-mail to the maintainers of SOAP::Lite with your with your comments, suggestions, bug reports and complaints.


the SOAP manpage SOAP/Perl library from Keith Brown ( ) or ( )


A lot of thanks to Tony Hong <>, Petr Janata <>, Murray Nesbitt <>, Robert Barta <>, Gisle Aas <>, Carl K. Cunningham <>, Graham Glass <>, Chris Radcliff <>, Arun Kumar <>, and many many others

for providing help, feedback, support, patches and comments.


Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Paul Kulchenko. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Paul Kulchenko ( Byrne Reese (