Remoting NG

Remoting NG SOAP Transport User Guide

Introduction

The SOAP Transport is a Transport implementation supporting the SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 protocols over HTTP or HTTPS. SOAP messages exchanged over the network are formtted according to the Document/Literal (wrapped) message format defined in the WSDL 1.1 specification.

This transport is a good choice if the remote service provided by a Remoting-based C++ application must be accessible by clients written using other frameworks or even other programming languages or runtimes, such as Java or .NET.

The SOAP transport supports interoperability with other SOAP 1.1 or SOAP 1.2 implementations (such as those available for Java or .NET) both directions. Java or .NET clients can consume a web service implemented using Remoting and the SOAP transport. Also, the SOAP transport can be used to invoke web services implemented using other SOAP toolkits. The necessary client code can be generated with the XSDGen and RemoteGenNG tools from an WSDL file.

In addition to basic SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 support, the following features are also supported by the SOAP transport:

  • Message Transport Optimization Mechanism (MTOM), allowing binary data (std::vector<char>) to be transferred in raw binary form in a separate part of a multipart message instead of being base64-encoded.
  • HTTP compression using the GZIP content encoding.
  • HTTP Basic and Digest authentication (client only).

Basic SOAP Transport Usage

Server Usage

To use the SOAP Transport in a server, the following four steps must be performed:

  1. Create an instance of Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Listener,
  2. Optionally configure the listener (e.g., to enable MTOM),
  3. Register the Listener with the ORB, and
  4. Register the individual objects with the ORB.

Furthermore, a @namespace attribute must be added to the service class declaration. Otherwise, a run time error will occur when trying to invoke the web service.

Following is an example code fragment for setting up a SOAP Listener, configuring it to enable MTOM, and registering a service object for use with the listener.

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Listener::Ptr pListener = new Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Listener("localhost:8080", "");
pListener->enableMTOM(true);
std::string listener = Poco::RemotingNG::ORB::instance().registerListener(pListener);

st::string uri = Sample::TimeServiceServerHelper::registerObject(
    new Sample::TimeService, 
    "TheTimeService", 
    listener
);

The SOAP listener will transparently accept SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 requests and send the response using the appropriate SOAP version.

Please see the Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Listener class documentation for detailed information about how to setup and configure the listener.

Client Usage

To use the SOAP Transport in a client, the following two steps must be performed:

  1. Register the Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::TransportFactory with the ORB, and
  2. Retrieve the interface (proxy) object using the helper class.

Following is an example code fragment for setting up a SOAP Transport, and obtaining a Proxy object for invoking methods on the service object.

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::TransportFactory::registerFactory();
Sample::ITimeService::Ptr pTimeService = MyProject::MyClassHelper::find(
    "http://localhost:8080/soap/TimeService/TheTimeService");
);

If the URI of the remote service does not match Remoting conventions, or, in other words, if it is from a third-party SOAP implementation, a second parameter must be passed to find(), specifying with transport to use. For the SOAP transport, this can be one of the following values:

  • soap or soap-1.1: use SOAP 1.1
  • soap-1.2: use SOAP 1.2.

Example:

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::TransportFactory::registerFactory();
Sample::ISampleService::Ptr pService = Sample::SampleServiceClientHelper::find(
    "http://www.example.com/services/SampleService",
    "soap-1.2"
);

Configuring The Client Transport

To configure the client transport (e.g., to enable MTOM for client requests, enable HTTP compression, or HTTP authentication), the Transport object must be obtained from the proxy. This is done in two steps. First, the interface pointer obtained from the client helper must be casted to a proxy:

Poco::RemotingNG::Proxy::Ptr pProxy = pTimeService.cast<Poco::RemotingNG::Proxy>();

Second, the Transport object can be obtained from the proxy:

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport& trans = static_cast<Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport&>(pProxy->remoting__transport());

These two casts can also be put into a utility function transportFromInterface():

template <class I>
Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport& transportFromInterface(Poco::AutoPtr<I> pInterface)
{
    Poco::RemotingNG::Proxy::Ptr pProxy = pInterface.template cast<Poco::RemotingNG::Proxy>();
    if (pProxy)
    {
        return static_cast<Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport&>(pProxy->remoting__transport());
    }
    else throw Poco::BadCastException();
}

Using the transportFromInterface() function, we can write:

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport& trans = transportFromInterface(pTimeService);

Now that we have access to the Transport object, we can configure it:

trans.enableCompression(true);
trans.enableMTOM(true);

Configuration should be done before the first method is invoked over the proxy.

Please see the Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport class documentation for other configuration options, including timeouts and user-agent string.

Enabling HTTP Authentication

The SOAP Transport supports HTTP Basic and Digest authentication. To enable authentication for a proxy object, first obtain the Transport object as shown in the previous section. HTTP Basic Authentication can then be enabled with:

trans.setAuthentication(Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::AUTH_BASIC);
trans.setUsername("user");
trans.setPassword("s3cr3t");

To enable HTTP Digest Authentication:

trans.setAuthentication(Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::AUTH_DIGEST);
trans.setUsername("user");
trans.setPassword("s3cr3t");
trans.enableChunkedTransferEncoding(false);

Please note that chunked transfer encoding must be disabled in order to use HTTP Digest Authentication.

It is also possible to enable both Basic and Digest authentication and use whatever the server requests:

trans.setAuthentication(Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::AUTH_ANY);
trans.setUsername("user");
trans.setPassword("s3cr3t");
trans.enableChunkedTransferEncoding(false);

Cookies

The SOAP Transport supports HTTP cookies. Any cookies sent by the server through a HTTP response will be sent back to the server with subsequent HTTP requests. The lifetime (maximum age) of cookies, if set, will be honored, and expired cookies will not be sent back to the server.

Cookies are mostly useful for session-based authentication. The cookies stored in a Transport object can be obtained and shared with a different Transport object. This is useful if a SOAP server uses session cookies for authentication and the same session needs to be used by multiple proxy instances.

Cookies are stored in a Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::CookieStore object. A pointer (Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::CookieStore::Ptr) to this object can be obtained by calling Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::getCookieStore(). The cookie store can then be shared with a different Transport by calling Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::setCookieStore().

Performance Considerations

The performance of the SOAP Transport is considerably lower than the that of the TCP Transport. Some of the reasons for this are:

  • XML generation and especially XML parsing overhead,
  • SOAP message overhead (SOAP envelope, header and body elements),
  • XML uses way more bandwidth than a binary protocol, and
  • the HTTP overhead is larger than the overhead for a simple socket connection.

Applications for which remote method call performance is critical, and which do not need to work with non Remoting applications should therefore prefer the TCP transport to the SOAP transport.

Text Encoding Considerations

All strings used in remote interfaces must be properly UTF-8 encoded when using the SOAP transport. Encoding errors may lead to failures when parsing SOAP request or response messages.

C++ To XML Schema Type Mappings

The following table shows how C++ (and POCO types) are mapped to XML Schema (XSD) types.

C++ Type              XSD Type
-----------------------------------
bool                  boolean
char                  byte
signed char           byte
unsigned char         unsignedByte
short                 short
unsigned short        unsignedShort
int                   int
unsigned int          unsignedInt
long                  int
unsigned long         unsignedInt
float                 float
double                double
std::string           string
std::vector<T>        sequence
std::vector<char>     base64Binary
std::set<T>           sequence
std::multiset<T>      sequence
Poco::Int8            byte
Poco::UInt8           unsignedByte
Poco::Int16           short
Poco::UInt16          unsignedShort
Poco::Int32           int
Poco::UInt32          unsignedInt
Poco::Int64           long
Poco::UInt64          unsignedLong
Poco::DateTime        dateTime
Poco::LocalDateTime   dateTime
Poco::Timestamp       dateTime
Poco::Timespan        long
Poco::URI             string

Using The SOAP Transport With HTTPS

The SOAP transport normally uses a plain, unencrypted HTTP connection between the client and the server. To make the SOAP Transport use a secure HTTP socket connection, the following steps must be performed.

HTTPS On The Server Side

On the server side, the listener must be created using a Poco::Net::SecureServerSocket.

Poco::Net::SecureServerSocket serverSocket(8443);
std::string listener = Poco::RemotingNG::ORB::instance().registerListener(
    new Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Listener("localhost:8443", "", serverSocket)
);
std::string uri = MyProject::MyClassHelper::registerObject(
    new MyProject::MyClass, 
    "MyObject", 
    listener
);

HTTPS On The Client Side

On the client side, the SOAP transport uses a private Poco::Net::HTTPSessionFactory object to create the Poco::Net::HTTPClientSession for talking to the server. So, all that needs to be done to enable HTTPS on the client is to register the Poco::Net::HTTPSSessionInstantiator with the session factory. Then, a https URI can be used to access the web service.

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::Transport::httpSessionFactory().registerProtocol(
    "https", 
    new Poco::Net::HTTPSSessionInstantiator
);

Poco::RemotingNG::SOAP::TransportFactory::registerFactory();

MyProject::IMyClass::Ptr pObj = MyProject::MyClassHelper::find(
    "https://localhost:8443/soap/MyClass/TheObject"
);