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Handling badly formed SOAP messages

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127264D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Some WebService applications use badly formed SOAP messages. This can be due to misconfiguration, or incorrect interpretation of the WebServices standards. Such messages will not typically interoperate between WebServices providers. By referring to the WSDL that describes the WebService, and the content of the badly formed message, it is possible to identify the correct message, and to continue processing the message.

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Handling badly formed SOAP messages

Disclosed is an algorithm for identifying and handling badly formed SOAP messages. These messages would normally fail to be processed by a WebService client or provider. With the application of this algorithm, many badly formed messages can be processed.

    Some WebService applications use badly formed SOAP messages. This can be due to misconfiguration, or incorrect interpretation of the WebServices standards. Such messages will not typically interoperate between WebServices providers. A given provider may fault request messages (effectively rejecting them), and a requester could fail to interpret a response message (with potentially disastrous consequences).

Current solutions to this problem include: - Rebuilding the application that uses poorly formed messages - Correcting the flaws in the WebServices implementation

These solutions require code change, which may not be acceptable.

    By referring to the WSDL that describes the WebService, as well as the content of the badly formed message, it is possible to eliminate many of the candidate messages defined by the service. This allows an WebServices implementation (or intermediary) to identify the correct message, and to parse it as if it were well-formed. In addition such an implementation is able to write a well-formed version of the message as required.

Handling Badly Formed SOAP Messages There are two phases to the process:

       The 'identification' sweep of the message applies the matching rules (see detail below). Once the candidates are narrowed to a single match then the identity is assumed, without further checking.

       Following identification, the main parse may begin. During the parse, the names and types defined in using the WSDL definition of the message are used, instead of the parse being driven by the content of the SOAP message. (At this stage the message has been identified, so it is simple to allow the model to drive the parse instead of the names encountered in the XML.)

RPC style messages

       RPC message bodies are wrapped in an element that names the operation that is being invoked. This algorithm requires this ele...