SAS 9.3 includes several functions for SOAP calls, the most basic of which is SOAPWEB. SOAP is a web service protocol that works by exchanging XML. A web service, in SOAP, is similar to a procedure or CALL routine in the way you put a question to it and it returns a potentially complex answer, but:
- The request takes the form of an XML object, which may include data and a request for a specific kind of processing or analysis.
- The service can be located on any web server.
- The results are returned in the form of an XML object.
In the SOAPWEB function, you provide filerefs for the input and output XML and a URL, a web address, for the web service. There are another 11 arguments, if needed, for parameters and authentication.
The return value is a return code. It is not directly mentioned in the function documentation, but presumably it returns a positive integer code value if the Internet or the web service are not found.
There are five other SOAP functions that do essentially the same thing. Each provides a slightly different approach to authentication.