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

As an example, let’s look at the SOAP web service classes for Liferay’s Company, User, and UserGroup portal services to execute the following:

  1. List each UserGroup to which user test belongs.

  2. Add a new UserGroup named MyGroup.

  3. Add user test to the UserGroup.

We’ll use these SOAP related classes:

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

Can you see the naming convention for SOAP related classes? The classes above all have suffixes -ServiceSoapServiceLocator, -ServiceSoap, and -Soap. The -ServiceSoapServiceLocator class finds the -ServiceSoap by means of the service’s URL you provide. The -ServiceSoap class is the interface to the services specified in the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) file for each service. The -Soap classes are the serializable implementations of the models. Let’s look at how to determine the URLs for these services.

You can see a list of the services deployed on your portal by opening your browser to a URL following one of these formats:

  • For your secure services (i.e., serevices requiring authentication) use http://[host]:[port]/api/secure/axis.

  • For your sevices that don’t require authentication, use http://[host]:[port]/api/axis.

Here’s the list of secure web services for UserGroup:

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

Each web service is listed with its name, operations, and a link to its WSDL file. The WSDL file is written in XML and provides a model for describing and locating the web service.

Here’s the WSDL Excerpt for the addUserGroup operation of UserGroup:

<wsdl:operation name="addUserGroup" parametterOrder="name description
publicLayoutSetPropertyId privateLayoutSetPropertyId">
    <wsdl:input message="impl:addUserGroupRequest" name="addUserGroupRequest"/>
    <wsdl:outputMessage="impl:addUserGroupResponse" name="assUserGroupResponse"/>
</wsdl:operation>

To use the service, you pass in the WSDL URL along with your login credentials to the SOAP service locator for your service. We’ll show you an example in the next section.

Next, let’s invoke the web service!

SOAP Java Client

A Java web service client can easily be set up using Eclipse IDE. Here’s how:

In Eclipse, add a new Web Service Client to your project for each service you plan to consume in your client code. For our purposes, the client we’re building needs a Web Service Client for the portal’s Company, User, and UserGroup services.

To add your Web Service Clients in Eclipse IDE, click NewOther…, then expand the Web Services category. Click Web Service Client.

For each client you create, you’re prompted to enter the service definition (WSDL) for the desired service. Here’s an example WSDL:

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

api-web-svc-wsdl.png

Figure 11.3: Service Definition

With the WSDL specified, Eclipse automatically adds the auxiliary files and libraries required to consume that web service. Nifty!

Here’s the code that locates and invokes operations to add a new UserGroup named MyUserGroup and assign to it a User with screen name test:

import java.net.URL;

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

public class LiferaySoapClient {
    public static void main(String[] args) {

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

            String groupName = "MyUserGroup";

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

            long userId = 0;

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

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

            CompanySoap companySoap =
                soapCompany.getCompanyByVirtualHost(virtualHost);

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    private static URL _getURL(String remoteUser, String password,
        String serviceName, boolean authenicate)
    throws Exception {
        //Unauthenticated url
        String url = "http://localhost:8080/api/axis/" + serviceName;

        //Authenticated url
        if (authenicate) {
            url = "http://" + remoteUser + ":" + password +
                "@localhost:8080/api/secure/axis/" + serviceName;
        }
        return new URL(url);
    }
}

Running this client should produce output like the following example:

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

The output tells us the user had no groups, but was added to UserGroup MyUserGroup.

You might be thinking, “But an error was thrown! We did something wrong!” Yes, an error was thrown (java.rmi.RemoteException:), but we’re sitting here as cool as an iced cream sandwich all the same. The exception was thrown simply because the UserGroup check was invoked before the UserGroup was created. Because the very next line of the output says Added user group named..., we’re okay. Don’t worry, be happy!

Here are a few things to note about the URL:

  • It’s a secure (authenticated) URL for the service. Authentication is done using HTTP Basic Authentication, which isn’t appropriate for a production environment, since the password is unencrypted. It’s simply used for convenience in this example.

  • The screen name and password are passed in as credentials.

  • The name of the service (e.g. Portal_UserGroupService) is specified at the end of the URL. Remember that the service name can be found in the web service listing.

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

Next let’s implement a web service client implemented in PHP.

SOAP PHP Client

You can write your client in any language that supports web services invocation. Let’s invoke the same operations we did when we created our Java client, this time using PHP and the PHP SOAP Client:

<?php
    $groupName = "MyGroup2";
    $userName = "test";
    $clientOptions = array(
    'login' => $userName,
    'password' => 'test');

    // Add user group

    $userGroupClient = new SoapClient(
        "http://localhost:8080/api/secure/axis/Portal_UserGroupService?wsdl",
        $clientOptions);
    $group = $userGroupClient->addUserGroup($groupName, "This is my group",
        0, 0);
    print "group id for " . $groupName . " is " . $group->userGroupId . "\n";

    // add user to user group

    $companyClient = new SoapClient(
        "http://localhost:8080/api/secure/axis/Portal_CompanyService?wsdl",
        $clientOptions);
    $company = $companyClient->getCompanyByVirtualHost("localhost");
    $userClient = new SoapClient(
        "http://localhost:8080/api/secure/axis/Portal_UserService?wsdl",
        $clientOptions);
    $userId = $userClient->getUserIdByScreenName($company->companyId,
        $userName);
    print "user id for " . $userName . " is " . $userId . "\n";

    $users = array($userId);
    $userClient->addUserGroupUsers($group->userGroupId, $users);

    // get and print user groups to which user belongs

    $userGroups = $userGroupClient->getUserUserGroups($userId);
    print "user groups for user " . $userId . " ...\n";
    foreach($userGroups as $k=>$v)
        print ($v->name) . " " . $v->userGroupId . "\n";
?>

It’s worth repeating that you can use any language that supports use of SOAP web services to create your web services client. Try it out on Liferay’s SOAP web services!

Next we’ll explore Liferay’s JSON Web Services.

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