SOAP Header Element

The optional SOAP Header element contains header information.


The SOAP Header Element

The optional SOAP Header element contains application specific information (like authentication, payment, etc) about the SOAP message. If the Header element is present, it must be the first child element of the Envelope element.

Note: All immediate child elements of the Header element must be namespace-qualified.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<soap:Envelope
xmlns:soap="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-envelope"
soap:encodingStyle="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-encoding">
<soap:Header>
<m:Trans
xmlns:m="http://www.w3schools.com/transaction/"
soap:mustUnderstand="1">234</m:Trans>
</soap:Header>
...
...
</soap:Envelope>

The example above contains a header with a “Trans” element, a “mustUnderstand” attribute value of “1”, and a value of 234.

SOAP defines three attributes in the default namespace (“http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-envelope&#8221;). These attributes are: actor, mustUnderstand, and encodingStyle. The attributes defined in the SOAP Header defines how a recipient should process the SOAP message.


The actor Attribute

A SOAP message may travel from a sender to a receiver by passing different endpoints along the message path. Not all parts of the SOAP message may be intended for the ultimate endpoint of the SOAP message but, instead, may be intended for one or more of the endpoints on the message path.

The SOAP actor attribute may be used to address the Header element to a particular endpoint.

Syntax

soap:actor="URI"

Example

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<soap:Envelope
xmlns:soap="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-envelope"
soap:encodingStyle="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-encoding">
<soap:Header>
<m:Trans
xmlns:m="http://www.w3schools.com/transaction/"
soap:actor="http://www.w3schools.com/appml/">
234
</m:Trans>
</soap:Header>
...
...
</soap:Envelope>

The mustUnderstand Attribute

The SOAP mustUnderstand attribute can be used to indicate whether a header entry is mandatory or optional for the recipient to process.

If you add “mustUnderstand=”1” to a child element of the Header element it indicates that the receiver processing the Header must recognize the element. If the receiver does not recognize the element it must fail when processing the Header.

Syntax

soap:mustUnderstand="0|1"

Example

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<soap:Envelope
xmlns:soap="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-envelope"
soap:encodingStyle="http://www.w3.org/2001/12/soap-encoding">
<soap:Header>
<m:Trans
xmlns:m="http://www.w3schools.com/transaction/"
soap:mustUnderstand="1">
234
</m:Trans>
</soap:Header>
...
...
</soap:Envelope>

The encodingStyle Attribute

The SOAP encodingStyle attribute is explained in the previous chapter.

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