WSDL Parsing and Generation

The Zend\Soap\Wsdl class is used by Zend\Soap\Server internally to operate with WSDL documents. In most cases, you will not interact with it directly.

Nevertheless, you could also use functionality provided by this class for your own needs. Zend\Soap\Wsdl contains both a parser and a generator for WSDL documents.


The Zend\Soap\Wsdl constructor takes three parameters:

  • $name - name of the web service being described.
  • $uri - URI where the WSDL will be available (could also be a reference to the file in the filesystem.)
  • $strategy - optional flag used to identify the strategy for complex types (objects) detection. To read more on complex type detection strategies go to the section on adding complex types.
  • $classMap - Optional array of class name translations from PHP Type (key) to WSDL type (value).

addMessage() method

The addMessage($name, $parts) method adds a new message description to the WSDL document (/definitions/message element).

Each message corresponds to methods in terms of Zend\Soap\Server and Zend\Soap\Client functionality.

The $name parameter represents the message name.

The $parts parameter is an array of message parts which describes SOAP call parameters, represented as an associative array of 'part name' (SOAP call parameter name) => 'part type' pairs.

Type mapping management is performed using one of the addTypes() and addComplexType() methods (see below).

Message Typing

Messages parts can use either the element or type attribute for typing (see the W3C WSDL specification).

The element attribute must refer to a corresponding element in the data type definition. A type attribute refers to a corresponding complexType entry.

All standard XSD types have both element and complexType definitions (see the SOAP encoding specification for details).

All non-standard types, which may be added using the Zend\Soap\Wsdl::addComplexType() method, are described using the complexType node of the /definitions/types/schema/ section of the WSDL document.

The addMessage() method always uses the type attribute to describe types.

addPortType() method

The addPortType($name) method adds a new port type to the WSDL document (/definitions/portType) with the specified port type name.

In terms of the Zend\Soap\Server implementation, it joins a set of web service methods into a single operation.

See the W3C portTypes documentation for more details.

addPortOperation() method

The addPortOperation($portType, $name, $input = false, $output = false, $fault = false) method adds new port operation to the specified port type of the WSDL document (/definitions/portType/operation).

In terms of the Zend\Soap\Server implementation, Each port operation corresponds to a class method (if the web service is based on a class) or function (if the web service is based on a set of methods).

It also adds corresponding port operation messages depending on the specified $input, $output and $fault parameters.

Generated messages

Zend\Soap\Server generates two messages for each port operation when describing operations it provides:

  • input message with name <$methodName>Request.
  • output message with name <$methodName>Response.

See the W3C WSDL request/response documentation for more details.

addBinding() method

The addBinding($name, $portType) method adds new binding to the WSDL document (/definitions/binding).

A binding WSDL document node defines the message format and protocol details for operations and messages defined by a particular portType (see the W3C WSDL binding documentation).

The method creates a binding node and returns it; you may then fill the returned node with data.

Zend\Soap\Server uses the name <$serviceName>Binding for the 'binding' element in the WSDL document.

addBindingOperation() method

The addBindingOperation($binding, $name, $input = false, $output = false, $fault = false) method adds an operation to a binding element (/definitions/binding/operation) with the specified name.

It takes an XML_Tree_Node object returned by addBinding() as an input ($binding parameter) to add an 'operation' element with input/output/false entries depending on the specified parameters

The Zend\Soap\Server implementation adds a corresponding binding entry for each web service method with input and output entries, defining the soap:body element as <soap:body use="encoded" encodingStyle="">.

See the W3C WSDL bindings documentation for more details.

addSoapBinding() method

The addSoapBinding($binding, $style = 'document', $transport = '') method adds a SOAP binding (soap:binding) entry to the binding element (which is already linked to some port type) using the specified style and transport (the Zend\Soap\Server implementation uses the RPC style over HTTP).

A /definitions/binding/soap:binding element is used to signify that the binding is bound to the SOAP protocol format.

See the W3C bindings documentation for more details.

addSoapOperation() method

The addSoapOperation($binding, $soap_action) method adds a SOAP operation (soap:operation) entry to the binding element with the specified action. The style attribute of the soap:operation element is not used since the programming model (RPC-oriented or document-oriented) may be using the addSoapBinding() method already.

The soapAction attribute of /definitions/binding/soap:operation element specifies the value of the SOAP action header for this operation. This attribute is required for SOAP over HTTP and must not be specified for other transports.

The Zend\Soap\Server implementation uses the format <$serviceUri>#<$methodName> for the SOAP operation action name.

See the W3C soap:operation documentation for more details.

addService() method

The addService($name, $port_name, $binding, $location) method adds a /definitions/service element to the WSDL document with the specified service name, port name, binding, and location.

WSDL 1.1 allows several port types (sets of operations) per service; however, zend-soap does not support this ability.

The Zend\Soap\Server implementation uses:

  • <$name>Service as the service name.
  • <$name>Port as the port type name.
  • tns:<$name>Binding [1] as the binding name. (tns:namespace is defined as the script URI; generally this is 'http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['SCRIPT_NAME'])
  • the script URI ('http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['SCRIPT_NAME']) as the service URI for the service definition.

where $name is either:

  • a class name, for servers representing a PHP class,
  • a script name, for servers representing a collection of PHP functions.

See the W3C WSDL services documentation for more details.

Type mapping

The zend-soap WSDL implementation uses the following type mappings between PHP and SOAP types:

  • PHP strings <-> xsd:string.
  • PHP integers <-> xsd:int.
  • PHP floats and doubles <-> xsd:float.
  • PHP booleans <-> xsd:boolean.
  • PHP arrays <-> soap-enc:Array.
  • PHP Date <-> xsd:date.
  • PHP DateTime <-> xsd:dateTime.
  • PHP object <-> xsd:struct.
  • PHP class <-> based on complex type strategy (See the section on adding complex types).
  • PHP void <-> empty type.
  • If a type is not matched to any of the above, then xsd:anyType is used.


Complex types

By default, Zend\Soap\Wsdl will be created with the Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\DefaultComplexType class as its detection algorithm for complex types. The first parameter of the AutoDiscover constructor takes any complex type strategy implementing Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\ComplexTypeStrategyInterface, or a string class name of a class implementing the interface. For backwards compatibility with the $extractComplexType setting, boolean variables are parsed the following way:

  • If TRUE, Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\DefaultComplexType is used.
  • If FALSE, Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\AnyType is used.

Retrieving type information

The getType($type) method may be used to retrieve the mapping for a specified PHP type:

$wsdl = new Zend\Soap\Wsdl('My_Web_Service', $myWebServiceUri);
$soapIntType = $wsdl->getType('int');

class MyClass
    /* ... */

$soapMyClassType = $wsdl->getType('MyClass');

Adding complex type information

The addComplexType($type) method is used to add complex types (PHP classes) to a WSDL document.

The method is automatically used by the getType() method to add corresponding complex types of method parameters or return types.

The detection and generation algorithm it uses is based on the currently active detection strategy for complex types. You can set the detection strategy either by specifying the class name as a string or providing an instance of a Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy implementation as the third parameter to the constructor, or by calling the setComplexTypeStrategy($strategy) function of Zend\Soap\Wsdl.

The following detection strategies currently exist:

  • Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\DefaultComplexType: Enabled by default (when no third constructor parameter is set). Iterates over the public attributes of a class type and registers them as subtypes of the complex object type.
  • Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\AnyType: Casts all complex types into the simple XSD type xsd:anyType. Warning: this shortcut for complex type detection can probably only be handled successfully by weakly typed languages such as PHP.
  • Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\ArrayOfTypeSequence: This strategy allows specifying arrays of the given type, which can be any PHP scalar type (int, string, bool, float), as well as objects or arrays of objects.
  • Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\ArrayOfTypeComplex: This strategy allows detecting very complex arrays of objects. Objects types are detected based on the Zend\Soap\Wsdl\Strategy\DefaultComplexType, and an array is wrapped around that definition.
  • Zend\Soap\Wsdl\ComplexTypeStrategy\Composite: This strategy can combine all strategies by connecting PHP complex types (classes/objects) to the desired strategy via the connectTypeToStrategy($type, $strategy) method. A complete typemap can be given to the constructor as an array with $type / $strategy pairs. The second parameter specifies the default strategy that will be used if an unknown type is requested for adding, and defaults to the Zend\Soap\Wsdl\Strategy\DefaultComplexType strategy.

The addComplexType() method creates a /definitions/types/xsd:schema/xsd:complexType element for each described complex type, using the specified PHP class name.

Class properties MUST have a docblock section with the described PHP type in order to be included in the WSDL description.

addComplexType() checks if the type is already described within types section of the WSDL document, and prevents duplication of types. Additionally, it has recursion detection.

See the W3C WSDL types documentation for more details.

addDocumentation() method

The addDocumentation($input_node, $documentation) method adds human readable documentation using the optional wsdl:document element.

The /definitions/binding/soap:binding element is used to signify that the binding is bound to the SOAP protocol format.

See the W3C WSDL documentation section for more details.

Documenting complex types

To automatically generate documentation for complex types add a class implementing Zend\Soap\Wsdl\DocumentationStrategy\DocumentationStrategyInterface to your complex type strategy. A ReflectionDocumentation strategy is included, which will parse class and property docblocks and generate documentation based on the comments found:

$strategy = new ArrayOfTypeSequence();
$strategy->setDocumentationStrategy(new ReflectionDocumentation());
$wsdl = new Zend\Soap\Wsdl('MyService', $myWebServiceUri, $strategy);

Retrieve the final WSDL document

Several methods exist for retrieving the full WSDL definition document:

  • toXML() will generate an XML string.
  • toDomDocument() will generate a PHP DOMDocument instance.
  • dump($filename = false) will dump the XML to the specified filename, or, if no filename is provided, return the XML string.

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