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Author's profile photo Ajithkumar Krishnakumar

Modifying the SOAP Header while consuming web services

The requirement was pretty straightforward – I had a web service from a third party system (in this case OpenText) which I needed to consume. And since I had the URL of the WSDL, I could easily generate a consumer proxy class.

Piece of cake, or so I thought.

Soon came to know that there is an authentication token required to be passed through the web service. And I managed to generate another consumer proxy class using the authentication service that will return me the token.

Happy news that I got the token? Nope, now comes the challenge of passing it through the SOAP header for the first web service call. Haven’t done that before. I checked SDN forums and realized I wasn’t the first to do so. And some pretty good forums were present in which detailed code was present – in fact so detailed as to reconstruct the entire XML structure.

But I wasn’t sure of that. Do I really need to re-invent the wheel? OpenText has got a pretty good integration with SAP and there must be something that I could leverage. I wasn’t wrong. There are several standard authentication handler classes and its related helpers which could assist me. These methods help to modify the header protocol information with additional data. So this blog (if you haven’t already figured out) is for those looking to add some information to the SOAP header during a web service consumption based on an OpenText web service. Needless to say, the concept here is good enough to be used in any such scenario, and not just OpenText, provided you have the right parameter info.

Some of the data declarations and constants required:


  c_header_elem_name             TYPE  string  VALUE ‘OTAuthentication’,

  c_header_elem_prefix           TYPE  string  VALUE ‘ecs’,

  c_header_elem_uri              TYPE  string  VALUE ‘’,

  c_header_elem_attr_ecs    TYPE  string  VALUE ‘xmlns:ecs’,

  c_header_elem_attr_token  TYPE  string  VALUE ‘AuthenticationToken’.


        lref_protocol     TYPE REF TO if_wsprotocol,

        lref_proxy_basis  TYPE REF TO if_proxy_basis,

        lref_ws_header    TYPE REF TO if_wsprotocol_ws_header,

        lref_system_fault TYPE REF TO cx_ai_system_fault,

        ixml TYPE REF TO if_ixml,

        xml_document TYPE REF TO if_ixml_document,

        xml_root TYPE REF TO if_ixml_element,

        xml_element TYPE REF TO if_ixml_element,

        xml_node TYPE REF TO if_ixml_node,

        l_xstring TYPE xstring,

        l_string TYPE string,

        lh_dom            TYPE REF TO if_ixml_document,

        lh_ixml           TYPE REF TO if_ixml,

        lh_header_element TYPE REF TO if_ixml_element,

        lh_element        TYPE REF TO if_ixml_element,

  1. Call the service proxy to get the authentication token. (I’m not giving details here as it is irrelevant.) Let it be in a parameter call LV_TOKEN.
  2. Create an instance of the proxy class using the right logical port information.

CREATE OBJECT search_service


logical_port_name = p_logical_port


others            = 1.

3. Get the header protocol from the service:

          lref_proxy_basis ?= search_service.

          CHECK lref_proxy_basis IS BOUND.

          lref_protocol = lref_proxy_basis->get_protocol( if_wsprotocol=>ws_header ).

            lref_ws_header ?= lref_protocol.

4. Build the DOM for the soap header. This has been adapted from the standard.

            CLASS cl_ixml DEFINITION LOAD.

            lh_ixml = cl_ixml=>create( ).

            lh_dom = lh_ixml->create_document( ).

            lh_header_element = lh_dom->create_element_ns(

                name   = c_header_elem_name

                prefix = c_header_elem_prefix

                uri    = c_header_elem_uri ).


                name  = c_header_elem_attr_ecs

                value = c_header_elem_uri ).

5. Add the element corresponding to the authentication token (we first create the element and then set the value we already have).

            lh_element = lh_dom->create_element_ns(

                name   = c_header_elem_attr_token

                prefix = c_header_elem_prefix

                uri    = c_header_elem_uri ).

            lh_element->set_value( lv_token ).

            lh_header_element->append_child( lh_element ).


                name      = c_header_elem_name

                namespace = c_header_elem_prefix

                dom       = lh_header_element ).

We are ready to consume the web service (in this case, the search service). The SOAP header now has got the authentication token added to it.

I hope this blog throws ideas to everyone to explore more of the standard. This will help a good deal to re-use the standard classes available and avoid re-building the whole xml document for the sake of a few new parameters that need to be added,

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      Author's profile photo Chirag Modi
      Chirag Modi

      Can you please provide your SOAP request in XML format. I have a similar requirement.

      Author's profile photo Manjunath Bannur
      Manjunath Bannur

      Hi Ajit,


      i have implemented the same solution for External WSDL file.

      But i am not getting the token as a response.

      getting the Error code 500.

      kindly can u help me on this .



      Author's profile photo Sanjeet Kumar
      Sanjeet Kumar

      Hi Ajit,

      I have done the same way as you have given in the blog but I am getting an error while consuming Web services "User id and password " missing.

      can you please suggest how to map token number in our web services method call ?


      Can you please help to resolve the issue?