Blog An exploration of the art and
craft of software development

Soap4R Blues

Posted by Marty Haught on Friday, August 04, 2006
I've been wrestling with Soap4R off and on for the last 8 months. It's Ruby's only soap library as far as I can tell. Most folks prefer not to get into Soap if they can avoid it for several reasons, the least being that Soap is often way too heavy for what we need. In my particular case I have no real choice. I have two different web services that talk Soap that I need to interface with (from my Rails application).

The greater problem is that Soap4R lacks decent documentation. It's also maintained by a single person and while I've no doubt that NaHi has done a tremendous job, it's just too much work. But it does work for most cases once you figure out how to use it. All the examples (including the Pickaxe and Enterprise Integration with Ruby) don't go too deep into Soap4R. If you're lucky enough to have a Soap service with wsdl then you'll probably be alright. In my case, my second web service, Zimbra, has no wsdl. So I'm left hand-coding the soap request/responses.

So my quest is to not only figure all of this out, which I've done quite a bit already. But to blog about this to save others a bit of pain that I've suffered. What's really sad is that the Soap4R list hasn't been that useful. I've now posted at least 3 questions to the list with no response. I'm pretty sure the guys on the list know the answer but don't seem to be in the spirit of helping out. I hope it's just because their really busy and not because they don't want to be of assistance. Hopefully, I'll be a bit better at blogging more often on this so stay tuned.

blog comments powered by Disqus