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SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Apache - SOAP mod_perl handler


Use this class to expose SOAP endpoints using Apache and mod_perl. Here's an example of a class that would like to receive SOAP packets. Note that it implements a single interesting function, handle_request, that takes there arguments: an array of headers, a body, and an EnvelopeMaker for creating the response:

    package Calculator;
    use strict;

    sub new {
        bless {}, shift;

    sub handle_request {
        my ($self, $headers, $body, $envelopeMaker) = @_;

        $body->{extra_stuff} = "heres some extra stuff";

        foreach my $header (@$headers) {
            $header->{extra_stuff} = "heres some more extra stuff";
            $envelopeMaker->add_header(undef, undef, 0, 0, $header);
        $envelopeMaker->set_body(undef, 'myresponse', 0, $body);


In order to translate HTTP requests into calls on your Calculator class above, you'll need to write an Apache handler. This is where you'll use the SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Apache class:

    package ServerDemo;
    use strict;
    use SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Apache;

    sub handler {
        my $safe_classes = {
            Calculator => undef,


As you can see, this class basically does it all - parses the HTTP headers, reads the request, and sends a response. All you have to do is specify the names of classes that are safe to dispatch to.

Of course, in order to tell Apache about your handler class above, you'll need to modify httpd.conf. Here's a simple example that shows how to set up an endpoint called "/soap" that maps to your ServerDemo handler above:

    <Location /soap>
        SetHandler perl-script
        PerlHandler ServerDemo

(I leave it up to you to make sure ServerDemo is in Perl's @INC path - see Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C by O'Reilly for help with mod_perl, or just man mod_perl)


This class encapsulates the details of hooking up to mod_perl, and then calls SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server to do the SOAP-specific stuff. This way the Server class can be reused with any web server configuration (including CGI), by simply composing it with a different front-end (for instance, SOAP::Transport::HTTP::CGI).

handler(SafeClassHash, OptionalDispatcher)

This is the only method on the class, and you must pass a hash reference whose keys contain the collection of classes that may be invoked at this endpoint. If you specify class FooBar in this list, for instance, and a client sends a SOAP request to http://yourserver/soap?class=FooBar, then the SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server class will eventually attempt to load, instatiate a FooBar, and call its handle_request function (see SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server for more detail). If you don't include a class in this hash, SOAP/Perl won't run it. I promise.

By the way, only the keys in this hash are important, the values are ignored.

Also, nothing is stopping you from messing around with the request object yourself if you'd like to add some headers or whatever; you can always call Apache->request() to get the request object inside your handle_request function. Just make sure you finish what you're doing before you return to SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server, because at that point the response is marshaled and sent back.

See SOAP::Transport::HTTP::Server for a description of the OptionalDispatcher argument.




Keith Brown

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