SOAP is a protocol for exchanging structured information between web services using XML, while WSDL is an XML format that describes the interface and functionality of a web service. To implement SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) in PHP, you may follow this simple steps:

web services and soap in php 



Step 1: Set up your development environment
Ensure you have a working PHP installation on your system. You may also need to enable the SOAP extension in your PHP configuration. You can check if the SOAP extension is enabled by creating a PHP file with the following code and accessing it via a web browser:



Step 2: Create the WSDL file

Write the WSDL file that describes your web service. This file will define the operations, input parameters, and output parameters of your service. You can use an XML editor or a plain text editor to create the WSDL file. Save it with a .wsdl extension.


Step 3: Generate PHP classes from the WSDL

To make it easier to work with SOAP in PHP, you can generate PHP classes from the WSDL file. The SoapClient class in PHP provides a way to do this automatically. Open a terminal or command prompt and run the following command:

$ wsdl2php -o /path/to/output/directory /path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl

This command generates PHP classes based on the WSDL file in the specified output directory.


Step 4: Implement the web service server

Create a PHP file to implement the server-side logic for your web service. You'll need to include the generated PHP classes and define the methods corresponding to the operations described in the WSDL file. Here's an example of how your PHP file might look:

require_once '/path/to/generated/classes.php';

class MyWebService {
    public function someOperation($param1, $param2) {
        // Your logic here
        return $result;

$server = new SoapServer('/path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl');

Replace /path/to/generated/classes.php with the path to the generated PHP classes, and /path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl with the path to your WSDL file.


Step 5: Implement the web service client

Create a PHP file to implement the client-side logic for consuming the web service. You'll need to create an instance of the SoapClient class, passing the URL of the WSDL file as a parameter. Then, you can call the methods defined in the WSDL file as if they were local functions. Here's an example:

require_once '/path/to/generated/classes.php';

$client = new SoapClient('/path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl');
$result = $client->someOperation($param1, $param2);

// Process the result

Again, replace /path/to/generated/classes.php with the path to the generated PHP classes, and /path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl with the path to your WSDL file.

That's the basic process of implementing SOAP and WSDL in PHP. Of course, there might be additional configuration and customization options depending on your specific requirements, but these steps should provide you with a solid starting point.


Writing a WSDL file manually in PHP can be a complex task, as it involves defining the structure, operations, input parameters, output parameters, and other details of your web service. It requires a good understanding of the WSDL specification and XML. Here's a simplified example of how you can write a WSDL file manually in PHP:

$wsdl = <<<XML
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<definitions xmlns=""

        <schema xmlns="">
            <!-- Define your XML Schema types here -->

    <message name="SomeOperationRequest">
        <!-- Define input parameters -->

    <message name="SomeOperationResponse">
        <!-- Define output parameters -->

    <portType name="YourServicePortType">
        <operation name="SomeOperation">
            <input message="tns:SomeOperationRequest" />
            <output message="tns:SomeOperationResponse" />

    <binding name="YourServiceBinding" type="tns:YourServicePortType">
        <soap:binding style="document" transport="" />
        <operation name="SomeOperation">
            <soap:operation soapAction="" />
                <soap:body use="literal" />
                <soap:body use="literal" />

    <service name="YourService">
        <port name="YourServicePort" binding="tns:YourServiceBinding">
            <soap:address location="" />


// Save the WSDL file
file_put_contents('/path/to/wsdl/file.wsdl', $wsdl);



To better assist you there are several tools and libraries available that can assist in generating WSDL files for your web services. Here are a few popular options:


WSDL Editor

WSDL editors provide a graphical interface to create and edit WSDL files. They offer a user-friendly way to define operations, messages, port types, bindings, and services. Some popular WSDL editors include Altova XMLSpy, Oxygen XML Editor, and SOAPUI.


PHP WSDL Generators

There are PHP libraries specifically designed to generate WSDL files based on your PHP code or annotations. These libraries analyze your code and automatically generate the corresponding WSDL file. Some popular PHP WSDL generator libraries include:

- Zend Framework: Zend Framework provides a component called Zend_Soap_AutoDiscover, which can generate a WSDL file from your PHP code. It offers options to customize the WSDL generation process according to your needs.
- WSDLGenerator: WSDLGenerator is a standalone library that allows you to generate WSDL files from your PHP code. It supports annotations and provides flexibility in defining complex types and operations.


Web Service Frameworks

If you are using a web service framework, such as Laravel, Symfony, or CodeIgniter, they often include built-in tools or libraries for generating WSDL files. These frameworks typically provide annotations or configuration options to define your web service's interface and automatically generate the corresponding WSDL file.

- Laravel: Laravel framework includes a package called artisan-soap that provides an artisan command to generate a WSDL file from your Laravel routes and controllers.
- Symfony: Symfony framework offers the NelmioApiDocBundle bundle, which can generate a WSDL file based on your annotated controllers and routes.
- CodeIgniter: CodeIgniter framework has libraries, such as wsdl2phpgenerator, that can generate WSDL files from your PHP code.

Using these tools and libraries can simplify the process of generating WSDL files by automating the generation based on your code or providing a user-friendly interface. Choose the one that best suits your development environment and requirements.

 Further reading: How to generate WSDL file in Symfony with NelmioApiDocBundle