SOAP Web Services

You can access Liferay’s web services via Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) over HTTP. The packaging protocol is SOAP, and the transport protocol is HTTP.

As an example, consider some example SOAP web service clients for Liferay’s Company, User, and UserGroup services that perform these tasks:

  1. List each user group the user with the screenname test belongs to.

  2. Add a new user group named MyGroup.

  3. Add your Liferay instance’s administrative user to the new user group. For demonstration purposes, you’ll use an administrative user whose email address is test@liferay.com.

You’ll use these SOAP related classes:

import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.CompanySoap;
import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.CompanySoap;
import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.UserGroupSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.UserGroupSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.CompanyServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.CompanyServiceSoapServiceLocator;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserGroupServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserGroupServiceSoapServiceLocator;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserServiceSoapServiceLocator;

Can you see the naming convention for SOAP related classes? These classes have
either -ServiceSoapServiceLocator, -ServiceSoap, or -Soap as suffixes. The -ServiceSoapServiceLocator class finds the -ServiceSoap class via the service’s URL you provide. The -ServiceSoap class is the interface to the services specified in the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) file for each service. The -Soap classes are the serializable implementations of the models.

So how do you determine the URLs for these services? This is a most excellent question! You can see a list of the services deployed on your Liferay instance by opening your browser to the following URL:

http://[host]:[port]/api/axis

Note that this URL only lists services in the portal context. To learn how to find services in other contexts in your Liferay instance, see the SOAP sections in the tutorial Creating Remote Services.

Regardless of the context you’re viewing SOAP services in, each web service is listed with its name, operations, and a link to its WSDL file. For example, here’s the list of secure web services listed for UserGroup:

  • Portal_UserGroupService (wsdl)
    • addGroupUserGroups
    • addTeamUserGroups
    • addUserGroup
    • deleteUserGroup
    • fetchUserGroup
    • getUserGroup
    • getUserGroups
    • getUserUserGroups
    • unsetGroupUserGroups
    • unsetTeamUserGroups
    • updateUserGroup

Note that some of these methods are overloaded.

Liferay uses Service Builder to automatically generate JSON and SOAP web service interfaces. If you haven’t used Service Builder before, see its introductory tutorial.

The WSDL file is written in XML and provides a model for describing and locating the web service. Here’s a WSDL excerpt of the addUserGroup operation of UserGroup:

<wsdl:operation name="addUserGroup" parameterOrder="name description">
    <wsdl:input message="intf:addUserGroupRequest" name="addUserGroupRequest"/>
    <wsdl:output message="intf:addUserGroupResponse" name="addUserGroupResponse"/>
</wsdl:operation>

To use the service, you pass in the WSDL URL along with your login credentials to the SOAP service locator for your service. The next section shows you an example of this.

SOAP Java Client

Now you’ll learn how to invoke Liferay’s SOAP web services. As an example, you’ll do this by setting up a Java web services client in Eclipse. You can use Eclipse’s Web Service Client wizard to either create a new web service client project or add a client to an existing project. You must add a new web service client to your project for each service that you want to consume in your client code. For this example, you’ll build a web service client to invoke Liferay’s Company, User, and UserGroup services.

To create a new web service client project in Eclipse, click FileNewOther…, then expand the Web Services category. Select Web Service Client.

For each client you create, you’re prompted to enter the service definition (WSDL) for the desired service. Since your example web service client needs Liferay’s Company, User, and UserGroup services, enter the following WSDLs:

http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_CompanyService?wsdl

http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_UserService?wsdl

http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_UserGroupService?wsdl

Figure 1: Service Definition

Figure 1: Service Definition

When you specify a WSDL, Eclipse automatically adds the auxiliary files and libraries required to consume that web service. After you’ve created your web service client project using one of the above WSDLs, you need to create additional clients in the project using the remaining WSDLs. To create an additional client in an existing project, right-click on the project and select NewOtherWeb Service Client. Click Next, enter the WSDL, and complete the wizard.

The following code locates and invokes operations to create a new user group named MyUserGroup and add a user with the screen name test to it. Create a LiferaySoapClient.java file in your web service client project and add this code to it. If you create this class in a package other than the one that’s specified in this code, replace the package with your package. To run the client from Eclipse, make sure that your Liferay server is running, right-click the LiferaySoapClient.java class, and select Run as Java application. Check your console to check that your service calls succeeded.

package com.liferay.test;

import java.net.URL;

import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.CompanySoap;
import com.liferay.portal.kernel.model.UserGroupSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.CompanyServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.CompanyServiceSoapServiceLocator;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserGroupServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserGroupServiceSoapServiceLocator;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserServiceSoap;
import com.liferay.portal.service.http.UserServiceSoapServiceLocator;

public class LiferaySoapClient {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        try {
            String remoteUser = "test";
            String password = "test";
            String virtualHost = "localhost";

            String groupName = "MyUserGroup";

            String serviceCompanyName = "Portal_CompanyService";
            String serviceUserName = "Portal_UserService";
            String serviceUserGroupName = "Portal_UserGroupService";

            long userId = 0;

            // Locate the Company
            CompanyServiceSoapServiceLocator locatorCompany =
                new CompanyServiceSoapServiceLocator();

            CompanyServiceSoap soapCompany =
                locatorCompany.getPortal_CompanyService(
                    _getURL(remoteUser, password, serviceCompanyName,
                            true));

            CompanySoap companySoap =
                soapCompany.getCompanyByVirtualHost(virtualHost);

            // Locate the User service
            UserServiceSoapServiceLocator locatorUser =
                new UserServiceSoapServiceLocator();
            UserServiceSoap userSoap = locatorUser.getPortal_UserService(
                _getURL(remoteUser, password, serviceUserName, true));

            // Get the ID of the remote user
            userId = userSoap.getUserIdByScreenName(
                companySoap.getCompanyId(), remoteUser);
            System.out.println("userId for user named " + remoteUser +
                    " is " + userId);

            // Locate the UserGroup service
            UserGroupServiceSoapServiceLocator locator =
                new UserGroupServiceSoapServiceLocator();
            UserGroupServiceSoap usergroupsoap =
                locator.getPortal_UserGroupService(
                    _getURL(remoteUser, password, serviceUserGroupName,
                            true));

            // Get the user's user groups
            UserGroupSoap[] usergroups = usergroupsoap.getUserUserGroups(
                    userId);

            System.out.println("User groups for userId " + userId + " ...");
            for (int i = 0; i < usergroups.length; i++) {
                System.out.println("\t" + usergroups[i].getName());
            }

            // Adds the user group if it does not already exist
            String groupDesc = "My new user group";
            UserGroupSoap newUserGroup = null;

            boolean userGroupAlreadyExists = false;
            try {
                newUserGroup = usergroupsoap.getUserGroup(groupName);
                if (newUserGroup != null) {
                    System.out.println("User with userId " + userId +
                            " is already a member of UserGroup " +
                                    newUserGroup.getName());
                    userGroupAlreadyExists = true;
                }
            } catch (Exception e) {
                // Print cause, but continue
                System.out.println(e.getLocalizedMessage());
            }

            if (!userGroupAlreadyExists) {
                newUserGroup = usergroupsoap.addUserGroup(
                        groupName, groupDesc);
                System.out.println("Added user group named " + groupName);

                long users[] = {userId};
                userSoap.addUserGroupUsers(newUserGroup.getUserGroupId(),
                        users);
            }

            // Get the user's user groups
            usergroups = usergroupsoap.getUserUserGroups(userId);

            System.out.println("User groups for userId " + userId + " ...");
            for (int i = 0; i < usergroups.length; i++) {
                System.out.println("\t" + usergroups[i].getName());
            }
        }
        catch (Exception e) {
            e.getLocalizedMessage();
        }
    }

        private static URL _getURL(String remoteUser, String password,
                        String serviceName, boolean authenticate)
                        throws Exception {

                // Unauthenticated url
                String url = "http://localhost:8080/api/axis/" + serviceName;

                // Authenticated url
                if (authenticate) {
                        url = "http://" + remoteUser + ":" + password
                                        + "@localhost:8080/api/axis/"
                                        + serviceName;
                }

                return new URL(url);
        }

}

Running this client should produce output like this:

userId for user named test is 10196
User groups for user 10196 ...
java.rmi.RemoteException: No UserGroup exists with the key {companyId=10154,
name=MyUserGroup}
Added user group named
Added user to user group named MyUserGroup
User groups for user 10196 ...
    MyUserGroup

The output tells you the user had no groups, but was added to the user group MyUserGroup.

You might be thinking, “But an error was thrown! Something is wrong!” Yes, an error is thrown (java.rmi.RemoteException:), but you can sit here as cool as an ice cream sandwich all the same. The exception is thrown because the UserGroup check is invoked before the UserGroup is created. Because the very next line of the output says Added user group named..., you’re okay. The SOAP web service invocations worked!

Here are a few things to note about this example:

  • Authentication is done using HTTP Basic Authentication, which isn’t appropriate for a production environment since the password is unencrypted. It’s simply used for convenience in this example. In production, you should use SSL. Refer to Liferay’s portal.properties file and look up the company.security.auth.requires.https and web.server.protocol properties for more information.
  • The screen name and password are passed in the URL as credentials.
  • The name of the service (e.g. Portal_UserGroupService) is specified at the end of the URL. Remember that the service name can be found in the web service listing.

The operations getCompanyByVirtualHost(), getUserIdByScreenName(), getUserUserGroups(), addUserGroup() and addUserGroupUsers() are specified for the -ServiceSOAP classes CompanyServiceSoap, UserServiceSoap and UserGroupServiceSoap in the WSDL files. Information on parameter types, parameter order, request type, response type, and return type are conveniently specified in the WSDL for each Liferay web service. It’s all there for you!

Next, you’ll learn how to implement a web service client in PHP.

SOAP PHP Client

You can write your client in any language that supports web services invocation. The following example code invokes the same operations as before, but uses PHP and a PHP SOAP client instead of Java:

<?php
    $userGroupName = "MyUserGroup2";
    $userName = "test";
    $clientOptions = array('login' => $userName, 'password' => 'test');

    // Add user group
    $userGroupClient = new 
        SoapClient(
            "http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_UserGroupService?wsdl", 
            $clientOptions);
    $userGroup = $userGroupClient->addUserGroup($userGroupName,
        "This user group was created by the PHP client! ");
    print ("User group ID is $userGroup->userGroupId ");

    // Add user to user group
    $companyClient = new SoapClient(
        "http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_CompanyService?wsdl",
        $clientOptions);
    $company = $companyClient->getCompanyByVirtualHost("localhost");
    $userClient = new SoapClient(
        "http://localhost:8080/api/axis/Portal_UserService?wsdl",
        $clientOptions);
    $userId = $userClient->getUserIdByScreenName($company->companyId,
        $userName);
    print ("User ID for $userName is $userId ");
    $users = array($userId);
    $userClient->addUserGroupUsers($userGroup->userGroupId, $users);

    // Print the user groups to which the user belongs
    $userGroups = $userGroupClient->getUserUserGroups($userId);
    print ("User groups for user $userId ... ");
    foreach($userGroups as $ug)
        print ("$ug->name, $ug->userGroupId ")
?>

Remember, you can implement a web service client in any language that supports SOAP web services.

Service Security Layers

Creating Remote Services

Invoking Remote Services

What is Service Builder?

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