Browse Definitions :
Definition

SOAP fault

What is a SOAP fault?

A SOAP fault is an error in a Simple Object Access Protocol communication resulting from an incorrect message format, header-processing problems, incompatibility between applications or other issues.

SOAP facilitates communications between computers distributed across a network, even if they run on different operating platforms. SOAP is a highly structured, clearly defined architecture that can support an application programming interface.

Multiple standard protocols can carry SOAP messages, including the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP; Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP; and Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP.

A SOAP message is a specific type of Extensible Markup Language (XML) document that includes an <Envelope> element at the top level. The <Envelope> element must contain a <Body> element and can also contain an optional <Header> element.

The components of a SOAP message: envelope, header and body.
SOAP messages are XML documents that are composed of three basic building blocks. The fault message is an optional fourth building block.

When a SOAP fault occurs, a special type of SOAP message is generated that includes information about where the error originated and what caused it. The information is embedded in a <Fault> element, which itself is embedded in the document's <Body> element. The <Body> element can contain only one <Fault> element and cannot contain any other elements.

A SOAP message that contains a <Fault> element is known as a fault message. Here is an XML code snippet showing the basic structure of a SOAP fault message.

<env:Envelope xmlns:env=http://www.w3.org/2003/05/soap-envelope>
<env:Body>
<env:Fault>
<Fault subelements>
</env:Fault>
</env:Body>
</env:Envelope>

The URL in the opening <Envelope> tag points to the XML namespace for the more recent SOAP 1.2 specification, as opposed to SOAP 1.1. The structure is the same for both editions, which are actively used.

In this case, the <Fault> element includes the <Fault subelements> element. This is a placeholder for the various subelements, which provide the data about the specific fault. The subelements supported by the <Fault> element depend on whether you're working with SOAP 1.1 or SOAP 1.2.

SOAP 1.1 supports these subelements in the <Fault> element:

  • <faultcode> -- a mandatory element for identifying the type of fault. The SOAP standard defines a small set of type codes that can be specified in this element; however, they can be extended for specific applications.
  • <faultstring> -- a mandatory element for providing human-readable information about the nature of the fault.
  • <faultactor> -- an optional element for specifying the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the SOAP node that was the source of the fault.
  • <detail> -- an optional element for providing application-specific error information. This element is required if the contents of the <Body> element cannot be otherwise processed.

The subelements changed in SOAP 1.2, although most share a similar purpose. SOAP 1.2 supports these subelements in the <Fault> element:

  • <Code> -- a mandatory element for identifying the type of fault. This element is similar to <faultcode> in SOAP 1.1, except it provides more extensive identification.
  • <Reason> -- a mandatory element for specifying human-readable information about the nature of the fault. This element is similar to <faultstring> in SOAP 1.1.
  • <Node> -- an optional element for providing the URI of the SOAP node that was the source of the fault. This element is similar to <faultactor> in SOAP 1.1.
  • <Role> -- an optional element for specifying the operational role of the SOAP node at the time of the fault.
  • <Detail> -- an optional element for providing application-specific error information. This element is similar to <detail> in SOAP 1.1.

Any node that participates in the SOAP communication can generate a fault message. If a node sends a SOAP request and an error is encountered, the receiving node transmits a fault message to the original node with information about the error. For example, a client might submit a request to a web server that relies on a particular service to carry out its functions. If the service is down, the server might return a SOAP fault message to the client with details about the error.

This was last updated in April 2023

Continue Reading About SOAP fault

Networking
Security
  • DNS attack

    A DNS attack is an exploit in which an attacker takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the domain name system.

  • malware

    Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that's intentionally harmful to a computer, network or server.

  • cloud security

    Cloud security, also known as 'cloud computing security,' is a set of policies, practices and controls deployed to protect ...

CIO
  • data collection

    Data collection is the process of gathering data for use in business decision-making, strategic planning, research and other ...

  • chief trust officer

    A chief trust officer (CTrO) in the IT industry is an executive job title given to the person responsible for building confidence...

  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of creating and using environmentally sustainable computing resources.

HRSoftware
  • diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

    Diversity, equity and inclusion is a term used to describe policies and programs that promote the representation and ...

  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

Customer Experience
  • digital marketing

    Digital marketing is the promotion and marketing of goods and services to consumers through digital channels and electronic ...

  • contact center schedule adherence

    Contact center schedule adherence is a standard metric used in business contact centers to determine whether contact center ...

  • customer retention

    Customer retention is a metric that measures customer loyalty, or an organization's ability to retain customers over time.

Close