I attended the talk of John Coggeshall from Zend, „WebServices in PHP5“. John gave a quick overview about what web services are and how the protocol looks like. He didn’t go into further details explaining the XML of SOAP (which seemed to be a good decision because it’s very complex and not easy to understand :-).
In the next section he introduced the PHP5 SOAP extension and gave a brief overview about its history (it already existed in PHP4, mainly in PECL!), followed by going deeper into the usage of PHP5 ext/soap as a SOAP client. He showed some examples from Google and Amazon, although without an Internet Connection (sorry for that) he couldn’t show the examples live.
In the last section of his talk he stepped into ext/soap as a SOAP server. I was a bit disappointed that he couldn’t talk deeper about the problems you have to face with SOAP clients from other technologies, i.e. .NET or Java, but I tried to help and tell about my experience in one of our larger men-year projects where we dealed successfully with Java and .NET based SOAP clients.
Unfortunately he couldn’t go into detail with the brand new XMLRPCi extension that he wrote, mainly because of no internet connection. I hope he’ll have some additional slides in his presentation – it’s cool to have some kind of a „leight-weight web service“ protocol like XML-RPC inside PHP that is also using the new PHP5 features (like object overloading and stuff like that).
To conclude, it was a good talk, except some more details with other technologies that use SOAP to connect to a PHP based SOAP server. If you experience problems with PHP as a SOAP server and other technologies like .NET or Java as a SOAP client, don’t hesitate to mail me.