Defining SOAP Header structure in WSDL

From a quick review of the SOAP and WSDL specs, it does not appear that there is a standard approach for describing the structure of a header node in the WSDL file for a web service.

  1. Is this a correct interpretation?

  2. What is the best practice for communicating SOAP header information to a trading partner or service user?



OK, further research found obscure references to SOAP:Header in sections 3.2 and 3.7 of the WSDL 1.1 spec (see and

So, does the webMethods WSDL generator support generating SOAP:Header messages? If so, how?

I’d like to be able to create WSDL files including SOAP:Header references without manual edits.



Thanks for researching this in public, Mark.

Whatever you learn will be helpful for the rest of us so thank you for sharing everything.

Now, if only we could get your answers for you…!

The SOAP gurus at WM offer this advice:

  1. IS 4.6 does not support automatic generation of WSDL files containing soap:header message definitions.

  2. A best practice guideline seems to be that if your partner plans to auto-generate a client to consume your web serive, it would be a good idea to manually edit the generated WSDL file to add soap:header definitions into the WSDL. If your partner plans to create a client by hand they can work off of a separate schema that defines the request and response header definitions.

Examples of soap:header definitions can be found in the SOAPBuilder Round B Group C test case as well as the WS-security and WS-reliability specs.