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Zend Framework 101: Zend_Soap

How SOAP Works

The way SOAP typically works is that the SOAP client (which may be implemented in any language, such as PHP, ASP, Perl, Python or otherwise) connects to the web service endpoint and requests its WSDL (Web Services Description Language) file.

The WSDL file tells the client about the different function calls that are available, as well as a description of any complex types that are used in addition to the basic data types (such as string, integer or Boolean).

When we create our web service, we must not only handle calls to the various methods that we offer, but we must be able to send a WSDL file to clients. Thankfully, Zend_Soap can automate the generation of WSDL files, as I'll show you later in this article.

In the next three sections I will cover the key steps involved in creating a web service using Zend_Soap_Server. For the purposes of this example the web service will be located at http://example.com/webservice.php.

In This Article