Building XML Web Services for the Microsoft .NET Platform  

( 1 )

Overview

Discover how to revolutionize the online exchange of business information with this in-depth developer's guide to Web Services-the building blocks of the .NET platform. This book takes enterprise developers inside the architecture, protocols, and programming practices for building distributed-object Web Services. The authors also step readers through building a high-end Web Service of their own, using real-world examples and proven strategies. All the book's code examples appear...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $2.99   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(94)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2002 Paperback New Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Ships from: Skokie, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(178)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(178)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Discover how to revolutionize the online exchange of business information with this in-depth developer's guide to Web Services-the building blocks of the .NET platform. This book takes enterprise developers inside the architecture, protocols, and programming practices for building distributed-object Web Services. The authors also step readers through building a high-end Web Service of their own, using real-world examples and proven strategies. All the book's code examples appear on the companion CD-ROM.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Even developers skeptical of Microsoft are coming to appreciate .NET's potential for rapid development of high-performance web services. Building XML Web Services for the Microsoft .NET Platform gives them a start-to-finish guide to creating .NET web services that build on XML, SOAP, and other industry standards -- both current and "imagined."

Scott Short covers web services architecture, protocols, coding, security, debugging, and much more. Among the topics he covers in detail: using XML schema and ASP.NET in web services; documenting services with WSDL; and maximizing scalability and availability.

Short, who now works at Microsoft after developing enterprise applications for MCI and JD Edwards, concludes with a preview of Microsoft's vision of the future of web services. He introduces the proposed Global XML Web Services Architecture, which seeks to provide standardized, XML-based infrastructure for more complex applications. He also offers a great high-level overview of .NET My Services, Microsoft's approach to storing personal information on the network, for access from multiple locations (i.e., the controversial Passport and the offerings that'll build on it).

The book's extensive code samples are provided on CD-ROM along with the latest version of Microsoft's .NET Framework SDK. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jersey–based marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735614062
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2002
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 6.ASP.NET
  • Creating an ASP.NET Web Service
  • Transport Protocols and Bindings
  • Web Service Documentation
  • Raising Errors
  • SOAP Encoding Styles
    • Encoding References
  • Interface Inheritance
  • Managing State
    • Session State
    • Application State
  • Defining and Processing SOAP Headers
    • Processing Unknown Headers
  • Using SOAP Extensions
    • SOAP Extension Attributes
    • SOAP Extension Class
  • Using the WSDL Utility to Generate Proxy Code
    • Proxy Class
    • Cookies
    • Summary

6  ASP.NET

ASP.NET, the next generation of the Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP) platform, is known for the ease with which it allows you to develop Web applications. It provides a layer of abstraction that lets you focus on solving business problems instead of developing the underlying plumbing, which can greatly increase your productivity. This model has been extended beyond Web Forms to include Web services.

ASP.NET is also popular because it offers a rich set of services that you can leverage when you build applications. With the introduction of ASP.NET, the platform facilitates the rapid creation and consumption of Web services. ASP.NET abstracts the underlying Web services protocols such as SOAP, WSDL, and HTTP away from the developer. As I demonstrated in Chapter 1, Web services that expose simple interfaces require little, if any, knowledge of the underlying protocols.

Sometimes you need to exercise a high degree of control over the serialization of the SOAP messages and the format of the WSDL document used to describe the Web service. Fortunately, ASP.NET provides the necessary hooks that allow you to control practically every aspect of the implementation of a Web service. In this chapter, I discuss the hooks ASP.NET provides as well as examples of when to use them.

Web application developers have come to rely on services provided by the ASP platform, such as state management and security. These services have been significantly improved in ASP.NET and can be leveraged to create robust Web services. Additional services such as automatic generation of documentation have also been introduced specifically for Web services.

For a version 1 product, ASP.NET is a remarkably feature-rich and solid development platform. However, as with any V1 product, ASP.NET has some quirks. In this chapter, I talk about many of them and show you how to work through them.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Why Web Services? 1
2 Creating a Basic Web Service 11
3 SOAP 29
4 XML Schema 59
5 Using WSDL to Document Web Services 97
6 ASP.NET 127
7 XML Serialization 205
8 Using Remoting to Build and Consume Web Services 227
9 Discovery Mechanisms for Web Services 255
10 Building Secure Web Services 289
11 Debugging Web Services 315
12 Scalability and Availability 347
13 The Future of Web Services 373
App XML Schema Built-In Types 407
Index 411
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

  • Creating an ASP.NET Web Service
  • Transport Protocols and Bindings
  • Web Service Documentation
  • Raising Errors
  • SOAP Encoding Styles
    • Encoding References
  • Interface Inheritance
  • Managing State
    • Session State
    • Application State
  • Defining and Processing SOAP Headers
    • Processing Unknown Headers
  • Using SOAP Extensions
    • SOAP Extension Attributes
    • SOAP Extension Class
  • Using the WSDL Utility to Generate Proxy Code
    • Proxy Class
    • Cookies
    • Summary

    6  ASP.NET

    ASP.NET, the next generation of the Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP) platform, is known for the ease with which it allows you to develop Web applications. It provides a layer of abstraction that lets you focus on solving business problems instead of developing the underlying plumbing, which can greatly increase your productivity. This model has been extended beyond Web Forms to include Web services.

    ASP.NET is also popular because it offers a rich set of services that you can leverage when you build applications. With the introduction of ASP.NET, the platform facilitates the rapid creation and consumption of Web services. ASP.NET abstracts the underlying Web services protocols such as SOAP, WSDL, and HTTP away from the developer. As I demonstrated in Chapter 1, Web services that expose simple interfaces require little, if any, knowledge of the underlying protocols.

    Sometimes you need to exercise a high degree of control over the serialization of the SOAP messages and the format of the WSDL document used to describe the Web service. Fortunately, ASP.NET provides the necessary hooks that allow you to control practically every aspect of the implementation of a Web service. In this chapter, I discuss the hooks ASP.NET provides as well as examples of when to use them.

    Web application developers have come to rely on services provided by the ASP platform, such as state management and security. These services have been significantly improved in ASP.NET and can be leveraged to create robust Web services. Additional services such as automatic generation of documentation have also been introduced specifically for Web services.

    For a version 1 product, ASP.NET is a remarkably feature-rich and solid development platform. However, as with any V1 product, ASP.NET has some quirks. In this chapter, I talk about many of them and show you how to work through them.

    Creating an ASP.NET Web Service

    Let's say that an online brokerage firm wants to provide a Web service to its customers. It could accomplish this by writing an ASP.NET Web application. However, the firm wants to extend the reach of its services so that they can be leveraged from other applications. For example, a portal site such as MSN or Yahoo! might want to provide these services but might lack the expertise or the desire to take on the burden of building the services themselves.

    Instead, the portal site can provide a UI to the customer and use the brokerage firm's Web service as the back end. At worst, the portal will retain the customer within its site and potentially increase its ad revenue. At best, the portal can charge an incremental amount on top of the fees provided by the brokerage firm. Either way, it is potentially a win-win situation for the portal company and the brokerage firm.

    In this chapter, I build the Securities Web service, which allows the client to perform actions such as obtaining a quote for a particular stock, bond, or mutual fund. The individual methods will contain skeleton implementations that let you focus on the mechanics of building Web services using ASP.NET.

    The first thing I need to do is define the endpoint for the Securities Web service. A Web service is defined by an .asmx file, which serves as the endpoint for the Web service. Calls made to .asmx files are intercepted and processed by the ASP.NET runtime.

    The implementation of the Web service is encapsulated within a class. The class definition can either appear inline within the .asmx file or be contained in a separate dynamic link library (DLL). The .asmx page needs to contain information that the runtime can use to locate the class.

    Each .asmx page contains a directive at the top of the page that specifies where and in what form the implementation of the Web service can be found. This directive is used by the ASP.NET runtime to bind the Web service to a class that contains the implementation.

    Here is an example in which the implementation of the Web service is contained within the .asmx file:

    <%@ WebService Language="c#" Class="BrokerageFirm.Securities" %>

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    // Inline definition of the Securities class
    public class Securities
    {
    Implementation...
    }
    }

    The Class attribute contains the fully qualified name of the class that implements the Web service. If the code resides within the .asmx file, you must set the Language attribute, which specifies the language in which the code was written.

    The first time the Web service is accessed, the ASP.NET runtime will use the Language attribute to compile the code with the appropriate compiler. Thus, even if the code implementing the Web service is contained within the .asmx file, it will always be executed as compiled machine code.

    Out of the box, ASP.NET is configured to dynamically compile code written in C#, Visual Basic, Visual Basic .NET, and JScript .NET. You can configure additional languages within the web.config file or the machine.config file. The following is the compilation section of the machine.config file found in the C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\version\CONFIG directory:

    <!-- compilation Attributes:
    tempDirectory="directory"
    debug="[true|false]"
    strict="[true|false]"
    explicit="[true|false]"
    batch="[true|false]"
    batchTimeout="timeout in seconds"
    maxBatchSize="max number of pages per batched compilation"
    numRecompilesBeforeAppRestart="max number of recompilations
    before appdomain is cycled"
    defaultLanguage="name of a language as specified
    in a <compiler/> tag below"
    -->
    <compilation debug="false" explicit="true" defaultLanguage="vb">

    <compilers>
    <compiler language="c#;cs;csharp" extension=".cs"
    type="Microsoft.CSharp.CSharpCodeProvider, System,
    Version=1.0.xxxx.0, Culture=neutral,
    PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1" />
    <compiler language="vb;visualbasic;vbscript" extension=".vb"
    type="Microsoft.VisualBasic.VBCodeProvider, System,
    Version=1.0.xxxx.0, Culture=neutral,
    PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1" />
    <compiler language="js;jscript;javascript" extension=".js"
    type="Microsoft.JScript.JScriptCodeProvider, Microsoft.JScript" />
    </compilers>

    <assemblies>
    <add assembly="mscorlib"/>
    <add assembly="System, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="System.Web, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="System.Data, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="System.Web.Services, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="System.Xml, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="System.Drawing, Version=1.0.xxxx.0,
    Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=1234567890abcde1"/>
    <add assembly="*"/>
    </assemblies>

    </compilation>

    As you can see, the default language is Visual Basic .NET (vb), so my C# example must set the Language attribute to c#, cs, or csharp.

    The compilation section also includes a list of assemblies that are referenced by code within the .asmx file. If the Securities Web service were to reference entities from an assembly other than those listed in the preceding code, I could add a new machine-wide reference to my machine.config file or an application-wide reference to my web.config file.

    The last add element specifies a wildcard for the assembly name. If an assembly is referenced within an .asmx file that was not previously listed, the ASP.NET runtime will search for the assembly. (See the product documentation for the exact search order.)

    The class implementing the Web service can also reside within a compiled assembly. By convention, the assembly is placed in the Web application's bin directory because this directory is always included in the search path of the runtime. This is the default configuration for Web services created using Visual Studio .NET. The following is the WebService directive that Visual Studio .NET creates automatically:

    <%@ WebService Language="c#" Codebehind="Service1.asmx. cs" Class="BrokerageFirm.Service1" %>
    

    As is typical in the Visual Studio product line, most of the attributes defined in the WebService directive are used by the editor and are ignored by the runtime. As I mentioned, you must specify the Language attribute only if the implementation of the Web service resides within the .asmx file. In addition, the code-behind file is always ignored by the ASP.NET runtime and is used by Visual Studio .NET to bring up the appropriate source code file when you select View Code within the IDE.

    One other potential gotcha is that Visual Studio .NET will only partially maintain this file. When you rename the .asmx file to something more meaningful, Visual Studio .NET will automatically rename the associated code-behind file and update the WebService directive accordingly. As a common practice, I also rename the class that implements the Web service to match the name of the .asmx file.

    Unfortunately, Visual Studio .NET will not automatically update the Class attribute. If you rename the class, you have to manually update this attribute yourself. Furthermore, double-clicking the .asmx file to update this attribute will display the design surface, not the file text. Visual Studio .NET does not provide the same buttons shown on an .aspx file's design surface that allow you to switch between the design view and the underlying text of the file. You have to right-click the file, choose Open With, and then select Source Code (Text) Editor.

    Now that I have discussed the two options—placing the implementation for your Web service within the .asmx file or within its own assembly—I am sure you are wondering which one you should use. Well, as with most design decisions, it depends. Placing the code within the .asmx file provides the simplest means of deployment because ASP.NET will compile the code dynamically for you. However, deploying the implementation within an assembly ensures that your code will not contain compilation errors. Also, if you are deploying the Web service outside the confines of your data center, others will not have access to the source code.

    Another potential advantage of having the implementation of your Web service reside within an assembly is that it can be directly referenced by other applications hosted on the same machine. For example, suppose I provide an HTML-based UI that allows my customers access to the functionality of the Securities Web service. If the class containing the implementation of the Web service is in its own assembly, the Web application can reference the assembly and directly access the Web service class. This avoids the unnecessary overhead of accessing the functionality remotely.

    You should take this approach with caution, however. Some Web services rely on services provided by the ASP.NET runtime to function correctly. For example, a Web method might set an attribute stating that the ASP.NET runtime must create a new transaction on its behalf. Because ASP.NET is responsible for ensuring that a transaction is created, no transaction will be created if the class implementing the Web service is accessed directly.

    Regardless of which option you choose, the code for implementing the Web service will be the same. For starters, I will implement one method within my Securities Web service, InstantQuote. Plenty of services on the Web give quotes on the price of a company's stock. However, these quotes are often time delayed and can be more than 20 minutes old. InstantQuote will use an extremely complex algorithm to obtain the price a security is trading at on the floor. Following is the implementation.

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    [WebMethod]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {
    double price = 0;

    switch(symbol)
    {
    case "MSFT":
    price = 197.75;
    break;

    case "SUNW":
    price = 2.50;
    break;

    case "ORCL":
    price = 2.25;
    break;
    }

    return price;
    }
    }
    }

    All right, so the algorithm is not that complex. What do you expect with an example? The important thing to note is that the implementation of the Web service is a standard public class declaration with a WebMethod attribute decorating the InstantQuote method. This class declaration can be either compiled into an assembly or placed as is within the .asmx file, and it is the same whether it is contained within the .asmx file or compiled into a separate DLL.

    Each method that is intended to be exposed by the Web service must be public and must be decorated with the WebMethod attribute. This tells the ASP.NET runtime to expose the method as publicly accessible. From this point on, I will refer to a method of a class decorated with the WebMethod attribute as a Web method.

    When you decorate a method with the WebMethod attribute, you can also set various properties that modify the behavior of the ASP.NET runtime. Table 6-1 lists the properties exposed by the WebMethod attribute.

    Table 6-1 Properties of the WebMethod Attribute

    Property Description
    BufferResponse Specifies whether the response to the client should be buffered.
    CacheDuration Specifies the amount of time, in seconds, that a response will be cached in memory by the Web server for a given response. The default is 0.
    Description Specifies the value of the description element under each operation element within each type definition within the ASP.NET-generated WSDL document.
    EnableSession Specifies whether the ASP.NET session state services will be available for the implementation of the method.
    MessageName Specifies the name of the method exposed by the Web
    service. Specifically, it sets the name of the element within the body of the SOAP message that contains the parameters as well as the suffix of the SOAP action. It also specifies the prefix of the names of the message, input, and output elements within the ASP.NET-generated WSDL document.
    TransactionOption Specifies the transactional support that should be provided for the implementation of the method. The method can serve only as the root of a transaction and cannot participate in the caller's transaction.

    The ASP.NET page framework also provides the WebService attribute. This attribute is set at the class level and is used to modify properties of the Web service as a whole. Changes made via the WebService attribute will be reflected in the Web service's WSDL document. Table 6-2 lists the properties exposed by the WebService attribute.

    Table 6-2 Properties of the WebService Attribute

    Property Description
    Description Specifies the description element under the service element within the ASP.NET-generated WSDL document.
    Name Specifies the name of the service element within the ASP.NET-generated WSDL document. It also specifies the prefix for the names of the portType, binding, and port elements.
    Namespace Specifies the target namespace for the WSDL document as well as the schema document that defines the structures for encoding the parameters within the body of a SOAP message. It also specifies the prefix of the namespace for the schema that contains any custom types defined by the Web service and the value of the SOAP action.

    Now that I have defined the Securities Web service, let's talk about how clients can access it.

    Transport Protocols and Bindings

    The Securities Web service can be accessed by the client only over HTTP because HTTP is the only transport protocol supported by ASP.NET. However, by default the Securities Web service supports three styles of binding to the HTTP protocol: SOAP, HTTP GET, and HTTP POST.

    All ASP.NET Web services support the SOAP binding. Of the three binding styles, SOAP is most often preferred because data contained within the messages is strongly typed using XML Schema. In addition, XML datatypes can be mapped fairly well to .NET datatypes.

    Support for the HTTP GET/POST bindings is more limited than for SOAP. Some factors that limit the ability of the ASP.NET runtime to support the HTTP GET/POST bindings are the following:

    • Required SOAP headers The HTTP GET/POST bindings do not provide a means of sending and receiving header information. If a Web service's WSDL document states that a header must always be included in a message exchanged between the client and the server, the message must be encoded using SOAP.
    • Complex input parameters ASP.NET does not support encoding complex types encoded within the name/value pair on the query string or in the body of the HTTP request.
    • Multiple parameters returned to the client Only the return parameter can be passed back to the client. ASP.NET does not support encoding in/out or out parameters within the message returned to the client as a result of an HTTP GET/ POST request.

    If the Web service exposes relatively simple interfaces, it can also be exposed via HTTP GET and HTTP POST. These bindings are simpler than SOAP, so they might make it easier for developers using less-sophisticated toolsets to interface with the Web service.

    For example, it would be relatively straightforward to interface with the Securities Web service using the XML Document Object Model (DOM). To get the current price for Microsoft stock, you load the DOM with the results of the Web method call by passing http://localhost/Calculator.asmx/InstantQuote?symbol=MSFT to the load method. The DOM will be initialized with the following XML returned from the Web service:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <double xmlns="http://tempuri.org/">197.75</double>

    Once the XML DOM has been initialized, you can navigate the DOM to obtain the value of the double element.

    You can easily specify which protocol bindings your Web service will support. ASP.NET provides a flexible means of configuring Web applications via a hierarchical structure of XML configuration files. The machine-wide configuration file is located at C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\version\CONFIG\machine.config. The machine.config file contains the default configuration for all Web applications on the machine.

    A web.config file, which you can optionally create within the root directory of the Web application, extends or overrides the configuration settings within machine.config. You can also place a web.config file within a subdirectory of the Web application to extend or override the configuration settings within the Web application's web.config file.

    By default, the machine.config file is configured to support all three protocols. You can modify the machine.config or web.config file for the particular application to disable any one of the three bindings. For example, you can add the following webServices section to your web.config file to disable HTTP POST and HTTP GET:

    <configuration>

    <!-- Portions of the configuration file removed for clarity -->
    <system.web>
    <webServices>
    <protocols>
    <remove name="HttpPost"/>
    <remove name="HttpGet"/>
    </protocols>
    </webServices>

    </system.web>

    </configuration>

    The protocols added to the machine.config file by default are HttpSoap, HttpPost, HttpGet, and Documentation. I discuss Documentation in the next section. Unfortunately, in this version of ASP.NET the supported protocols are not extensible.

    Valid child elements for the protocols element are add, remove, and clear. The add and remove elements add and remove a particular protocol specified by the name attribute, respectively. The clear element clears all settings that are inherited from parent configuration files. For example, the following configuration file ensures that only HttpSoap and Documentation are supported, regardless of what was set in parent configuration files:

    <configuration>

    <!-- Portions of the configuration file removed for clarity -->
    <system.web>
    <webServices>
    <protocols>
    <clear/>
    <add name="HttpSoap"/>
    <add name="Documentation"/>
    </protocols>
    </webServices>

    </system.web>

    </configuration>

    First I clear any configuration settings that might have been set by a parent configuration file. Then I explicitly add HttpSoap and Documentation to the list of protocols supported by the Web service.

    Web Service Documentation

    The ASP.NET runtime includes a set of services that provide documentation for your Web service. The ASP.NET runtime uses reflection to generate two types of documentation: human-readable documentation, and documentation used by client applications to interact with the Web service.

    You can reach HTML-based documentation by entering the URL of the Web service into a Web browser. Both the WebService and WebMethod attributes expose a Description property. The following example is a modified version of the Securities Web service I created earlier:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [WebService(Description="This Web service provides services
    related to securities.")]
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    [WebMethod(Description="Used to obtain a real- time quote
    for a given security.")]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {
    double price = 0;

    switch(symbol)
    {
    case "MSFT":
    price = 197.75;
    break;

    case "SUNW":
    price = 2.50;
    break;

    case "ORCL":
    price = 2.25;
    break;
    }

    return price;
    }
    }
    }

    The HTML-based documentation that is automatically generated for the Securities Web service is shown here:

    (Image Unavailable)

    The Web page lists the method exposed by the Web service, InstantQuote. The Web page also provides a recommendation to set the default namespace of the Web service and provides code examples for C# and Visual Basic .NET. I cover how to set the default namespace later in the chapter.

    If you click on a particular method, you see documentation for that particular method, as shown here:

    (Image Unavailable)

    The documentation for the InstantQuote method shows the parameter that is expected to be passed. The text set by the WebMethod attribute's Description property is also displayed. The Web page also provides an example template for how the parameters should be encoded within SOAP, HTTP GET, and HTTP POST messages.

    If the parameters are simple, as in the case of the InstantQuote method, the generated documentation for the method also includes a test harness for posting data via HTTP GET to the Web service. This simple test harness can come in handy for testing the logic within the Web service. It also serves as the default client when you debug your Web service in Visual Studio .NET.

    The documentation automatically generated by ASP.NET serves as a good starting point. However, you should consider expanding it to include more descriptive information about the Web service. You should also consider showing a few examples, including the contents of the request and response messages—especially for Web services that will be publicly exposed via the Internet.

    You can configure ASP.NET to display your custom documentation when a user navigates to the .asmx file by setting the wsdlHelpGenerator element within the configuration file. The HTML documentation for the Securities Web service displayed in the preceding graphic is generated by DefaultWsdlHelpGenerator.aspx, which is located in the C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\version\CONFIG directory. The entry within the machine.config file for the default HTML documentation is as follows:

    <configuration>

    <!-- Portions of the configuration file removed for clarity -->
    <system.web>
    <webServices>
    <wsdlHelpGenerator href="DefaultWsdlHelpGenerator.aspx" />
    </webServices>
    </system.web>

    </configuration>

    Despite the wsdl prefix, the wsdlHelpGenerator element is used to set the file that will display the HTML-based documentation, not the WSDL documentation. The href attribute specifies the name of the file that will be used to display the documentation. If the filename is fully qualified, it should contain the file path to the document, not the document's URL.

    The ASP.NET runtime also generates documentation about a Web service in a format that can be programmatically consumed by clients. The ASP.NET runtime automatically generates a WSDL document that describes the Web service. You can access this by passing the value wsdl to the .asmx file within the query string. The following is a portion of the WSDL generated for the Securities Web service:

    (Image Unavailable)

    The WSDL document describes the Web service and can be used by the ASP.NET platform to create proxies for calling Web methods. I discuss how to create and use Web service proxies in the section titled "Using the WSDL Utility to Generate Proxy Code" later in this chapter. I discussed WSDL in more detail back in Chapter 5.

    The autogeneration of both the HTML and the WSDL documentation is enabled by default within the machine.config file. You can disable autogeneration of documentation for the entire machine by modifying the machine.config file, or you can disable it for an individual Web directory by modifying the web.config file. The following example disables the documentation support:

    <configuration>

    <!-- Portions of the configuration file removed for clarity -->
    <system.web>
    <webServices>
    <protocols>
    <remove name="Documentation"/>
    </protocols>
    </webServices>

    </system.web>

    </configuration>

    Unfortunately, there is no way to disable the HTML and WSDL documentation separately.

    Raising Errors

    Recall that the InstantQuote Web method exposed by the Securities Web service returns the price of a particular security. However, there is one problem with its current implementation. If the Web method does not recognize a symbol, a price of zero will be returned to the client. This is obviously a problem, especially because the current implementation supports only three symbols. To avoid striking panic in the hearts of investors, we need a way to raise an error stating that an invalid symbol was passed.

    An error of type SoapException can be thrown when an error is encountered within the Securities Web service. If a SoapException error is thrown by a Web method, the ASP.NET runtime will serialize the information into a SOAP Fault message that will be sent back to the client.

    As you learned in Chapter 3, a well-formed Fault element must contain at least two child elements, faultstring and faultcode. The constructor for the SoapException class takes a minimum of two parameters to set the value of these elements. Once an instance of the SoapException object has been created, the values can be accessed by the Message and Code properties.

    The Code property is of type XmlQualifiedName. For convenience, the SoapException class defines static fields for each of the base fault codes defined by the SOAP specification. The following extended version of the Securities Web service throws an exception resulting from an error on the server:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [WebService(Description="This Web service provides services
    related to securities.")]
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    [WebMethod(Description="Used to obtain a real- time quote
    for a given security.")]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {
    double price = 0;

    switch(symbol.ToUpper())
    {
    case "MSFT":
    price = 197.75;
    break;

    case "SUNW":
    price = 2.50;
    break;

    case "ORCL":
    price = 2.25;
    break;
    default:
    throw new SoapException("Invalid symbol. ",
    SoapException.ClientFaultCode);

    }

    return price;
    }
    }
    }

    As I explained in Chapter 3, you can define more-specific fault codes. These developer-defined codes can be appended to the base fault code delimited by a period. The following throws an exception that contains a more-specific fault code:

    XmlQualifiedName invalidSymbolsFaultCode =
    new XmlQualifiedName("Client.InvalidSymbol",
    "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/");
    throw new SoapException("Invalid symbol.", invalidSymbo lsFaultCode);

    Recall that additional elements can also appear within the Fault element. The SoapException class exposes a number of read-only properties to access this information. Because the properties are read-only, the SoapException class has numerous overloaded constructors that enable the properties to be set. Table 6-3 lists the properties that can be set via an overloaded constructor.

    Table 6-3 Properties of the SoapException Class

    Property Description
    Actor Specifies the value of the faultactor element
    Code Specifies the value of the faultcode element
    Detail Specifies the contents of the faultdetail element
    Message Specifies the value of the faultstring element
    InnerException Specifies the value of the inner exception
    OtherElements Used to access any other child elements that might be present within the Fault element

    Both the Detail and the OtherElements properties can contain an arbitrary hierarchy of data. The Detail property is of type XmlNode and can contain more- detailed information about the Fault element. The OtherElements property contains an array of type XmlNode and is used to contain other child elements that might reside within the Fault elements.

    If an exception is thrown by the Web method that is not of type SoapException, the ASP.NET runtime will serialize it into the body of the SOAP Fault element. The faultcode element will be set to Server, and the faultstring element will be set to the output of the ToString method of the exception object. The output usually contains the call stack and other information that would be useful for the Web service developer but not the client. Therefore, ensuring that a client-friendly SoapException class will be thrown from the Web method is recommended.

    SOAP Encoding Styles

    I mentioned in Chapter 5 that the WSDL SOAP extensibility elements define two different encoding styles, Document and RPC. The RPC style of encoding formats the message as described in the section titled "SOAP Encoding" in Chapter 3 and is intended to support procedure-oriented interaction between the client and the server. The Document style of encoding is intended to support document-oriented messages that will be exchanged between the client and the server. See the section titled "Extensibility Elements" in Chapter 4 for more information.

    The encoding style affects the format in which the Web service expects SOAP requests to be encoded by the client and how the response received from the Web service will be encoded. ASP.NET Web services have overwhelmingly been showcased as an easy way to facilitate procedure-based communication between the client and the server. But ironically, Document is the default encoding style.

    Recall that the default encoding style is set in the WSDL document via the style attribute of the binding extensibility element. You can set the default encoding style value by decorating the class with the SoapDocumentService or SoapRpcService element. Because the InstantQuote Web method is intended to support procedure-oriented communication between the client and the server, the following example uses the SoapRpcService attribute to set the style to RPC:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [WebService(Description="This Web service provides services
    related to securities.")]
    [SoapRpcService]
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    [WebMethod(Description="Used to obtain a real- time quote
    for a given security.")]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {
    double price = 0;

    // Implementation...

    return price;
    }
    }
    }

    All methods defined by the Securities class, including InstantQuote, will default to RPC-style encoding. You can override this default by decorating a method with the SoapDocumentMethod attribute. On the other hand, if you want to formally state that the default is Document, you can do so using the SoapDocumentService attribute.

    The SoapDocumentService attribute exposes three properties that you can set to control how the SOAP documents are formatted. Of the three, the SoapRpcService attribute supports only the RoutingStyle property. Table 6-4 describes these properties.

    Table 6-4 Properties of the SoapDocumentService Attribute

    Property Description
    ParameterStyle Specifies whether the parameters are wrapped in a single element within the body of the SOAP message
    RoutingStyle Specifies whether the HTTP SOAPAction header should be populated or left blank
    Use Specifies whether the default for the encoding style of the messages is Literal or Encoded

    Recall from Chapter 4 that the SOAP extension elements also allow you to specify whether the individual messages within an operation are literal or encoded. Literal means that the message must be formatted exactly as dictated by the schema. Encoded means that the message can be encoded as specified. For RPC-style documents, the use attribute is always set to Encoded.

    The WSDL SOAP extension elements do not provide a means of specifying a default for the use attribute. Conveniently, the SoapDocumentService attribute does so via the Use property. The ASP.NET runtime will propagate the value of this property to every WSDL message definition. The Use property can be set to one of three values defined in the SoapBindingUse enumeration: Literal, Encoded, or Default. The default is Literal.

    The value of the use attribute for RPC-style documents is encoded. The SoapRpcService attribute does not expose a Use property, so the value cannot be changed.

    In Chapter 3, I also mentioned that the SOAPAction HTTP header can be empty if the intent of the SOAP message is conveyed in the HTTP request header entry. As you will see in Chapter 9, Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) messages require the HTTPAction header to be empty because each action is posted to a unique URL that conveys the intent of the request.

    You can specify whether the SOAPAction header should be populated by setting the RoutingStyle parameter of the SoapDocumentService or SoapRpcService attribute. The RoutingStyle parameter is of type SoapServiceRoutingStyle and can be set to SoapAction or RequestElement. The default is SoapAction.

    You can also use the SoapDocumentService attribute to indicate how parameters should be encoded within the body of the message. The ParameterStyle property can be set to one of three values defined in the SoapParameterStyle enumeration: Bare, Wrapped, or Default.

    Wrapped means that the parameters will be wrapped within a parent element. The parent element will have the same name as the Web method. Bare means that the parameter elements will appear as direct children of the SOAP body element. The default is Wrapped. Because RPC-style documents follow the encoding style specified by Section 7 of the SOAP specification, parameters are always wrapped.

    The SoapDocumentMethod and the SoapRpcMethod attributes are associated with a particular Web method and can be used to override the defaults set by their Web service counterparts. You can also use them to further define how messages sent and received by a Web method should be encoded. Table 6-5 lists the properties exposed by the SoapDocumentMethod attribute. The SoapRpcMethod attribute supports the same set of properties minus the ParameterStyle and Use properties.

    Table 6-5 Properties of the SoapDocumentMethod Attribute

    Property Description
    Action Specifies the URI placed in the HTTP SOAPAction header
    Binding Associates a Web method with a particular binding specified by the WebServiceBinding attribute
    OneWay Specifies whether the client will receive a response in association with the request
    ParameterStyle Specifies whether the parameters are wrapped in a single element within the body of the SOAP message
    RequestElementName Specifies the name of the request element within the body of the SOAP message
    RequestNamespace Specifies the namespace URI that contains request element definition
    ResponseElementName Specifies the name of the response element within the body of the SOAP message
    ResponseNamespace Specifies the namespace URI that contains response element definition
    Use Specifies whether the encoding style of the messages is Literal or Encoded

    ASP.NET supports two of the four message exchange patterns defined by WSDL, request-response and one-way. So far in this chapter, the examples have all been based on the default message pattern, request-response. Both the SoapDocumentMethod and the SoapRpcMethod attributes expose the OneWay property. When set to true, this property states that no response will be returned to the client when that particular Web method is invoked.

    The SoapDocumentMethod and the SoapRpcMethod attributes also allow you to specify the name of the element used to wrap the parameters within the request and response messages. You can set the ResponseElementName and RequestElementName properties to the name assigned to their respective elements.

    You can also set the namespace in which the datatype of the request or response element is defined by setting the RequestNamespace or ResponseNamespace property. If this property is not set, the namespace defaults to /encodedTypes relative to the Web service's namespace.

    If the ParameterStyle property is set to Wrapped, the properties used to set the element name and the namespace of the response and request messages will be ignored.

    Encoding References

    When you pass parameters to a remote service, you need to take into account whether the identity of the parameters will be maintained. In some cases, maintaining the identity of the parameters is extremely important. Consider the following Web service, which registers rock climbers for a competition:

    public struct Person
    {
    public string Name;
    public int Age;
    }

    public class ClimbingCompetition
    {
    [WebMethod]
    public void Register(Person contestant, Person belay)
    {
    // Implementation...
    }
    }

    The contestant is the individual who will be climbing. The climber will be attached to a rope in case she falls. The belay is the individual who will be holding the other end of the rope on behalf of the climber. With that information in mind, consider the following example:

    ClimbingCompetition competition = new ClimbingCompetiti on();
    Person climber = new Person();

    competition.Register(climber, climber);

    The preceding code contains an error: it registers a climber as both the contestant and the belay. Needless to say, the climber better be darn sure she is not going to fall! Unfortunately, the Register method has no way to capture this runtime error because structures are, by default, passed by value. Therefore, two independent copies of climber will be passed to the Register Web method.

    I am fairly certain that the sponsors of the competition would want to ensure that every climber is being belayed. However, unless identity is maintained, the Register method will have no idea whether the contestant and the belay are one and the same. I will explain two potential ways of solving this problem.

    The first way is to pass a unique identifier with each of the entities. For example, in addition to passing the person's name and age, you might also want to pass the person's driver's license number (assuming that the driver's license number is guaranteed to be unique). The implementation of the Register method could then check to ensure that the license number of the contestant does not match the license number of the belay.

    The second way to solve this problem is to pass the instance of the Person structure by reference. In Chapter 3 you learned how SOAP Encoding specifies the use of the href and id attributes to maintain the identity of a parameter passed by reference. ASP.NET leverages this mechanism to maintain the identities of instances of structures that are passed by reference. Let's take a look at a modified version of the Register method:

    public struct Person
    {
    public string Name;
    public int Age;
    }

    public class ClimbingCompetition
    {
    [WebMethod]
    [SoapRpcMethod]
    public void Register(ref Person contestant, ref Person belay)
    {
    // Verify that the contestant and the belay
    // are not the same person.
    if(Object.ReferenceEquals(contestant, belay))
    {
    throw new SoapException(
    "The contestant and the belay cannot be the same person.",
    SoapException.ClientFaultCode);
    }

    // Implementation...
    }
    }

    In the preceding example, the Register Web method is decorated with the SoapRpcMethod attribute. This instructs the ASP.NET runtime to serialize the parameters using SOAP Encoding as specified in Section 5 of the SOAP 1.1 specification. In addition, each parameter is decorated with the ref keyword, which indicates that the parameter will be passed by reference. This instructs the ASP.NET runtime to maintain the identity of the instance of the structure passed to the Register method. Note that ASP.NET will maintain identity only for Web methods decorated with the SoapRpcMethod attribute or contained within a class decorated with the SoapRpcService attribute.

    Unfortunately, ASP.NET is somewhat inconsistent when handling parameters passed by reference. There is one case in which ASP.NET will not maintain the identity of parameters passed by reference. There is another case in which the identity is maintained, but modifications to the parameters passed by reference are not passed back to the caller. Let's examine each of these situations separately.

    With the first issue, the ASP.NET runtime does not properly maintain the identity of parameters when core value types such as Int32 and String are passed by reference. Consider the following example:

    public class Issues
    {
    [WebMethod]
    [SoapRpcMethod]
    public void Issue1(ref int x, ref int y)
    {
    x += 10;
    y += 30;
    }
    }

    Since both x and y are decorated with the ref keyword, their values will be round- tripped to the caller. Therefore, any modifications made to the values of x and y by the Issue1 Web method will be reflected on the client. However, because the identities of the parameters are not maintained, your application could be left in an inconsistent state. Consider the following client code:

    Issues issues = new Issues();
    int z = 10;
    issues.Issue1(ref z, ref z);

    This code leverages a proxy class generated by the ASP.NET WSDL.exe command line utility and generates the following SOAP request message:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ soap/envelope/"
    xmlns:soapenc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"
    xmlns:tns="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:types="http://tempuri.org/encodedTypes"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
    <soap:Body
    soap:encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/ encoding/">
    <tns:Issue1>
    <x xsi:type="xsd:int">10</x>
    <y xsi:type="xsd:int">10</y>
    </tns:Issue1>
    </soap:Body>
    </soap:Envelope>

    Notice that two distinct copies of the value of z were encoded into the request message. Unfortunately, the Issue1 Web method has no way of knowing that the parameters x and y actually point to the same variable z on the client and therefore will act on x and y independently. If identity was maintained, z would equal 50 as a result of calling Issue1. However, because identity wasn't maintained, x is set equal to 20 and y is set equal to 40, as shown in the resulting SOAP response message:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ soap/envelope/"
    xmlns:soapenc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"
    xmlns:tns="http://tempuri.org/"
    xmlns:types="http://tempuri.org/encodedTypes"
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
    <soap:Body
    soap:encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/ encoding/">
    <tns:Issue1Response>
    <x xsi:type="xsd:int">20</x>
    <y xsi:type="xsd:int">40</y>
    </tns:Issue1Response>
    </soap:Body>
    </soap:Envelope>

    The ASP.NET-generated proxy will first set z equal to 20 and then set z equal to 40. Therefore the final state of z will be 40 instead of the correct value of 50. One potential—albeit clumsy—workaround is to wrap the common value type within a structure. The following example demonstrates this technique:

    public class Issues
    {
    public struct Parameter
    {
    public int Value;
    }

    [WebMethod]
    [SoapRpcMethod]
    public void Issue1(ref Parameter x, ref Parameter y )
    {
    x.Value += 10;
    y.Value += 30;
    }
    }

    Unlike core value types, the ASP.NET runtime will maintain the identity of an instance of a structure that is passed by reference. Unfortunately the ASP.NET runtime will also maintain the identity of an instance of a structure that is passed by value. Therefore, the preceding example will exhibit the same behavior even if the ref keyword is specified. If you do not want the identities of the parameters to be maintained, you can decorate the Web method with the SoapDocumentMethod parameter instead of the SoapRpcMethod parameter.

    The final issue is that the ASP.NET runtime will serialize .NET reference types in only the SOAP request message and not the response message. By default, reference types are passed by reference to a method. To achieve this behavior, the client must receive the state of the reference type after the message has returned. However, because the ASP.NET runtime will not serialize parameters containing instances of reference types in the return SOAP response message, the client does not have sufficient information to update its variables accordingly.

    If you want parameters containing instances of reference types to be passed by reference, you need to decorate the parameter with the ref keyword. Parameters containing instances of reference types that are decorated with the ref keyword will be serialized in both the SOAP request message and the response message.

    Granted, it is helpful to have a means by which to pass data contained in reference types one way across the wire in an effort to reduce the amount of data sent. However, this should be accomplished without overloading the meaning of existing keywords. The meanings of keywords should remain the same whether the code is executed locally or remotely. The companion CD contains sample code for the three issues I describe in this section.

    Interface Inheritance

    As I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, the Securities Web service is intended to be consumed by portals such as MSN and Yahoo! Come to find out that other brokerage companies have approached MSN as well. In an effort to accommodate the numerous requests, MSN has defined a standard interface in which it will communicate with the various online brokerage firms.

    Interface-based programming has been popularized by technologies such as COM, CORBA, and Java. Within the .NET platform, interfaces continue to play an important role. They facilitate treating different objects in a polymorphic fashion without the overhead and complexity of implementation inheritance.

    An interface defines a contract by which classes that inherit a particular interface must support all the methods defined by the interface. Code that can interact with a particular interface can consume any object that exposes that interface. For example, the IClonable interface can be exposed by an object that knows how to clone itself. Code written against the IClonable interface will be able to clone any object that exposes the interface.

    In the case of MSN, it would not be ideal to write custom client code to interface with every single securities-related Web service. Instead, MSN can define a standard interface that all the securities-related Web services must comply with.

    The first task for MSN is to create an abstract interface for the Securities Web service. As you learned in the previous chapter, a Web service interface is defined within a WSDL document. A transport-specific interface definition is represented by a binding definition, while a transport-agnostic interface definition is represented by a port type definition.

    The easiest way to generate a WSDL document that describes the interface is to have ASP.NET automatically generate the WSDL for you. The following example creates a Web service that defines an abstract class:

    <%@ WebService Language="c#" Class="MSN.Securities" %>

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;

    namespace MSN
    {
    [WebService(Namespace="http://msn.com/Securities")]
    [SoapRpcService]
    public abstract class Securities : WebService
    {
    [WebMethod]
    public abstract double InstantQuote(string symbol);
    }
    }

    The preceding code defines an interface for the Securities Web service. Unfortunately, the abstract keyword is not recognized by the ASP.NET platform, so the code will define a full WSDL document, not just the interfaces.

    One way to overcome this problem is to save the WSDL that is generated by the ASP.NET runtime with its service definitions removed. Without the service definitions, a client will have no way of locating the endpoints, which makes the interface definitions abstract. Here is the WSDL document with its service definitions removed:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <definitions xmlns:s="http://www.w3.org/2001/ XMLSchema"
    xmlns:http="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/http/"
    xmlns:mime="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/mime/"
    xmlns:tm="http://microsoft.com/wsdl/mime/textMatching/ "
    xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/soap/"
    xmlns:soapenc="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/"
    xmlns:tns="http://msn.com/Securities"
    targetNamespace="http://msn.com/Securities"
    xmlns="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/">
    <types />
    <message name="InstantQuoteSoapIn">
    <part name="symbol" type="s:string" />
    <part name="count" type="s:int" />
    </message>
    <message name="InstantQuoteSoapOut">
    <part name="InstantQuoteResult" type="s:double" />
    </message>
    <portType name="SecuritiesSoap">
    <operation name="InstantQuote">
    <input message="tns:InstantQuoteSoapIn" />
    <output message="tns:InstantQuoteSoapOut" />
    </operation>
    </portType>
    <binding name="SecuritiesSoap" type="tns:SecuritiesSo ap">
    <soap:binding
    transport="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/ http" style="rpc" />
    <operation name="InstantQuote">
    <soap:operation
    soapAction="http://msn.com/Securities/ InstantQuote" style="rpc" />
    <input>
    <soap:body use="encoded" namespace="http:// msn.com/Securities"
    encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/ encoding/" />
    </input>
    <output>
    <soap:body use="encoded" namespace="http:// msn.com/Securities"
    encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/ encoding/" />
    </output>
    </operation>
    </binding>
    </definitions>

    In addition to removing the service definitions, I also remove any definitions not directly related to the SOAP binding. I will readdress this issue in a moment when I discuss some of the limitations of the ASP.NET support for interface inheritance.

    A Web service can inherit an interface by referencing a port type or a binding that is defined by another Web service. ASP.NET does not provide a mechanism for providing protocol-agnostic interface inheritance. For example, you cannot inherit an interface from a Web service that is exposed only via SMTP. To do this, you would have to hand-roll the WSDL used to describe the service so that it references the port type defined within another namespace. You would also need to disable the WSDL document that is automatically generated by ASP.NET. (See the "Web Service Documentation" section earlier in the chapter.)

    ASP.NET does provide a mechanism for facilitating transport-specific interface inheritance. You use the WebServiceBinding attribute to reference a binding defined within another namespace. You use the Binding property of the SoapDocumentMethod or SoapRpcMethod attribute to reference the binding definition referenced by the WebServiceBinding attribute.

    Next I modify the definition of the Securities Web service to inherit the interface defined within the MSN namespace. I do so by referencing the SecuritiesSoap binding definition. Suppose the preceding WSDL document is located at http:// msn.com/Securities.wsdl. The following code defines the Securities Web service provided by www.woodgrovebank.com:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [SoapRpcService]
    [WebServiceBinding("SecuritiesSoap",
    "http://msn.com/Securities", "http://msn.com/Securities.wsdl")]

    public class Securities : WebService
    {

    I reference the SecuritiesSoap binding definition using the WebServiceBinding attribute. The three parameters I pass to the attribute's constructor are the name of the referenced binding definition, the namespace containing the definition, and the location of the WSDL document containing the definition.

    If the binding definition is referenced within the Web method, the ASP.NET runtime will add a reference to the WSDL namespace that contains the binding. The ASP.NET runtime will also add an import element to the autogenerated WSDL document. Finally, the ASP.NET runtime will add a port within the service definition that is associated with the referenced binding definition, as shown here:

          [WebMethod]
    [SoapRpcMethod(Binding="SecuritiesSoap")]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {
    double price = 0;

    // Implementation...

    return price;
    }
    }
    }

    I use the Binding property of SoapRpcMethod to associate the Web method with the binding definition. The value of the binding property must match the name assigned to a WebServiceBinding attribute defined at the class level; otherwise, a run-time exception will occur.

    Using the WebServiceBinding attribute to facilitate interface inheritance has some limitations. First, you can reference only SOAP binding definitions. There is also no tool support for referencing external binding definitions. Developers must take it upon themselves to create Web methods that match the referenced binding definition. Finally, there is no validation either at compile time or at run time to ensure that the Web service implements all the methods exposed by the inherited interface.

    To ensure that the Web service supports all the methods of the inherited interface, you can use the WSDL.exe tool to generate an abstract class representing the Web service. You can then add the resulting code to your project and derive from the abstract class instead of the WebService class. The following example creates the BaseSecurities.cs file that contains an abstract class definition for the base Web service:

    wsdl /server /out:BaseSecurities.cs http://msn.com/ Securities.wsdl
    

    Once BaseSecurities.cs has been created and added to my project, I can derive the Web service as follows:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [WebService(Description="This Web service provides services related to securities.")]
    [SoapRpcService]
    [WebServiceBinding("SecuritiesSoap", "http://msn.com/ Securities",
    "http://msn.com/Securities.wsdl")]
    public class Securities : MSN.Securities
    {

    // Implementation...

    }
    }

    If the Securities class does not implement all the abstract methods defined within the MSN.Securities class, I will receive a compiler error.

    Managing State

    HTTP is by nature a stateless protocol. Even with the introduction of the connection keep-alive protocol in HTTP 1.1, you cannot assume that all requests from a given client will be sent over a single connection. If the Web application needs to maintain state on behalf of the user, you often have to roll your own solutions.

    Furthermore, state is usually scoped to the application. Application configuration parameters such as database connection strings are an example. Defining a Web application and providing a mechanism to store state that is scoped to the application is an implementation detail of the Web development platform.

    The ASP development platform defines a Web application and provides a service for maintaining both session and application state. However, the ASP state management services have some serious limitations. ASP.NET provides a much- improved state management service. The service can be leveraged by Web Forms as well as Web services.

    Session State

    It is considered good practice to avoid having to maintain state between requests, when practical. For that reason, session state is disabled by default. You have to explicitly enable it for a particular Web method.

    Maintaining state on behalf of a user involves associating multiple HTTP requests with one user session. ASP.NET uses a unique identifier that is passed by the client to identify the session. This identifier can be saved in a cookie maintained by the client or embedded within the URL of the request. Even though Web Forms supports both, Web services support only cookies.

    If the proxy used by the client to access the Web service supports cookies, the session ID will automatically be sent with every request. ASP.NET uses a transient cookie to store the session ID. By definition, the cookie is intended to be maintained only for the life of the proxy used to access the Web service.

    Because cookies are HTTP-specific, the session state mechanism is bound to the HTTP protocol. A transport protocol–agnostic way of passing the session ID would be to place the session ID within the header of the SOAP message. But this is not supported by ASP.NET, so you would have to roll your own state management system to support this scenario.

    Once the session is identified, you need a repository to store the data associated with the session. The following three scenarios are supported, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

    • In Process This is the fastest scenario because calls to read/write session state will be handled in process. However, this is also the least robust configuration. If the ASP.NET worker process (aspnet_wp.exe) is terminated for any reason, all session state being maintained for the application will be lost. This configuration is ideal for Web services hosted on a single machine that need the most performant way of accessing state.
    • Out of Process In this configuration, session state is maintained in a separate process that can even reside on another machine. One advantage of this configuration is that if the ASP.NET worker process is terminated, the session state for the application will still be preserved. Because session state is maintained in memory, if the session state server (aspnet_state.exe) is terminated, all session state will be lost. Another advantage of this configuration is that state can be shared across multiple Web servers. All Web servers within the Web farm can be configured to point to the same state management process. This configuration is ideal for Web services hosted in a Web farm where the loss of state information should be avoided but is not critical.
    • SQL Server This is the most robust and scalable of the three configurations. Session state is maintained within a SQL Server database. The session state service maintains a set of tables in which the session state data is serialized into a binary blob. This is the ideal configuration for Web services hosted in a Web farm if you can afford to purchase and maintain SQL Server. This configuration is mandatory if you need to ensure that session state is never lost.

    Of the three configurations, In Process is the only one available via the .NET Framework. You must purchase either the Professional or Enterprise Edition of ASP.NET to obtain the Out of Process and SQL Server configuration options.

    To use the ASP.NET session state service, you must add the module named SessionStateModule to the application. The default machine-wide configuration file (C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\version\CONFIG\machine.config) adds this module.

    Once you add SessionStateModule, you can configure the session state service within the sessionState element of the machine.config or web.config configuration file. Table 6-6 lists the attributes that you can set within the sessionState element.

    Table 6-6 Attributes of the sessionState Element

    Attribute Description
    mode Specifies where ASP.NET will save session state. The possible values are

    OffSession state is disabled.

    InProcSession state is stored within the ASP.NET worker process.

    StateServerSession state is stored by the out- of-process session state server.

    SqlServerSession state is stored within SQL Server.

    The default is InProc.

    cookieless Specifies whether cookieless sessions should be enabled. The default is false.
    timeout Specifies the number of minutes the session can be idle before the session is abandoned. The default is 20 minutes.
    stateConnectionString Specifies the location of the session state server. The default value is tcpip=127.0.0.1:42424.
    sqlConnectionString Specifies the location of the SQL server. The default value is data source=127.0.0.1;user id=sa;password=.

    Once you have the session state service properly configured, session state is enabled on a per-Web-method basis. You can enable session state for a particular Web method by setting the EnableSession property of the WebMethod attribute to true.

    Regardless of which configuration you choose, the API for reading/writing session state is exactly the same. The class that contains the Web method should inherit from the WebService class. The WebService class exposes the Session property, which returns an instance of the HttpSessionState class, otherwise known as the session object.

    The session object is used to maintain a collection of information related to the user's session. Items can be added to and retrieved from the collection via an int or string indexer.

    The following example expands the Securities Web service to use session state. The SetCurrency Web method allows the client to select a particular currency. Future calls to InstantQuote will return the price of the security using the selected currency.

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [SoapRpcService]
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    public Securities()
    {
    // Set the default value of the target currency.
    if(this.Session["TargetCurrency"] == null)
    {
    this.Session["TargetCurrency"] = CurrencyType.US_DOLLAR;
    }
    }

    public enum CurrencyType
    {
    US_DOLLAR,
    UK_POUND,
    GE_DEUTSCHMARK
    }

    [WebMethod(true)]
    public void SetCurrency(CurrencyType targetCurrency)
    {
    this.Session["TargetCurrency"] = targetCurrency;
    }

    [WebMethod(true)]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol)
    {

    // Implementation...

    return Convert(price,
    (CurrencyType)this.Session["TargetCurrency"]);

    }

    private double Convert(double usPrice, Currency Type targetCurrency)
    {
    double targetCurrencyPrice = usPrice;

    // Implementation ...

    return targetCurrencyPrice;
    }
    }
    }

    The SetCurrency method persists the client's currency preference within the session. The InstantQuote method then retrieves the currency preference from the client's session and converts the price of the security appropriately.

    As shown in the preceding example, you can use the string indexer to both set and retrieve values from the session object. However, you can use the int indexer only to retrieve values contained within the session object. You can also use the Add method to add items to the collection managed by the session object.

    Because the client might not have selected a target currency, a default value is set within the Securities object constructor. Even with session state enabled, ASP.NET will still create a new instance of the Securities object for every request. The constructor will initialize the value of the target currency only if the value is null.

    A potential issue can arise in the preceding example if the client does not support cookies. By default, ASP.NET clients do not support cookies. In the example, a client that does not support cookies will always have the price of a stock returned in U.S. dollars. A better design would be to extend the method signature of InstantQuote to accept the symbol of the security as well as the targeted currency. This would also eliminate a network round-trip because the client would no longer need to call the SetCurrency Web method.

    The session object also supports the ICollection and IEnumerable interfaces, which allow polymorphic enumeration through the items within the collection. The following example uses the IEnumerable interface to iterate through the collection:

    [WebMethod(true)]
    public override string ToString()
    {
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    foreach(string index in this.Session)
    {
    sb.AppendFormat("{0} = {1}\n", index,
    this.Session[index].ToString());
    }

    return sb.ToString();
    }

    This method declaration overrides the Object.ToString method and exposes it as a Web method. The implementation of the Web method enumerates through the session object via the IEnumerable interface by using the foreach keyword. Each name/ value pair stored within the session object is appended to an instance of the StringBuilder class. Finally the resulting string is returned from the Web method.

    Application State

    State that is global to the application can be stored within the application object. An example of this is a database connection string. Unlike session state, application state is always handled in process and cannot be shared between servers in a Web farm. Also unlike session state, application state is not dependent on the client supporting cookies.

    Classes that derive from the WebService class expose the Application property. This property retrieves an instance of the HttpApplicationState object containing state that is global to the Web application. The HttpApplicationState class derives from the NameObjectCollectionBase class. Because the implementation of the NameObjectCollectionBase class creates a hash table, retrieving a particular value from the application object is very efficient.

    Let's say I want to implement a counter to record the number of times the Web service has been accessed because the application has been started. I could add the following code to the InstantQuote method just before I return the price to the customer:

    // Record the access to the Web service.
    this.Application["HitCounter"] = (int)this.Application
    ["HitCounter"] + 1;

    Unfortunately, the code has two problems. First, the HitCounter application variable is never initialized. Every time the above code is executed, it will generate an exception. Second, because multiple clients can potentially increment the HitCounter application variable simultaneously, a potential race condition might occur. Let's address these issues one at a time.

    ASP.NET provides a framework for handling application startup code within a Web service. Every Web application can contain a global.asax file. Within the file, you can implement code that is executed when certain predefined events occur, such as application startup/shutdown and session startup/shutdown. Application startup is an ideal point to initialize application variables. The following code initializes the HitCounter application variable during the application start event within the Global.asax page:

    using System;
    using System.Web;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    public class Global : HttpApplication
    {
    protected void Application_Start(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
    // Initialize the hit counter to 0.
    this.Application["HitCounter"] = (int)0;
    }
    }
    }

    In the Application_Start method, I initialize the HitCounter application variable to zero. I also explicitly cast it to an int to avoid any ambiguity. Because the ASP.NET runtime executes the Application_Start method once during the life of the application, you do not have to worry about concurrency issues.

    However, the InstantQuote method can be called by multiple clients simultaneously. Therefore, you must avoid potential race conditions when you update the data. Even though incrementing the HitCounter application variable is represented by a single line of C# code, the single line will be translated into multiple machine instructions when it is compiled. Here is the resulting IL code:

      IL_0074:  ldarg.0
    IL_0075: call instance class
    [System.Web]System.Web.HttpApplicationState
    [System.Web.Services]System.
    Web.Services.WebService::get_App lication()
    IL_007a: ldstr "HitCounter"
    IL_007f: ldarg.0
    IL_0080: call instance class
    [System.Web]System.Web.HttpAppli cationState
    [System.Web.Services]System.Web. Services.
    WebService::get_Application()
    IL_0085: ldstr "HitCounter"
    IL_008a: callvirt instance object
    [System.Web]System.Web.HttpAppli cationState::
    get_Item(string)
    IL_008f: unbox [mscorlib]System.Int32
    IL_0094: ldind.i4
    IL_0095: ldc.i4.1
    IL_0096: add
    IL_0097: box [mscorlib]System.Int32
    IL_009c: callvirt instance void
    [System.Web]System.Web.HttpAppli cationState::
    set_Item(string,object)
    IL_00a1: ldarg.0
    IL_00a2: call instance class
    [System.Web]System.Web.HttpAppli cationState
    [System.Web.Services]System.Web. Services.
    WebService::get_Application()

    The single line of C# code translates to 15 lines of IL, and then the IL is compiled to numerous machine codes before it is executed. Because the code can be executed simultaneously by two or more clients, this will lead to unpredictable results.

    As an example of the problems that can occur if two clients (A and B) attempt to run the same code simultaneously, suppose that the HitCounter application variable was initially set to 1 and client A executes the above IL to increment the value to 2. IL_008a obtains the initial value of 1 for HitCounter. IL_009c sets HitCounter to a new value of 2. Suppose also that client B updates the value of HitCounter to 2 somewhere between IL_008a and IL_009c. Because client A will be incrementing the previously retrieved value of 1, HitCounter will be incorrectly set to 2 instead of the correct value of 3.

    The application object provides a locking mechanism to ensure that writes made to the data are performed serially, thereby avoiding race conditions such as the one described in the preceding paragraph. Operations that require serialized access to the data can be performed between the Lock and Unlock methods provided by the application object. The following example properly updates the HitCounter application variable each time the InstantQuote Web method is invoked:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;

    namespace BrokerageFirm
    {
    [SoapRpcService]
    public class Securities : WebService
    {
    public enum CurrencyType
    {
    US_DOLLARS,
    UK_POUNDS,
    GE_DEUTSCHMARKS
    }

    [WebMethod]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol,
    CurrencyType targetCurrency)
    {
    double price = 0;

    // Implementation...

    // Record the access to the Web service.
    this.Application.Lock();
    this.Application["HitCounter"] =
    (int)this.Application["HitCounter"] + 1;
    this.Application["LastSymbol"] = symbol;

    return Convert(price, targetCurrency);
    }

    private double Convert(double usPrice,
    CurrencyType targetCurrency)
    {
    double targetCurrencyPrice = usPrice;

    // Implementation...

    return targetCurrencyPrice;
    }
    }
    }

    By locking the application object before attempting to increment it, you ensure that you will have exclusive access to the lock on the application object. Because all calls to Unlock will be blocked, you should call the Unlock method as quickly as possible to avoid hindering throughput. Note, however, that even when you have locked the application object, you do not have exclusive access to the data. Therefore, to avoid race conditions from being introduced into your application, you must ensure that a common locking scheme is used throughout your application.

    You should also look for opportunities where application scoped data can be updated without locking the application object. Notice that I also updated the LastSymbol application variable with the last symbol that was successfully processed by the Web method. In this case, I was not concerned about race conditions because by definition the last security quoted would have been processed by the Web method that last updated the LastSymbol application variable.

    If both the LastSymbol and the LastPrice application variables needed to be set, I would have updated both of them before unlocking the application object. This would avoid a situation in which client A was the last one to update LastPrice and client B was the last one to update LastSymbol.

    Before moving to the next topic, I want to offer a word of caution about the use of the Lock and Unlock methods. You should ensure that every time a Web method calls Lock, Unlock is called as soon as possible; otherwise, you run the risk of blocking other requests that are currently being processed by the Web service. A good design pattern is to call the Unlock method within the finally section of a try/ catch block. Here is an updated example of the Purchase method:

    // Record the access to the Web service.
    try
    {
    this.Application.Lock();
    this.Application["HitCounter"]=
    (int)this.Application["HitCounter"] + 1;
    }
    catch(Exception e)
    {
    // Handle exception ...
    }
    finally
    {
    this.Application.UnLock();
    }

    // Significant processing to quote the price...

    this.Application["LastSymbol"] = symbol;

    Because the Unlock method call was placed within the finally section of the try/catch block, Unlock will be called even if the code to update the HitCounter application variable fails (for example, when an OverflowException is thrown as a result of the addition). This ensures that other ASP.NET worker threads will not be needlessly blocking on a call to Lock.

    What if you forget to unlock the application object before your Web method returns? A mistake such as this could have a detrimental effect on your application. The next time you try to obtain the lock for the application object, the call to Unlock will deadlock. Fortunately, the ASP.NET runtime prevents this from happening. When a Web method returns, the ASP.NET runtime ensures that the lock obtained on the application object is freed.

    One of the biggest problems with using the application object to implement a hit counter is that it is the developer's responsibility to ensure that the application object is locked before the counter is incremented. A better alternative would be to leverage static properties. As with the application object, static properties are scoped to the application. Unlike the application object, you can associate behavior with static properties. For example, consider the following HitCounter class.

    public class HitCounter
    {
    private static int count = 0;
    private static object countLock = new object();

    private HitCounter() {}

    public static int Count
    {
    get { return count; }
    }

    public static void Increment()
    {
    lock(countLock)
    {
    count++;
    }
    }
    }

    Instead of storing the hit counter within the application object, I define a class that implements a property and a method for accessing and manipulating the hit counter. Because the field containing the current count is declared as private, developers that use the class cannot increment it directly. Instead, the HitCounter class exposes a public read-only static property to access the current count and a public static method to increment the hit counter. The Increment method uses the lock keyword to ensure that there is no potential for a race condition while incrementing the counter.

    Defining and Processing SOAP Headers

    Recall that SOAP headers are used to contain metadata related to the body of the message. ASP.NET provides a mechanism for defining and processing SOAP headers. In this section, I explain how to formally define SOAP headers that are exposed by an ASP.NET Web service. I also explain how to process SOAP headers that are received from the client.

    You can define a new header by deriving from the SoapHeader class. You can associate the new header with a particular endpoint within the Web service by using the SoapHeader attribute. Table 6-7 lists the properties exposed by the SoapHeader class.

    Table 6-7 Properties of the SoapHeader Class

    Property Description
    Actor Indicates the intended recipient of the header
    DidUnderstand Indicates whether a header whose mustUnderstand attribute is true was understood and processed by the recipient
    EncodedMustUnderstand Indicates whether a header whose mustUnderstand attribute is true and whose value is encoded was understood and processed by the recipient
    MustUnderstand Indicates whether the header must be understood and processed by the recipient

    By default, the name of the class derived from SoapHeader will become the name of the root header element, and any public fields or properties exposed by the class will define elements within the header.

    As I mentioned earlier in the chapter, price quotes from other services on the Web are often time-delayed and can be more than 20 minutes old. Price quotes obtained using the InstantQuote Web method are not subject to these delays. Because the InstantQuote Web method obtains the price that a particular stock is currently trading at on the exchange's floor, I feel that I can charge the client $1.50 for each quote. I will therefore require every SOAP request made to the InstantQuote Web method to be accompanied by the Payment SOAP header, which will contain the client's credit card information. This information will be used to pay the $1.50 transaction fee.

    SOAP headers are defined by classes derived from the SoapHeader class. Elements within the header are defined by public fields or read/writable properties. Here is the definition of the Payment header:

    [XmlRoot("Payment")]
    public class SoapPaymentHeader : SoapHeader
    {
    private string nameOnCard;
    private string creditCardNumber;
    private CardType creditCardType;
    private DateTime expirationDate;

    public enum CardType
    {
    VISA,
    MC,
    AMX,
    DISCOVER
    }

    public string NameOnCard
    {
    get { return nameOnCard; }
    set { nameOnCard = value; }
    }

    public string CreditCardNumber
    {
    get { return creditCardNumber; }
    set { creditCardNumber = value; }
    }

    public CardType CreditCardType
    {
    get { return creditCardType; }
    set { creditCardType = value; }
    }

    public DateTime ExpirationDate
    {
    get { return expirationDate; }
    set { expirationDate = value; }
    }
    }

    The preceding class definition defines a SOAP header named Payment with four child elements: nameOnCard, creditCardNumber, creditCardType, and expirationDate. The XmlRoot attribute is used to instruct the XML Serializer to name the header element Payment instead of the class name. I will cover the XML Serializer in Chapter 7.

    Once the payment has been received and the Web method has been processed, I want to send a header containing a confirmation of the purchase back to the client. SOAP headers sent from the server to the client are defined in the same manner. The following code defines a header containing the amount that was charged as well as the reference number of the credit card transaction:

    [XmlRoot("Receipt")]
    public class SoapReceiptHeader : SoapHeader
    {
    private double amount;
    private int referenceNumber;

    public double Amount
    {
    get { return amount; }
    set { amount = value; }
    }

    public int ReferenceNumber
    {
    get { return referenceNumber; }
    set { referenceNumber = value; }
    }
    }

    Once you define the headers, the next step is to associate them with the InstantQuote Web method. The SoapHeader attribute is used to associate a SOAP header with a Web method.

    A public member variable is added to the WebService class to hold an instance of the class derived from the SoapHeader class. The name of the member variable is then communicated to the ASP.NET runtime via the SoapHeader attribute. Here is the Securities class definition:

      public class Securities : WebService
    {

    public PaymentHeader paymentHeader;
    public ReceiptHeader receiptHeader = new ReceiptHeader();


    public enum CurrencyType
    {
    US_DOLLARS,
    UK_POUNDS,
    GE_DEUTSCHMARKS
    }

    [WebMethod]
    [SoapHeader("paymentHeader",
    Direction=SoapHeaderDirection.In, Required=true)]
    [SoapHeader("receiptHeader",
    Direction=SoapHeaderDirection.Out, Required=true)]

    public double InstantQuote(string symbol, CurrencyType targetCurrency)
    {
    double price = 0;

    // Implementation ...

    return Convert(price, targetCurrency);
    }

    private double Convert(double usPrice, CurrencyType
    targetCurrency)
    {
    double targetCurrencyPrice = usPrice;

    // Implementation...

    return targetCurrencyPrice;
    }
    }

    I create two member variables to hold the data contained in the Payment and the Receipt SOAP headers. I create an instance of the SoapReceiptHeader class because the Receipt header will be passed to the client. I do not create an instance of the SoapPaymentHeader class because the ASP.NET runtime is responsible for creating this object and populating its properties with the data contained within the Payment header received from the client.

    Next I add two SoapHeader attributes to declare that the headers should formally be described as part of the Web method. The constructor of the SoapHeader attribute takes a string that contains the name of the public member variable that should be associated with the SOAP header.

    I also set two optional properties, Direction and Required. The Direction property indicates whether the client or the server is supposed to send the header. The Required property indicates whether the property must appear within the SOAP message. Let's discuss each property in detail.

    The Direction property indicates whether the header is received from the client, sent to the client, or both. The Payment header is received from the client, and the Receipt header is sent to the client, so I set the Direction property to SoapHeaderDirection.In and SoapHeaderDirection.Out, respectively. If a SOAP header is received from the client and then sent back to the client, the value of the Direction property should be set to SoapHeaderDirection.InOut.

    The Required property indicates whether the header must appear within the SOAP message to be considered valid by the Web service. If the Required property is not set within the attribute tag, the default value is true. Inbound headers marked as required must be included in the request message; otherwise, a SoapException will be thrown by the ASP.NET runtime.

    Because a Payment header must be included in every request and a matching Receipt header must be included in every response, I set the Required property to true for both SOAP headers. The Required property has no bearing on whether the header will be processed or even understood by the recipient of the message. For example, the Receipt header must always be passed back to the client, but the client is not required to process the header.

    Now that I have associated the Payment and Receipt headers with the Web method, the next task is to process the Payment headers. The following code uses the information within the Payment header to bill the client's credit card using an arbitrary credit card processing component:

    public class Securities : WebService
    {

    public SoapPaymentHeader paymentHeader;
    public SoapReceiptHeader receiptHeader = new SoapRe ceiptHeader();

    public enum CurrencyType
    {
    US_DOLLARS,
    UK_POUNDS,
    GE_DEUTSCHMARKS
    }

    [WebMethod]
    [SoapHeader("payment", Direction=SoapHeaderDirection.In,
    Required=true)]
    [SoapHeader("receipt", Direction=SoapHeaderDirection.Out,
    Required=true)]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol, CurrencyType
    targetCurrency)
    {
    // Declare and initialize variables.
    double price = 0;
    int merchantNumber = 123456789;
    double fee = 1.50;
    int referenceNumber = 0;

    // Apply the fee to the client's credit card.
    CreditCardProcessor creditCardProcessor =
    new CreditCardProcessor(merchantNumber);
    referenceNumber =
    creditCardProcessor.Bill(fee, paymentHeader);

    // Verify that the credit card was processed.
    & nbsp; if(referenceNumber > 0)
    {
    // Set the return header information.
    receiptHeader.ReferenceNumber = referenceNumber;
    receiptHeader.Amount = fee;
    }
    else
    {
    throw new SoapException("The Payment header was either
    missing or contained invalid information.",
    SoapException.ClientFaultCode);
    }

    // Implementation...

    return Convert(price, targetCurrency);
    }
    }

    The preceding code uses the information within the Payment header to charge the required fee to the client's credit card. If the credit card is successfully processed, the Receipt header will be populated with the reference number of the transaction as well as the amount that was charged to the card. If the credit card is not successfully processed, a SoapException will be raised. Because the exception is a result of insufficient information sent from the client, the fault code is set to Client.

    The current implementation has one problem related to processing headers. In Chapter 3, I said that the client has the ability to send additional headers other than what was expected. The client can also set the mustUnderstand attribute to true on these additional headers. I will discuss how to process headers you were not expecting shortly. But let's first discuss setting and analyzing the mustUnderstand attribute for a particular SOAP header.

    The MustUnderstand property exposed by the SoapHeader class is fundamentally different from the Required property set by the SoapHeader attribute (which I discussed earlier). The Required property specifies whether a header must be included within a message. If the header resides within a message, the MustUnderstand property is used to specify whether the recipient of the message must understand and process the header. Let's discuss these two properties in detail.

    The Required property specifies whether the header must be included within the message exchanged between the client and the server for a particular Web method. Because this property is specific to the interface of a Web service, changes to it are reflected in the WSDL document. If the Required property is set to true, the required attribute within the header element defined by the SOAP binding extensibility elements will be set to true. Finally, if a Web method defines a SOAP header as required, ASP.NET cannot support the HTTP GET/POST bindings.

    The MustUnderstand property specifies whether a specific header within a message must be understood and processed by the client. Because this property is specific to a particular exchange between the client and the server, changes to it are reflected in the SOAP message itself. If the MustUnderstand property is set to true, the mustUnderstand attribute within an instance of the header will be set to true.

    The DidUnderstand property of an object derived from SoapHeader notifies the ASP.NET runtime to tell the client which headers were processed by the Web method.

    The default value of the DidUnderstand property is true for headers formally defined by the Web method, so make sure that there cannot be a code path in which the method returns without processing a header. The client might have set the mustUnderstand attribute to true. If so, this is considered an error if the Web method does not throw a SoapException.

    In the case in which a header might not be processed, you might want to set the DidUnderstand property to false at the beginning of the Web method. Once the header is processed, set the DidUnderstand property back to true.

    Another option is to include the value of the MustUnderstand property in the decision about whether to process the header. For example, the InstantQuote method sets the Required property of the Payment header to true. However, the InstantQuote method is responsible for processing the header only if the MustUnderstand property is true. Let's say that if the administrator invokes the InstantQuote Web method, the Payment header should not be processed unless the MustUnderstand property is true, as shown here:

    //  Apply the fee to the client's credit card only if the  user is not
    // the administrator or if the header must be processed.
    if(User.Identity != "Administrator" || paymentHeader.MustUnderstand)
    {
    CreditCardProcessor creditCardProcessor =
    new CreditCardProcessor(merchantNumber);
    referenceNumber = creditCardProcessor.Bill(fee, pay ment);
    }

    I want to discuss one final point about the MustUnderstand and DidUnderstand properties. After the Web method returns, the ASP.NET runtime will determine whether any headers passed by the client containing a mustUnderstand attribute set to true also have their associated DidUnderstand property set to false. If this is the case, the ASP.NET runtime will automatically throw a SoapException. The Web method might have code that attempts to undo actions done on a client's behalf before throwing the exception. Because this exception is thrown after the Web method has returned, this code will never execute.

    Let's say a client calls the InstantQuote Web method within the context of a transaction. The client passes a Transaction header along with the Payment header and sets its mustUnderstand attribute to true. Because the previous implementation does not check for the presence of a Transaction header, the Web service processes the request, including billing the client's credit card. After the method returns, the ASP.NET runtime notices that the Transaction header's DidUnderstand property is set to false and throws an exception. In this case, the client does not receive the quote but will still be billed the $1.50 transaction fee. This scenario would result in one unhappy customer.

    There are at least two ways to avoid this adverse side effect. If the affected resources are all managed by a DTC Resource Manager, you can set the TransactionOption property of the WebMethod attribute to Required. Once the ASP.NET runtime throws an exception, the transaction will be aborted and all changes rolled back. If the CreditCardProcessor component can participate in a DTC-controlled distributed transaction, the fee charged to the card will automatically be rolled back.

    Another option is to verify that all headers received by the Web service with a mustUnderstand attribute set to true have been processed before the Web method returns. Catching headers that must be understood but cannot be processed by the Web service early on within the Web method can potentially save unnecessary processing cycles. If the Web method does not know how to process one of the headers passed to it, it can take appropriate action before throwing an exception. In the next section, I discuss how to examine the MustUnderstand property of unknown headers.

    Processing Unknown Headers

    The ASP.NET page framework provides a mechanism for inspecting and processing headers that are not formally defined by the Web method. You can, for example, determine up front whether there are any unknown headers that have their mustUnderstand attribute set to true. If there are any headers that must be understood, but that the Web method does not know how to process, you can throw an appropriate SoapException up front.

    The SoapUnknownHeader class is derived from SoapHeader and can be used to inspect or process headers not formally defined by the Web method. Because the SoapUnknownHeader class is derived from SoapHeader, it exposes properties such as MustUnderstand and DidUnderstand.

    An object of type SoapUnknownHeader is loosely typed because the only additional property defined is Element, which is of type XmlElement. The Element property serves as an entry point to the root element of the header. You can use the XML DOM to interrogate the contents of the header.

    You can associate the SoapUnknownHeader class with a Web method using the SoapHeader attribute (just as you can with any other class that derives from SoapHeader). If more than one header can be received by the Web method, as is the case with unknown headers, the property associated with the Web method can be an array.

    Recall that the previous implementation of the InstantQuote Web method had a flaw. If an unknown header that must be understood by the Web service is received by the client, credit card users will be charged the fee but will receive a SOAP fault automatically generated by the ASP.NET runtime. To solve this problem, the following example obtains a list of unknown headers, iterates through the list, and then throws a SoapException once the first SoapUnknownHeader is encountered that has its MustUnderstand property set to true:

    [WebMethod]
    [SoapHeader("paymentHeader", Direction=SoapHeaderDirect ion.In, Required=true)]
    [SoapHeader("receiptHeader", Direction=SoapHeaderDirect ion.Out, Required=true)]
    [SoapHeader("unknownHeaders", Required=false)]
    public double InstantQuote(string symbol, CurrencyType targetCurrency)
    {
    // Declare and initialize variables.
    double price = 0;
    int merchantNumber = 123456789;
    double fee = 1.50;
    int referenceNumber = 0;

    // Check to see whether any unknown headers must be proce ssed.
    foreach(SoapUnknownHeader header in unknownHeaders)
    {
    if(header.MustUnderstand)
    {
    string message = "The " + header.Element.Name +
    " header could not be processed.";
    throw new SoapException(message,
    SoapException.MustUnderstandFaultCode);
    }
    }

    // The rest of the implementation...

    }

    The Web method checks for unknown headers that must be understood by the client before the credit card is processed. If a header that must be understood cannot be processed, the client will not be charged the fee for using the Web service.

    Using SOAP Extensions

    In the preceding section, I wrote a fair amount of code to process the SOAP Payment header. A Web service might potentially expose many Web methods that require the Payment header to be processed, so it is not ideal to have every method contain code to process the payment information. The code within the method should be responsible for the business logic, not handling tasks that can be pushed to the infrastructure. In this section, I show you how to provide extended services, such as processing the Payment SOAP header, that can be applied to any Web method.

    SOAP extensions provide a way of creating encapsulated reusable functionality that you can apply declaratively to your Web service. The SOAP extensions framework allows you to intercept SOAP messages exchanged between the client and the Web service. You can inspect or modify a message at various points during the processing of the message. You can apply a SOAP extension to either the server or the client.

    A SOAP extension is composed of a class derived from the SoapExtension class. It contains the implementation details that are generally used to examine or modify the contents of a SOAP message. You can then define an attribute derived from SoapExtensionAttribute that associates the SOAP extension with a particular Web method or a class.

    SOAP Extension Attributes

    You use a SOAP extension attribute to indicate that a particular SOAP extension should be called by the ASP.NET runtime for a particular Web method. You can also use the SOAP extension attribute to collect information that will be used by the SOAP extension.

    My first SOAP extension example will automatically process the Payment and Receipt headers I created in the last section. Instead of including code within the implementation of the InstantQuote Web method, I will create an attribute called ProcessPayment that can be used to decorate Web methods that require the Payment header to be processed. Later I will create the ProcessPaymentExtension class, which will contain the actual implementation. Here is the implementation of the ProcessPayment attribute:

    [AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Method)]
    public class ProcessPaymentAttribute : SoapExtensionAttribute
    {
    int merchantNumber = 0;
    double fee = 0;
    int priority = 9;

    public ProcessPaymentAttribute(int merchantNumber, double fee)
    {
    this.merchantNumber = merchantNumber;
    this.fee = fee;
    }

    public int MerchantNumber
    {
    get { return merchantNumber; }
    set { merchantNumber = value; }
    }

    public double Fee
    {
    get { return fee; }
    set { fee = value; }
    }

    public override Type ExtensionType
    {
    get { return typeof(ProcessPaymentExtension); }
    }

    public override int Priority
    {
    get { return priority; }
    set { priority = value; }
    }
    }

    The ProcessPayment attribute is responsible for gathering the information needed by the SOAP extension. The SOAP extension will require the merchant account number and the fee the client should be charged to process the payment. Thus, both the merchant number and the fee must be passed as part of the ProcessPayment attribute's constructor. I also create associated MerchantNumber and Fee properties because the only mechanism for passing information from the SOAP extension attribute to the SOAP extension is by exposing the information as a public field or a public property.

    Attributes that derive from SoapExtensionAttribute must override the ExtensionType property. This property returns an instance of the Type object of the SOAP extension class. The ASP.NET runtime will access this property to locate its associated SOAP extension.

    All SOAP extension attributes must override the Priority property. This property specifies the priority in which the SOAP extension will be executed with respect to other SOAP extensions. I gave the Priority property a default value of 9 so that it can be optionally set by the user of the attribute.

    The priority of the SOAP extension is used by ASP.NET to determine when it should be called in relation to other SOAP extensions. The higher the priority, the closer the SOAP extension is to the actual message being sent by the client and the response sent by the server. For example, a SOAP extension that compresses the body and the header of a SOAP message should have a high priority. On the other hand, the ProcessPayment SOAP extension does not need to have a high priority because it can function properly after other SOAP extensions have processed.

    SOAP Extension Class

    The SOAP extension class contains the implementation of the SOAP extension. In the case of the ProcessPaymentExtension class, it will process the Payment header on behalf of the Web method. A SOAP extension derives from the SoapExtension class. The ASP.NET runtime invokes methods exposed by the class at various points during the processing of the request. These methods can be overridden by the SOAP extension to provide custom implementation. Table 6-8 describes the methods that can be overridden by a custom SOAP extension.

    Table 6-8 SoapExtension Class Methods

    Method Description
    ChainStream Provides a means of accessing the memory buffer containing the SOAP request or response message.
    GetInitializer Used to perform initialization that is specific to the Web service method. This method is overloaded to provide a separate initializer for a single method or for all methods exposed by a type.
    Initialize Used to receive the data that was returned from GetInitializer.
    ProcessMessage Provides a means of allowing the SOAP extension to inspect and modify the SOAP messages at each stage of processing the request and response messages.

    The SOAP extension framework provides two methods of accessing the contents of the message. One way is through a stream object received by the ChainStream method that contains the raw contents of the message. The other way is through the properties and methods exposed by the instance of the SoapMessage object passed to the ProcessMessage method. For the ProcessPaymentExtension class, I will use the SoapMessage class.

    The SOAP extension framework also provides a two-step initialization process through the GetInitializer and Initialize methods. The initialization process is designed to reduce the overall initialization cost associated with the extension. I discuss this in more detail later in this section.

    The following diagram shows the order of the individual calls the ASP.NET runtime makes to the SOAP extension:

    (Image Unavailable)

    If multiple extensions are associated with a Web method, every extension will be called during each stage in the order of priority. For example, the GetInitializer method will be called on each SOAP extension before the ChainStream method is called. Except for the BeforeSerialize and AfterSerialize modes of the ProcessMessage method, each method will first call SOAP extensions that have a priority of 1 and then call the remaining extensions in ascending order of priority. When you invoke the ProcessMessage method during the BeforeSerialize and AfterSerialize modes, ProcessMessage will call the extensions in reverse order of priority.

    Initialization

    A new SOAP extension object is created each time the Web method associated with it is invoked. The SOAP extension often performs initialization that is generic across all invocations of the Web method. The SOAP extension framework provides a means of executing initialization code that should occur once.

    The SOAP extension framework supports a two-phase initialization sequence. The GetInitializer method performs the initialization for a particular Web method, in this case the InstantQuote method. GetInitializer will be called only once per Web method for the life of the Web application. The Initialize method will be called each time the Web method is invoked.

    To process the Payment header, I need to initialize a credit card processor object. Once it is initialized, it can be used to process any number of Payment headers. Let's assume that there is a nontrivial cost associated with initializing the object. I can initialize it once within the GetInitializer method and then use it each time the InstantQuote Web method is invoked. Here is the implementation of the GetInitializer method:

    public override object GetInitializer(LogicalMethodInfo  methodInfo, SoapExtensionAttribute attribute)
    {
    ProcessPaymentAttribute processPaymentAttribute =
    (ProcessPaymentAttribute)attribute;

    // Set up connection to credit card authorization service.
    creditCardProcessor =
    new CreditCardProcessor(processPaymentAttribute.MerchantNumber);

    //Return the initialized credit card processor object and the fee.
    return new object [] {creditCardProcessor,
    processPaymentAttribute.Fee};
    }

    Notice that when ASP.NET invokes the GetInitializer method, the extension's associated attribute is passed as a parameter. The attribute is used to obtain the MerchantNumber as well as the Fee properties. The method initializes the credit card processor.

    This same credit card processor will then be used each time the InstantQuote Web method is invoked. However, recall that a new instance of the ProcessPaymentExtension object is created each time the Web method is invoked. So how can I use the same instance of the credit card processor object across all invocations of the Web method? The following diagram illustrates the problem.

    (Image Unavailable)

    You might have noticed that GetInitializer has a return parameter of type object. The implementation of the GetInitializer method for the ProcessPaymentExtension object returns a two-element array containing the initialized credit card processor object as well as the fee that should be charged to the customer. The ASP.NET runtime retains a reference to this array and passes it to the Initialize method each time a new object is created as a result of invoking the InstantQuote Web method.

    One of the responsibilities of the Initialize method is to obtain the data returned to the ASP.NET runtime by the GetInitializer method. The Initialize method can also be used to perform any additional initialization that needs to occur for a particular Web method invocation. The following code shows the implementation of the GetInitializer and Initialize methods:

    public class ProcessPaymentExtension : SoapExtension
    {
    CreditCardProcessor creditCardProcessor;
    double fee = 0;
    int referenceNumber = 0;
    SoapPaymentHeader payment = null;
    SoapReceiptHeader receipt = new SoapReceiptHeade r();

    public override object GetInitializer(Type type)
    {
    return typeof(ProcessPaymentExtension);
    }

    public override object GetInitializer(LogicalMethod Info
    methodInfo, SoapExtensionAttribute attribute)
    {
    ProcessPaymentAttribute processPaymentAttribute =
    (ProcessPaymentAttribute)attribute;

    // Set up connection to credit card authorization service.
    creditCardProcessor =
    new CreditCardProcessor(processPaymentAttribute.MerchantNumber);

    //Return the initialized credit card processor object and the
    fee.
    return new object [] {creditCardProcessor,
    processPaymentAttribute.Fee};
    }

    public override void Initialize(object initializer)
    {
    // Retrieve the credit card processor and the fee
    // from the initializer parameter.
    creditCardProcessor =
    (CreditCardProcessor)((object[])initializer)[0];
    fee = (double)((object[])initializer)[1];
    }

    // The rest of the implementation...

    }

    The Initialize method performs any initialization that is specific to the method invocation. In the case of the ProcessPaymentExtension extension, no initialization needs to be accomplished. The only action is assigning the credit card processor object and the fee to a member variable within the class.

    Processing the Message

    The ProcessMessage method contains the implementation for processing the request message received from the client and the response message sent by the Web service. ProcessMessage is called by the ASP.NET runtime at four points. It is called twice during the process of deserializing the request message, once before the message is deserialized and once after. The ProcessMessage method is also called twice during the process of serializing the response message, once before serialization and once after.

    Each time the ProcessMessage method is called, it is passed an instance of the SoapMessage class. During the BeforeSerialize and AfterSerialize stages, the object is initialized with the data contained within the SOAP message. Here is the implementation of the ProcessMessage method:

    public override void ProcessMessage(SoapMessage message )
    {
    switch (message.Stage)
    {
    case SoapMessageStage.BeforeDeserialize:
    Trace.WriteLine("ProcessMessage(BeforeDeserialize) called.");
    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.AfterDeserialize:
    Trace.WriteLine("ProcessMessage(AfterDeserialize) called.");

    // Set the return header information.
    foreach(SoapUnknownHeader h in message.Headers)
    {
    Trace.WriteLine(h.Element.Name);
    }
    if(message.Headers.Contains(payment))
    {
    referenceNumber =
    this.creditCardProcessor.Bill(fee, payment);
    }
    else
    {
    // Throw exception.
    throw new SoapException
    ("The required Payment header was not found.",
    SoapException.ClientFaultCode);
    }

    // Verify that the credit card was processed.
    if(referenceNumber > 0)
    {
    // Set the return header information.
    receipt.ReferenceNumber = referenceNumber;
    receipt.Amount = fee;
    }
    else
    {
    throw new SoapException
    ("The credit card number could not be confirmed.",
    SoapException.ClientFaultCode);
    }

    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.BeforeSerialize:
    Trace.WriteLine("ProcessMessage(BeforeSerialize) called.");
    message.Headers.Add(receipt);
    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.AfterSerialize:
    Trace.WriteLine("ProcessMessage(AfterSerialize) called.");
    break;

    default:
    throw new SoapException("An invalid stage enumeration was
    passed.",
    SoapException.ServerFaultCode);
    }
    }

    The SoapMessageStage property determines at which of the four stages the message is called. I use a switch case statement to identify the stage at which ProcessMessage is called.

    The code to process the Payment header accesses the header information via the message parameter. The message object is populated with the data contained within the SOAP request message only after the message has been deserialized. Therefore, the code to process the payment information is placed within the SoapMessageStage.AfterDeserialize case block.

    Likewise, the code to add the Receipt header to the SOAP response message does so via the message object's Header property. The message object is populated with the data contained within the SOAP request message only before the request message has been deserialized. Therefore, the code to process the payment information is placed within the SoapMessageStage.BeforeSerialize case block.

    The code to process the payment information differs only slightly from the code I implemented in the SOAP Header section. One difference is that I use the preinitialized instance of the ProcessCreditCard object instead of creating a new one. The other difference is that the Payment header is obtained from the message object. The message object exposes the Headers property, which is of type SoapHeaderCollection. I obtain the Payment header by calling the Contains method on the instance of the SoapHeaderCollection object exposed by the Headers property.

    The SoapMessage class contains other methods and properties that can be used within the ProcessMessage method. Table 6-9 describes some of them.

    Table 6-9 Selected Properties and Methods of the SoapMessage Class

    Property Description
    Action Contains the value of the SOAPAction HTTP header
    ContentType Gets/sets the value of the Content-Type HTTP header
    Exception Gets the SoapException thrown from the method
    Headers Gets a collection of SOAP headers
    (SoapHeaderCollection) within the message
    MethodInfo Gets an object of type LogicalMethodInfo that can be used to reflect on the method signature
    OneWay Indicates whether the request message is accompanied by a response
    Stage Indicates the stage of processing during which the call was made to ProcessMessage
    Stream Obtains an object of type Stream containing the SOAP message
    Url Gets the base URL of the Web service
    Method Description
    GetInParameterValue Obtains a parameter at a particular index that was passed to the Web service
    GetOutParameterValue Obtains an out parameter at a particular index that was passed to the Web service
    GetReturnValue Obtains the return parameter intended for the client

    ChainStream Method

    Another way to access the data contained within a SOAP message is using the ChainStream method. This method is used by the extension to receive a raw stream containing the contents of the message and to pass the modified version of the stream back to the ASP.NET runtime.

    The next example uses a SOAP extension that logs the messages being exchanged between the client and the server. The SoapTrace attribute can be applied to any method. Its associated SoapTrace extension accesses the stream to write the contents of the message to a file.

    [AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Method)]
    public class SoapTraceAttribute : SoapExtensionAttribute
    {
    private string fileName = "c:\\temp\\SoapTrace.log" ;
    private int priority;

    public SoapTraceAttribute() {}

    public SoapTraceAttribute(string fileName)
    {
    this.fileName = fileName;
    }

    public override Type ExtensionType
    {
    get { return typeof(SoapTraceExtension); }
    }

    public override int Priority
    {
    get {return priority;}
    set {priority = value;}
    }

    public string FileName
    {
    get {return fileName;}
    set {fileName = value;}
    }
    }

    First I declare the SoapTrace attribute. It contains an optional constructor that can be used to set the name of the trace log. If the filename is not set, it defaults to c:\temp\SoapTrace.log.

    public class SoapTraceExtension : SoapExtension
    {
    string fileName;
    Stream inboundStream;
    Stream outboundStream;
    bool postSerializeHandlers = false;

    I declare a few private member variables. The fileName variable holds the filename of the log file obtained by the SoapTrace attribute. The inboundStream and outboundStream variables hold references to the inbound and outbound streams, respectively. Finally postSerializeHandlers indicates whether the BeforeSerialize and AfterSerialize methods have been called. This variable will be used by the ChainStream method.

    public override object GetInitializer(Type type)
    {
    return typeof(SoapTraceExtension);
    }

    public override object GetInitializer(LogicalMethodInfo methodInfo,
    SoapExtensionAttribute attribute)
    {
    return ((SoapTraceAttribute) attribute).FileName;
    }

    public override void Initialize(object initializer)
    {
    fileName = (string) initializer;
    }

    During GetInitializer, I retrieve the FileName property from the SoapExtension attribute. As with the previous extension, this value will be passed to the Initialize method.

    public override Stream ChainStream( Stream stream )
    {
    // Set the streams based on whether we are about to call
    // the deserialize or serialize handlers.
    if(! postSerializeHandlers)
    {
    inboundStream = stream;
    outboundStream = new MemoryStream();

    return outboundStream;
    }
    else
    {
    outboundStream = stream;
    inboundStream = new MemoryStream();

    return inboundStream;
    }
    }

    Recall that ChainStream is called twice by the ASP.NET runtime: before the message received from the client is deserialized, and again before the message that will be sent from the server is serialized.

    Each time ChainStream is called, two stream references are passed between the ASP.NET runtime and the SOAP extension. The ChainStream method receives a reference to an inbound stream that contains the original contents of the message. It also returns a reference to an outbound stream that will contain the contents of the new message. This effectively creates a chain of streams between the SOAP extensions associated with the method. The following diagram illustrates the chain that is created:

    (Image Unavailable)

    At least two aspects of ChainStream can easily trip you up. First, the parameters of the ChainStream method have a different meaning depending on whether the method is being called for the first time or the second time. Second, each time ChainStream is called, you need to create a new stream. The new stream is created for the outbound stream the first time it is called and for the inbound stream the second time it is called. Let's talk about each issue in detail.

    ChainStream accepts a single parameter of type Stream and returns a parameter of type Stream. The first time ChainStream is called, the inbound stream is passed by the ASP.NET runtime and ChainStream is responsible for returning the outbound stream. The second time ChainStream is called, the outbound stream is passed by the ASP.NET runtime and ChainStream is responsible for returning the inbound stream.

    To keep my code as straightforward as possible, I use the postSerializeHandlers member variable to signal whether ChainStream is being called for the first time or the second time. I use an if/else statement to ensure that inboundStream and outboundStream are always set appropriately.

    The first time ChainStream is called, it needs to return a readable stream that contains the SOAP message that will be deserialized by the runtime. Because SOAP extensions often modify the contents of the stream, they often return a new instance of the MemoryStream class. If ChainStream creates a new stream, it becomes the outbound stream.

    The second time ChainStream is called, it needs to return a read/writable stream to the ASP.NET runtime. The ASP.NET runtime will use this stream to communicate the current contents of the message to the SOAP extension. Before the BeforeSerialization stage of ProcessMessage is called, the ASP.NET runtime will populate the stream with the contents of the SOAP message that was returned by the previously called SOAP extension. When ProcessMessage is finally called, the inbound stream can then be read by the SOAP extension, the message can be modified, and finally the new message can be written to the outbound stream. Therefore, the second time ChainStream is called, it needs to create a new stream for the inbound stream.

    There is one more caveat. The ChainStream method cannot modify the stream it receives from the ASP.NET runtime. The received stream can be modified only by the ProcessMessage method. If ChainStream does access any properties or methods of the stream received from ASP.NET, a runtime exception will occur.

    public override void ProcessMessage(SoapMessage message )
    {
    switch (message.Stage)
    {
    case SoapMessageStage.BeforeDeserialize:
    CopyStream(inboundStream, outboundStream);
    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.AfterDeserialize:
    postSerializeHandlers = true;
    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.BeforeSerialize:
    break;

    case SoapMessageStage.AfterSerialize:
    WriteTraceLogEntry("Response");
    CopyStream(inboundStream, outboundStream);
    break;

    default:
    throw new Exception("invalid stage");
    }
    }

    The ProcessMessage method is responsible for writing the contents of the inbound stream to the log file. This is accomplished by calling the WriteTraceLogEntry helper function. It must also write the contents of the SOAP message to the outbound stream. This is accomplished by calling the CopyStream helper function. Finally ProcessMessage must set the postSerializeHandlers member variable used by the ChainStream method to true before exiting the AfterDeserialize stage.

    private void WriteTraceLogEntry(string messageTitle)
    {
    // Create a file stream for the log file.
    FileStream fs = new FileStream(fileName, FileMode.Append,
    FileAccess.Write);

    // Create a new stream writer and write the header of the trace.
    StreamWriter writer = new StreamWriter(fs);
    writer.WriteLine();
    writer.WriteLine("{0} Message Received at {1}:", messageTitle,
    DateTime.Now);
    writer.Flush();

    // Copy contents of the stream to the file.
    AppendStream(inboundStream, fs);
    fs.Close();
    }

    The WriteTraceLogEntry method writes an entry in the SOAP trace log. It first writes a header entry, and then it appends the log file with the contents of the inbound stream:

    private void CopyStream(Stream sourceStream, Stream destinationStream)
    {
    long sourcePosition = 0;
    long destinationPosition = 0;

    // If seekable, save starting positions of the streams
    // and set them both to the beginning.
    if(sourceStream.CanSeek)
    {
    sourcePosition = sourceStream.Position;
    sourceStream.Position = 0;
    }
    if(destinationStream.CanSeek)
    {
    destinationPosition = destinationStream.Position;
    destinationStream.Position = 0;
    }

    // Copy the contents of the "to" stream into the "from" stream.
    TextReader reader = new StreamReader(sourceStream);
    TextWriter writer = new StreamWriter(destinationStream);
    writer.WriteLine(reader.ReadToEnd());
    writer.Flush();

    // Set the streams back to their original position.
    if(sourceStream.CanSeek) sourceStream.Position = sourcePosition;
    if(destinationStream.CanSeek)
    destinationStream.Position = destinationPosition;
    }

    The CopyStream method writes the contents of the source stream to the destination stream. Because not all streams received by the ASP.NET runtime are seekable, a check is made before the position of a stream is modified:

    private void AppendStream(Stream sourceStream,
    Stream destinationStream)
    {
    long sourcePosition = 0;

    // If seekable, save starting positions of the streams
    // and set them both to the beginning.
    if(sourceStream.CanSeek)
    {
    sourcePosition = sourceStream.Position;
    sourceStream.Position = 0;
    }
    if(destinationStream.CanSeek)
    {
    destinationStream.Position = destinationStream. Length;
    }

    // Copy the contents of the "to" stream into the "from" stream.
    TextReader reader = new StreamReader(sourceStream);
    TextWriter writer = new StreamWriter(destinationStream);
    writer.WriteLine(reader.ReadToEnd());
    writer.Flush();

    // Set the streams back to their original positions.
    if(sourceStream.CanSeek) sourceStream.Position = sourcePosition;
    }

    The AppendStream method is used by WriteTraceLogEntry to append the contents of the inbound stream to the end of the log file stream.

    Using the WSDL Utility to Generate Proxy Code

    The ASP.NET page framework provides a set of classes and tools that greatly simplifies interacting with a Web service. The set of classes provides a base set of functionality for creating Web service proxies. One of the tools is a utility called WSDL.exe that consumes the WSDL for a Web service and then automatically generates proxy code for you.

    WSDL.exe ships with the .NET Framework. You can use it to create a strongly typed proxy for accessing the targeted Web service. Just as ASP.NET will map a large number of .NET datatypes to their XML counterparts, WSDL.exe will map XML datatypes described within the Web service's WSDL document to their .NET equivalents.

    The functionality of WSDL.exe is integrated within Visual Studio .NET. In Chapter 1, I used the Add Web Reference Wizard to create proxies to interact with the Payment Web service and the WebFileShare Web service. However, the wizard is not as configurable as WSDL.exe. Because some of the more-advanced configuration objects are usually desirable for production applications, the Add Web Reference Wizard is typically used for generating prototyping code.

    Recall that the Securities Web service is located at http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities.asmx. The following command will generate a proxy for interacting with the Securities Web service:

    wsdl http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities.asmx?wsdl
    

    The command will parse the WSDL document and generate Securities.cs, which contains C# code you can compile to form a strongly typed .NET Securities proxy class that exposes the functionality of the Securities Web service. By default, WSDL.exe will generate C# code that targets the SOAP implementation of the Web service interface.

    Like ASP.NET Web services, WSDL.exe can create proxies only for the HTTP protocol. However, WSDL.exe-generated proxies can use one of three bindings: SOAP, HTTP GET, or HTTP POST. You can use optional command-line parameters to set the type of binding as well as other configurations such as the language in which the autogenerated code will be written. Table 6-10 lists the command-line switches that you can specify when you use WSDL.exe to generate a proxy for a Web service.

    Table 6-10 Command-Line Switches for WSDL.exe

    Switch Description
    /nologo Suppresses the banner containing the version and copyright information.
    /language:[CS | VB | JS] or /l:[CS | VB | JS] Specifies the language in which the proxy code should be generated. The default is CS.
    /server Generates an abstract class definition for the Web service itself.
    /namespace:[namespace] or / n:[namespace] Specifies the .NET namespace in which the proxy code will reside.
    /out:[filename] or /o:[filename] Specifies the name of the file that will contain the generated code.
    /protocol:[SOAP | HttpPost | HttpGet] Specifies the binding the generated proxy code should target. The default is SOAP.
    /username:[username] or /u:[username] /password:[password] or /p:[password] /domain:[domain] or /d:[domain] Specifies the credentials that should be passed when connecting to a Web server that requires authentication. The supported authentication types include Basic Authentication and Windows NT Challenge/Response.
    /proxy:[url] The URL of the proxy server. The default is to use the settings defined within the system's Internet Options.
    /proxyusername:[username] or
    /pu:[username] /proxypassword:[password] or / pp:[password] /proxydomain:[domain] or / pd:[domain]
    Specifies the credentials that should be used to log into the proxy server. The supported authentication types include Basic Authentication and Windows NT Challenge/Response.
    /appsettingurlkey:[key] or /urlkey:[key] Generates code that sets the Url property of the proxy object to the value of the application setting with the specified key in the configuration file. If the application setting is not found, the value will be set to the URL that was originally targeted by WSDL.exe.
    /appsettingbaseurl:[url] or / baseurl:[url] Generates code that sets the Url property of the proxy object to the concatenation of the specified URL and the value of the application setting specified by the /appsettingurlkey switch.

    The targeted URL can also point to a DISCO file instead of a WSDL file. A DISCO file provides a simple discovery mechanism and can reference zero or more Web services. I will discuss DISCO files in more detail in Chapter 10.

    Targeting a DISCO file provides a convenient way to create proxies for multiple Web services. If WSDL.exe is pointed at a DISCO file, a proxy class will be generated for each Web service referenced by the DISCO file. You can also target multiple Web services by passing multiple URLs as arguments to WSDL.exe.

    If multiple proxies are generated, the configuration parameters are applied to all generated proxy classes, which might not be ideal for some parameters. For example, /appsettingurlkey will cause the Url property of every property to be set to the value of the application key. This outcome might not be desirable because in most cases each Web service will resolve to its own unique URL.

    If multiple Web services are targeted, they must each reside within their own namespace. If the WSDL document references two schemas with the same namespace (two tempuri.org namespaces, for example), WSDL.exe will generate a warning and create a proxy for only one of the two schemas. To avoid this, you must change the name of one of the namespaces to ensure that they are both unique. The same holds true for duplicate XML Schema namespaces.

    If you use WSDL.exe to generate proxy code that will be deployed to production, you should use the following command-line parameters:

    • /language The proxy code should be created using the programming language standardized for the project.
    • /namespace The proxy classes should reside within a namespace to prevent collisions with other datatype definitions.
    • /appsettingurlkey The target URL for the Web service should be stored in the configuration file and not hard coded within the proxy. If the Web service is relocated, you do not need to recompile your code.

    Proxy Class

    I have discussed how to generate proxy code for accessing the Calculator Web service. Based on the suggestions I made, I will modify the command used to generate the proxy code:

    wsdl /language:CS /namespace:BrokerageFirm
    /appsettingurlkey:SecuritiesWebServiceUrl
    http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities.asmx?wsdl

    WSDL.exe will generate Securities.cs. The resulting proxy class, which will be used by a client to access the Securities Web service, is derived from the SoapHttpClientProtocol class. SoapHttpClientProtocol provides the implementation of the proxy. It exposes quite a few properties and methods that control its behavior. Table 6-11 lists the properties, methods, and events for the SoapHttpClientProtocol class in addition to those exposed by the Object and Component classes.

    Table 6-11 Selected Properties, Methods, and Events of the SoapHttpClientProtocol Class

    Property Description
    AllowAutoRedirect Specifies whether the proxy will automatically follow redirect requests sent by the server.
    ClientCertificates Specifies a collection of X.509 certificates that can be used to validate the client.
    ConnectionGroupName Specifies the name of the HttpWebRequest connection group to use when connecting to the Web service. A connection group provides a mechanism for allowing multiple clients within the same application to share connections open to a given Web server.
    CookieContainer Used to access the cookies maintained by the proxy. Also provides a mechanism for setting cookies for a particular domain.
    Credentials Specifies authentication credentials that can be used to log into the Web server. The supported methods of authentication include Basic Authentication, Windows NT Challenge/Response, Kerberos, and Digest.
    PreAuthenticate Specifies whether the authentication credentials should be sent immediately or as a result of receiving a 401 access denied error.
    Proxy Contains the information necessary to connect to the proxy server. This includes the URL, port, and user name/domain/password.
    RequestEncoding Specifies the type of encoding that will be used when serializing the request message. The default is UTF-8.
    Timeout Specifies the period of time, in milliseconds, that a synchronous Web request has to complete before the request is aborted. The default is infinity (-1).
    Url Specifies the address of the Web service endpoint.
    UserAgent Specifies the value of the user agent header in the HTTP request.
    Method Description
    Abort Used to abort any asynchronous method calls that are currently executing.
    Discover Used to dynamically discover the location of the Web service via the DISCO file referenced by the Url property.
    Event Description
    Disposed Used to provide notification when the proxy has been disposed.

    Let's step through the code generated by WSDL.exe to see how the proxy class is implemented:

    //----------------------------------------------------- ------------------------
    // <autogenerated>
    // This code was generated by a tool.
    // Runtime Version: 1.0.xxxx.xx
    //
    // Changes to this file may cause incorrect behavior and will be lost if
    // the code is regenerated.
    // </autogenerated>
    //----------------------------------------------------- ------------------------

    //
    // This source code was auto generated by WSDL, Version=1 .0.xxxx.xx.
    //

    WSDL.exe first generates comments that document the version of the runtime as well as the version of WSDL.exe that was used to create the proxy. If the proxy will be included within a code base that is released to production, you might also want to record the date and time that the WSDL was generated along with a copy of the WSDL document itself.

    The date and time can be recorded by promptly checking the file into a source code repository or by adding it as a comment to the generated file. The WSDL document can be obtained by WSDL.exe itself. You can accomplish this by using one of the optional command-line parameters I discuss later in this section.

    namespace BrokerageFirm {
    using System.Diagnostics;
    using System.Xml.Serialization;
    using System;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
    using System.Web.Services;

    /// <remarks/>
    [System.ComponentModel.DesignerCategoryAttribute("code")]

    [System.Web.Services.WebServiceBindingAttribute(Name="Securities
    Soap",
    Namespace="http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities")]
    [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapIncludeAttribute(typeof
    (SoapReceiptHeader))]
    [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapIncludeAttribute(typeof
    (SoapPaymentHeader))]
    public class Securities : System.Web.Services.Protocols.
    SoapHttpClientProtocol {

    public SoapPaymentHeader SoapPaymentHeaderValue ;

    public SoapReceiptHeader SoapReceiptHeaderValue ;

    The Securities class is defined within the BrokerageFirm namespace. It is derived from the SoapHttpClientProtocol class. SoapHttpClientProtocol serves as the base class for all ASP.NET proxies and contains the implementation necessary to communicate with most HTTP-based Web services.

    The Securities class is also decorated with three attributes. The first is the WebServiceBinding attribute, which serves the exact same role on the client as it does on the Web service. This attribute allows you to formally reference a particular binding defined within another namespace. The two other attributes are SoapInclude attributes. They tell the XML Serializer to include the SoapPaymentHeaderValue and the SoapReceiptHeaderValue member variables within the SOAP message.

          /// <remarks/>
    public Securities() {
    string urlSetting =
    System.Configuration.ConfigurationSettings. AppSettings
    ["SecuritiesWebServiceUrl"];
    if ((urlSetting != null)) {
    this.Url = urlSetting;
    }
    else {
    this.Url =
    "http://localhost/BrokerageFirm/Securities.asmx";
    }
    }

    The constructor sets the object's Url property to the value of the SecuritiesWebServiceUrl application configuration parameter defined in the application's configuration file. If the value is not found, the Url property is set to the value contained within the HTTP extension element that defines the address of the endpoint within the WSDL document's service definition.

    You should consider modifying the else logic to throw an exception instead of defaulting to a hard-coded value. This will make it easier to diagnose some problems within your application. For example, when you are trying to debug your application, it would be easy to overlook the fact that the SecuritiesWebServiceUri parameter is misspelled within your configuration file. (Did you catch the misspelling?)

    You might need to dynamically modify the Url property at run time. For example, the application might want to reissue its request to another server in the event of failure. The Url property is a publicly exposed read/write property, so it can be modified by the client at run time.

    You can also set the Url property to point to a DISCO file containing a reference to the targeted Web service. You can then call the Discover method to dynamically bind to the Web service contained within the DISCO file. I will cover DISCO files in more detail in Chapter 10.

    Within the proxy class definition, methods are defined for each of the operations exposed by the Web service. For each operation, three methods are defined. The first method definition is for synchronously invoking the Web method, and the other two are used in combination to invoke the Web method asynchronously. Here is the synchronous definition for the InstantQuote method:

          [System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHeaderAttribute
    "SoapReceiptHeaderValue", Direction=System.Web. Services.
    Protocols.SoapHeaderDirection.Out)]
    [System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHeaderAttribute
    ("SoapPaymentHeaderValue")]
    /// <remarks/>
    [System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapRpcMethodAttribute
    ("http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities/ InstantQuote",
    RequestNamespace="http://woodgrovebank.com/ Securities",
    ResponseNamespace="http://woodgrovebank.com/ Securities")]
    public System.Double InstantQuote(string symbol ,
    CurrencyType targetCurrency) {
    object[] results =
    this.Invoke("InstantQuote", new object[] {
    symbol, targetCurrency});
    return ((System.Double)(results[0]));
    }

    The InstantQuote method is decorated with the SoapHeader, DebuggerStepThrough, and SoapRpcMethod attributes. The DebuggerStepThrough attribute is used by the Visual Studio .NET debugger. The Visual Studio .NET debugger will not stop within the method marked with this attribute.

    The SoapHeader and SoapRpcMethod attributes serve the same purpose as they do when applied to a Web method. The SoapHeader attribute indicates which member variable should be serialized into the header of the SOAP message. The SoapRpcMethod attribute indicates the encoding style and the format of the message as well as the value of the SOAP HTTPAction header.

    The signature of the method itself is composed of .NET types that match their XML counterparts described within the types section of the WSDL document. This wrapper method definition allows code written against the proxy to take full advantage of the features provided by the .NET platform. For example, if a client attempts to pass invalid parameters, such as passing two strings to the Add method instead of two integers, the compiler will generate errors at compile time. Developers using Visual Studio .NET will also have full IntelliSense capabilities when they write code against the proxy.

    The implementation of the InstantQuote method packages the parameters into an array of objects and calls the Invoke method. Because this method is publicly exposed, you can call it directly. However, using the method exposed by the WSDL.exe-generated proxy provides a more convenient and natural calling convention.

    In many circumstances, making a synchronous call to a Web method is not ideal. This is especially true for Web services accessed via the Internet, where quality and speed of the connection might be uncertain. This might also be true for Web services hosted within the walls of a corporate data center. For example, a Web service might be used to expose data contained within a mainframe. A significant amount of initialization might need to be done to set up a connection to the mainframe, or the Web service might be accessed during times of peak load.

    The next two methods defined for the InstantQuote operation are BeginInstantQuote and EndInstantQuote. These methods are used to make an asynchronous call to the Securities Web service's InstantQuote Web method:

          /// <remarks/>
    public System.IAsyncResult BeginInstantQuote(string symbol,
    CurrencyType targetCurrency, System.AsyncCallback callback,
    object asyncState) {
    return this.BeginInvoke("InstantQuote",
    new object[] {symbol, targetCurrency},
    callback, asyncState);
    }

    /// <remarks/>
    public System.Double EndInstantQuote(System.IAsyncResult
    asyncResult) {
    object[] results = this.EndInvoke(asyncResult);
    return ((System.Double)(results[0]));
    }
    }

    By convention, the method used to invoke the asynchronous call is prefixed with Begin and the method used to retrieve the parameters returned by the Web service is prefixed with End. The implementation invokes the BeginInvoke and EndInvoke methods, respectively.

    The asynchronous methods are not decorated with attributes used to describe the formatting of the message. The methodName parameter contains the name of the method that the ASP.NET runtime will use to retrieve the formatting information. If the asynchronous message is decorated with any attributes such as SoapDocumentMethod, these attributes will be ignored.

      [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapTypeAttribute("SoapReceiptHeader",
    "http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities/encodedTypes")]
    public class SoapReceiptHeader : SoapHeader {

    public System.Double Amount;

    public int ReferenceNumber;
    }

    [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapTypeAttribute("SoapPaymentHeader",
    "http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities/encodedTypes")]
    public class SoapPaymentHeader : SoapHeader {

    public string NameOnCard;

    public string CreditCardNumber;

    public CardType CreditCardType;

    public System.DateTime ExpirationDate;
    }

    [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapTypeAttribute("CardType",
    "http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities/encodedTypes")]
    public enum CardType {

    VISA,

    MC,

    AMX,

    DISCOVER,
    }

    [System.Xml.Serialization.SoapTypeAttribute("CurrencyType",
    "http://woodgrovebank.com/Securities/encodedTypes")]
    public enum CurrencyType {

    US_DOLLARS,

    UK_POUNDS,

    GE_DEUTSCHMARKS,
    }
    }

    Lastly WSDL.exe defines .NET counterparts to the Payment and Receipt SOAP headers as well as the CurrencyType and CardType enumerations. WSDL.exe uses the SoapType attribute to explicitly define type information used by the XML Serializer to map the .NET types to their XML Schema counterparts.

    The use of the proxy to make a synchronous method call is fairly trivial. The following example writes the price of a security passed as a command-line argument out to the console:

    using System;
    using BrokerageFirm;

    class Application
    {
    public void Main(string[] args)
    {
    string symbol = args[0];
    Securities securities = new Securities();

    // Create and initialize the Payment header.
    SoapPaymentHeader paymentHeader = new SoapPaymentHeader();
    paymentHeader.CreditCardNumber = "12345";
    paymentHeader.ExpirationDate = DateTime.Today;
    paymentHeader.CreditCardType = CardType.VISA;
    securities.SoapPaymentHeaderValue = paymentHeader;

    Console.WriteLine("{0} = {1}", symbol,
    securities.InstantQuote(symbol, CurrencyType.US_DOLLARS));
    }
    }

    Because the Payment header is required to be passed to the InstantQuote method, I create a new SoapPaymentHeader object. Then I initialize it and set it to the SoapPaymentHeaderValue property on the securities object. The proxy is responsible for serializing the SoapPaymentHeader object within the header of the SOAP request message.

    Invoking the InstantQuote Web method asynchronously involves a little more work. The following code is contained within a WinForm application. Let's walk through an example. I will write a console application that uses the Securities Web service proxy to make an asynchronous method call:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
    using BrokerageFirm;

    namespace SecuritiesClient
    {
    class Application
    {
    static Securities securities = new Securities() ;

    First I create a class that will contain the console application. Then I create a static instance of the Securities Web service proxy as a static member of the class. I do this because the static callback function that I will now define will need to access the proxy object:

          static void Main(string[] args)
    {
    string symbol = args[0];

    SoapPaymentHeader paymentHeader =
    new SoapP aymentHeader();
    paymentHeader.CreditCardNumber = "12345";
    paymentHeader.ExpirationDate = DateTime.Today;
    paymentHeader.CreditCardType = CardType.VISA;

    securities.SoapPaymentHeaderValue = payment Header;

    securities.BeginInstantQuote(symbol,
    CurrencyType.US_DOLLARS,
    new AsyncCallback(InstantQuoteCallback), symbol);

    System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(30000);
    Console.WriteLine("Terminating application. ");
    }

    As you have learned, WSDL.exe will properly handle generating proxies for Web services that support headers. The generated proxy code will contain a class declaration for each header defined by the Web service. Depending on the direction of the header, instances of the header class can be either retrieved or set using an associated property defined by the proxy class for the Web service. By default, the property will have the same name as the class, with a prefix of Value. If the class declaration contains an XmlType attribute (discussed in Chapter 7), the property on the client will simply be the name given to the XML type.

    The proxy class will also perform client-side validation of the SOAP headers before sending the message to the server. For example, the proxy will throw a SoapException if SoapPaymentHeaderValue was set to null when the Web method was invoked.

    Within the Main function, a call is made to the BeginInstantQuote method. This method accepts two parameters in addition to the securities symbol and the target currency of the quote. I also pass an instance of the AsyncCallback delegate that serves as a reference to the InstantQuoteCallback method I will define shortly. This tells the Web service proxy to execute the InstantQuoteCallback method once the Web service returns. If there is no callback method that should be invoked, you can pass null for the value of the parameter.

    The fourth parameter is intended to pass state that should be associated with the method once the callback has been invoked. The parameter is of type object and therefore accepts an instance of any .NET type. In this case, I pass the symbol of the security for which I have requested the quote.

          public static void InstantQuoteCallback(IAsyncResult result)
    {
    // Obtain the results.
    double price = securities.EndInstantQuote(result);

    // Obtain the additional state that was sent by
    // the call to BeginCallback.
    WebClientAsyncResult webResult =
    (WebClient AsyncResult)result;
    string symbol = (string)webResult.AsyncState;

    // Display the results within a message box.
    Console.WriteLine("{0} = {1}", symbol, price);
    }
    }
    }

    The InstantQuoteCallback method receives a reference to the IAsyncResult interface of an object of type WebClientAsyncResult. This parameter is then passed to the EndAdd method to obtain the return value of the Web method call. Next I obtain the additional state information from the AsyncState property—in this case, the symbol passed to the Add method. Finally the price of the security is written to the console.

    Cookies

    Proxies derived from SoapHttpClientProtocol fully support HTTP cookies. However, the proxies have cookies disabled by default. To enable cookie support, you must set the CookieContainer property on the proxy object to reference an instance of a CookieContainer object.

    Earlier in the chapter, I leveraged session state to configure the target currency. The client first sets the target currency by calling SetCurrency. Then the client calls InstantQuote to obtain the price of the security. Because the Web service relies on cookies to maintain session state, clients using this Web service need to explicitly enable cookies. The following code demonstrates how to enable session state:

    using System;
    using BrokerageFirm;
    using System.Net;

    class Application
    {
    public void Main(string[] args)
    {
    string symbol = args[0];
    Securities securities = new Securities();

    // Enable session state by creating a new cookie container.
    securities.CookieContainer = new CookieContaine r();

    // Receive a quote on the requested security in UK pounds.
    securities.SetCurrency(CurrencyType.UK_POUNDS);
    Console.WriteLine("{0} = {1}", symbol,
    securities.InstantQuote(symbol));
    }
    }

    Once the proxy object has gone out of scope, all cookie information will be invalid. This is perfectly acceptable in the above console application. However, this might not be ideal if you need to maintain the cookie information across instances of the proxy. In such cases, it is necessary to persist the cookie collection and associate it to the new proxy object.

    Summary

    ASP.NET provides a robust, feature-rich platform for easily creating and consuming Web services. For a V1 product, it is remarkably feature complete.

    An ASP.NET Web service is represented by an .asmx file hosted within an IIS Web application. The implementation of the Web service can be contained within the .asmx file or within a compiled DLL. If the code appears inline within the .asmx file, the ASP.NET runtime will automatically compile it the first time it is accessed.

    A Web service is defined by a standard public class declaration. Public methods defined within the class can be exposed by the Web service if you decorate the method with the WebMethod attribute. This attribute exposes properties that can be optionally set to control the behavior of the ASP.NET runtime. The class can also be decorated with the WebService attribute.

    All ASP.NET Web services expose a SOAP interface over HTTP. Depending on the complexity of the Web service's interface, an ASP.NET Web service might also support HTTP GET and HTTP POST. The ASP.NET runtime will automatically map data contained within requests from the client and their corresponding responses to their corresponding .NET datatypes.

    The ASP.NET platform will automatically generate documentation for the Web service. A human-readable HTML version of the documentation can be obtained by calling the .asmx file with no parameters. A programmatic WSDL version of the documentation can be obtained by appending &wsdl to the URL that addresses the .asmx file.

    ASP.NET supports two distinct encoding styles, Document and RPC. Document is the default and is used primarily for document-based message exchanges between the client and the server. RPC is used primarily for procedure-based communication between the client and the server. You can select RPC by using the SoapRpcService or SoapRpcMethod attribute.

    You should be careful when you pass value types as parameters because the ASP.NET platform has some inconsistencies when identity is maintained. The identities of built-in value types such as int and double are never maintained, even when passed by reference. The identity of a custom value type when passed by reference is maintained when the encoding style is set to RPC. However, the identity of custom value types passed by value is improperly maintained when the encoding style is set to RPC.

    Regardless of the style of encoding, SOAP formally defines how errors returned to the client should be encoded within a SOAP message. The ASP.NET runtime will automatically map .NET exceptions into a well-formed SOAP Fault element. You can also formally raise a fault by throwing an exception of type SoapException.

    You can facilitate interface inheritance by referencing a port type or a binding definition from an external namespace. Of the two, ASP.NET supports referencing transport-specific binding definitions. You first reference the remote binding definition with the WebServiceBinding attribute, and then you associate the reference to the binding with a particular Web method via the Binding property of the SoapRpcMethod or SoapDocumentMethod attribute.

    ASP.NET also provides a fairly robust state management system. It supports three configurations: In Process, Out of Process, and SQL Server. Of the three, In Process is the most performant configuration. You should consider Out of Process and SQL Server only if the Web service will be deployed on a Web farm. Regardless of which model you use, the programming model is exactly the same.

    The ASP.NET platform also has good support for defining and consuming SOAP headers. A SOAP header is defined by deriving from the SoapHeader class. You then use the SoapHeader attribute to associate the header with a particular Web method. ASP.NET automatically deserializes any headers received from the client and serializes any headers sent from the Web server.

    Finally, the ASP.NET framework provides an interception mechanism called SOAP extensions. The SOAP extensions framework lets you examine and, if necessary, modify the contents of the SOAP messages exchanged between the client and the server.

    I didn't cover a couple of key topics related to ASP.NET Web services because they deserve chapters of their own. In Chapter 7, I will discuss how to control how individual parameters passed by a Web service or its client are encoded within a SOAP message. In Chapter 9, I will also cover the security services provided by ASP.NET.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    A poorly written book

    I can't believe such kind of book could even be published. I don't understand the logic and structure the author presents his ideas. One who read the book will tend to question the author's own understanding of the web services and .NET. If you read his very first example in book (P. 14), you will have to agree with me that he is not C# savvy. It seems to me that the author probably only concerns to get it published and he disregards the quality of the book. You can find plenty of spelling errors also (for example, P41. 'defer' should be 'refer'). I have to disuade whoever wants to buy this book. Bad book, poor writting skills and poor coding skills. Don't buy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)