Scott Walters


SOAP::WSDL - SOAP with WSDL support


This module is not recommended for new application development. Please use XML::Compile::SOAP or SOAP::Lite instead if possible.

This module has a large number of known bugs and is not being actively developed. This 3.0 release is intended to update the module to pass tests on newer Perls. This is a service to existing applications already dependent on this module.


 my $soap = SOAP::WSDL->new(
    wsdl => 'file://bla.wsdl',

 my $result = $soap->call('MyMethod', %data);


For creating Perl classes instrumenting a web service with a WSDL definition, read SOAP::WSDL::Manual.

For using an interpreting (thus slow and somewhat troublesome) WSDL based SOAP client, which mimics SOAP::Lite's API, read on.

Creating Interface classes is the recommended usage.

Did I say you should create interface classes following the steps in SOAP::WSDL::Manual?

If you're migrating from earlier versions of SOAP::WSDL, you should read the MIGRATING documentation.

The stuff below is for users of the 1.2x SOAP::WSDL series. All others, please refer to SOAP::WSDL::Manual

SOAP::WSDL provides easy access to Web Services with WSDL descriptions.

The WSDL is parsed and stored in memory.

Your data is serialized according to the rules in the WSDL.

The only transport mechanisms currently supported are http and https.



Constructor. All parameters passed are passed to the corresponding methods.


Performs a SOAP call. The result is either an object tree (with outputtree), a hash reference (with outputhash), plain XML (with outputxml) or a SOAP::SOM object (with neither of the above set).

call() can be called in different ways:

  • Old-style idiom

     my $result = $soap->call('method', %data);

    Does not support SOAP header data.

  • New-style idiom

     my $result = $soap->call('method', $body_ref, $header_ref );

    Does support SOAP header data. $body_ref and $header ref may either be hash refs or SOAP::WSDL::XSD::Typelib::* derived objects.

    Result headers are accessible via the result SOAP::SOM object.

    If outputtree or outputhash are set, you may also use the following to access response header data:

     my ($body, $header) = $soap->call('method', $body_ref, $header_ref );


Reads the WSDL file and initializes SOAP::WSDL for working with it.

Is called automatically from call() if not called directly before.


You may set servicename and portname by passing them as attributes to wsdlinit:

    servicename => 'MyService',
    portname => 'MyPort',



When outputtree is set, SOAP::WSDL will return an object tree instead of a SOAP::SOM object.

You have to specify a class_resolver for this to work. See class_resolver


Set the class resolver class (or object).

Class resolvers must implement the method get_class which has to return the name of the class name for deserializing a XML node at the current XPath location.

Class resolvers are typically generated by using the generate_typemap method of a SOAP::WSDL::Generator subclass.


XML structure (SOAP body content):


Class resolver

 package MyResolver;
 my %typemap = (
    'Person' => 'MyPersonClass',
    'Person/Name' => 'SOAP::WSDL::XSD::Typelib::Builtin::string',
    'Person/FirstName' => 'SOAP::WSDL::XSD::Typelib::Builtin::string',

 sub get_class { return $typemap{ $_[1] } };

You'll need a MyPersonClass module in your search path for this to work - see SOAP::WSDL::XSD::ComplexType on how to build / generate one.



Sets the service to operate on. If no service is set via servicename, the first service found is used.

Returns the soap object, so you can chain calls like




Sets the port to operate on. If no port is set via portname, the first port found is used.

Returns the soap object, so you can chain calls like

 $soap->portname('Port')->call('MyMethod', %data);


When set, call() returns the plain request XML instead of dispatching the SOAP call to the SOAP service. Handy for testing/debugging.

ACCESS TO SOAP::WSDL's internals

get_client / set_client

Returns the SOAP client implementation used (normally a SOAP::WSDL::Client object).


See the examples/ directory.

Differences to previous versions

  • WSDL handling

    SOAP::WSDL 2 is a complete rewrite. While SOAP::WSDL 1.x attempted to process the WSDL file on the fly by using XPath queries, SOAP:WSDL 2 uses a Expat handler for parsing the WSDL and building up a object tree representing it's content.

    The object tree has two main functions: It knows how to serialize data passed as hash ref, and how to render the WSDL elements found into perl classes.

    Yup you're right; there's a builtin code generation facility. Read SOAP::WSDL::Manual for using it.

  • no_dispatch

    call() with no_dispatch set to true now returns the complete SOAP request envelope, not only the body's content.

  • outputxml

    call() with outputxml set to true now returns the complete SOAP response envelope, not only the body's content.

  • servicename/portname

    Both servicename and portname can only be called after calling wsdlinit().

    You may pass the servicename and portname as attributes to wsdlinit, though.

Differences to previous versions

The following functionality is no longer supported:

Operation overloading

The SOAP standard allows operation overloading - that is, you may specify SOAP operations with more than one message. The client/server than can choose which message to send. This SOAP feature is usually used similar to the use of methods with different argument lists in C++.

Operation overloading is no longer supported. The WS-I Basic profile does not operation overloading. The same functionality as operation overloading can be obtained by using a choice declaration in the XML Schema.


Readable has no effect any more. If you need readable debug output, copy the SOAP message to your favorite XML editor and run the source format command. Outputting readable XML requires lots of programming for little use: The resulting XMl is still quite unreadable.


Setting on_action is not required any more, the appropriate value is automatically taken from the WSDL. on_action is a no-op, and is just here for compatibility issues.

Differences to SOAP::Lite


readable is a no-op in SOAP::WSDL. Actually, the XML output from SOAP::Lite is hardly readable, either with readable switched on.

If you need readable XML messages, I suggest using your favorite XML editor for displaying and formatting.

Message style/encoding

While SOAP::Lite supports rpc/encoded style/encoding only, SOAP::WSDL currently supports document/literal style/encoding.

autotype / type information

SOAP::Lite defaults to transmitting XML type information by default, where SOAP::WSDL defaults to leaving it out.

autotype(1) might even be broken in SOAP::WSDL - it's not well-tested, yet.

Output formats

In contrast to SOAP::Lite, SOAP::WSDL supports the following output formats:

  • SOAP::SOM objects.

    This is the default. SOAP::Lite is required for outputting SOAP::SOM objects.

  • Object trees.

    This is the recommended output format. You need a class resolver (typemap) for outputting object trees. See class_resolver above.

  • Hash refs

    This is for convenience: A single hash ref containing the content of the SOAP body.

  • xml

    See below.


SOAP::Lite returns only the content of the SOAP body when outputxml is set to true. SOAP::WSDL returns the complete XML response.


SOAP::WSDL does does not support auto-dispatching.

This is on purpose: You may easily create interface classes by using SOAP::WSDL::Client and implementing something like

 sub mySoapMethod {
     my $self = shift;
     $soap_wsdl_client->call( mySoapMethod, @_);

You may even do this in a class factory - see for creating such interfaces.

Debugging / Tracing

While SOAP::Lite features a global tracing facility, SOAP::WSDL allows to switch tracing on/of on a per-object base.

This has to be done in the SOAP client used by SOAP::WSDL - see get_client for an example and SOAP::WSDL::Client for details.


The bug tracker is at

This module is in legacy maintenance mode. Only show stopper bugs are being fixed, until/unless someone wishes to resume active development on it. Scott Walters, has obtained co-mainter from the CPAN admins for the purpose of applying existing fixes people have submit to the RT tracker, and to apply other fixes as needed to get the module to install and run on newer Perls. Non show-stopper bugs reports without fixes will be added to this list of limitations. Of course, fixes for these and other bugs are welcome. Scott does not get email from, so please drop an email to him at if you open a ticket there.

  • Breaks the idiom $package->can("SUPER::method") in your code

    If you redefine UNIVERSAL::can(), and someone tries to do $package->can("SUPER::method"), it'll look at your packages @ISA, not theirs. This module does precicely that, by way of its dependency on Class::Std::Fast.

  • $obj == undef does not work in perl 5.8.6 and perl 5.8.7

    Due to some strange behaviour in perl 5.8.6 and perl 5.8.7, stringification overloading is not triggered during comparison with undef.

    While this is probably harmless in most cases, it's important to know that you need to do

     defined( $obj->get_value() )

    to check for undef values in simpleType objects.

  • perl 5.8.0 or higher required

    SOAP::WSDL needs perl 5.8.0 or higher. This is due to a bug in perls before - see for details.

  • Apache SOAP datatypes are not supported

    You can't use SOAP::WSDL with Apache SOAP datatypes like map.

  • Incomplete XML Schema definitions support

    This section describes the limitations of SOAP::WSDL, that is the interpreting SOAP client. For limitations of generated SOAP clients, see SOAP::WSDL::Manual::XSD.

    XML Schema attribute definitions are not supported in interpreting mode.

    The following XML Schema definitions varieties are not supported in interpreting mod:


    The following XML Schema definition content model is only partially supported in interpreting mode:

     complexContent - only restriction variety supported

    See SOAP::WSDL::Manual::XSD for details.

  • Serialization of hash refs does not work for ambiguous values

    If you have list elements with multiple occurences allowed, SOAP::WSDL has no means of finding out which variant you meant.

    Passing in item => [1,2,3] could serialize to

     <item>1 2</item><item>3</item>
     <item>1</item><item>2 3</item>

    Ambiguous data can be avoided by providing data as objects.

  • XML Schema facets

    Almost no XML schema facets are implemented. The only facets currently implemented are:


    The following facets have no influence:



  • SOAP::Lite

    Full featured SOAP-library, little WSDL support. Supports rpc-encoded style only. Many protocols supported.

  • XML::Compile::SOAP

    Creates parser/generator functions for SOAP messages. Includes SOAP Client and Server implementations. Can validate XML messages.

    You might want to give it a try, especially if you need to adhere very closely to the XML Schema / WSDL specs.

Sources of documentation


Scott Walters wrote:

This code incorporates fixes contributed by,,, myself, and others.

Martin Kutter wrote:

There are many people out there who fostered SOAP::WSDL's developement. I would like to thank them all (and apologize to all those I have forgotten).

Giovanni S. Fois wrote a improved version of SOAP::WSDL (which eventually became v1.23)

David Bussenschutt, Damian A. Martinez Gelabert, Dennis S. Hennen, Dan Horne, Peter Orvos, Mark Overmeer, Jon Robens, Isidro Vila Verde and Glenn Wood (in alphabetical order) spotted bugs and/or suggested improvements in the 1.2x releases.

JT Justman and Noah Robin provided early feedback and bug reports for the 2.xx pre-releases.

Adam Kennedy checked and suggested improvements on metadata and dependencies in the 2.xx pre-releases.

Andreas 'ac0v' Specht constantly asked for better performance.

Matt S. Trout encouraged me "to get a non-dev-release out."

CPAN Testers provided most valuable (automated) feedback. Thanks a lot.

Numerous people sent me their real-world WSDL files and error reports for testing. Thank you.

Noah Robin contributed lots of documentation fixes, and the mod_perl server, and eventually joined SOAP::WSDL's developement. Thanks.

Mark Overmeer wrote XML::Compile::SOAP - competition is good for business.

Paul Kulchenko and Byrne Reese wrote and maintained SOAP::Lite and thus provided a base (and counterpart) for SOAP::WSDL.


Copyright 2004-2008 Martin Kutter.

This file is part of SOAP-WSDL. You may distribute/modify it under the same terms as perl itself


Scott Walters <<gt> 2014

Martin Kutter <martin.kutter> 2004-2008