Groovy SOAP clients with ws-lite

Published on 8/21/2014 4 min read

When we needed to quickly build a proof-of-concept to test a set of SOAP services I thought: "this is perfect for Groovy, and it's DSL support will mean talking to SOAP won't require stub generation or any of that pain". I was almost right.

TLDR; My client script is available as a GitHub gist (opens new window) for cannibalisation.

SOAP is almost legacy, but it's still the only way to interface with large enterprise systems, at least in healthcare. Just as I've come to accept that CSV is the way everyone sends lab and patient records (when they're not exporting to Excel sheets), I wasn't surprised when our project with MirthResults and MirthConnect only had SOAP calls to add patients to a component. No problem, I thought, just Google "Groovy SOAP" and I'll be done in 10 minutes.

So, the top result is the Groovy SOAP documentation (opens new window), which does say (although not very obviously) that it's deprecated. That's fine, it suggests its replacement, GroovyWS (opens new window). But that page tells you to 'be careful' because the project is dormant. Not to worry, because it suggests looking at groovy-wslite (opens new window). I'm already feeling like I'm entering the rabbit hole.

Fortunately groovy-wslite is an active project and has commits (at the time of writing) from just over a month ago. The DSL is pretty straightforward so I set about connecting to the target WSDL and then added basic authentication. The documentation for the project is quite sparse, so this post is an attempt to bring together the bits that I needed.

If you need anything other than 'Basic' HTTP autentication, stop right there. The project doesn't seem to support 'Digest' or 'NTLM' authentication, so you might be better going for plain Java SOAP (opens new window).

In a simple script, you can just grab the wslite dependency and connect in a couple of lines:

@Grab(group='com.github.groovy-wslite', module='groovy-wslite', version='1.1.0')
 
import groovy.xml.*
import wslite.soap.*
import wslite.http.auth.*
 
def client = new SOAPClient('https://mirthtest.local:11443/ClinicalDocumentWSService/ClinicalDocumentWS?wsdl')
client.authorization = new HTTPBasicAuthorization("username", "password")

It's then trivially easy to do a SOAP call:

def response = client.send(
		connectTimeout:5000,
		readTimeout:20000,
		useCaches:false,
		followRedirects:false,
		sslTrustAllCerts:true) {
	envelopeAttributes "xmlns:ejb":"http://ejb.results.mirth.com/"
	body {
		"ejb:getSubjectGroupMemberIds" {
			subjectGroupId( 'MySubjectGroup' )
			subjectGroupStatusId( 'NEW' )
		}
	}
}

The response we get back contains a bit of extra information, so it's worth checking the response code before ploughing on:

def returnVal
if(response.httpResponse.statusMessage=="OK") {
	returnVal = response.getSubjectGroupMemberIdsResponse.'return'
}

It's worth noting that the response element is the name of the service call suffixed with 'Response'. We can then dump the XML in a readable form to the console if we like:

println XmlUtil.serialize(returnVal) // Obviously use a logger here instead :)

We can also interrogate the XML tree in the same way we would a normal object structure:

def memberCount = returnVal.results.list.size()
println "There are ${memberCount} members initially"

In the following gist I've abstracted the SOAP call away into its own method and then created a method for each SOAP call to give me a quick and easy interface to demo the SOAP calls from the console. Feel free to fork, copy, adapt to your own needs.

@Grab(group='com.github.groovy-wslite', module='groovy-wslite', version='1.1.0')

import groovy.xml.*
import wslite.soap.*
import wslite.http.auth.*

def client = new SOAPClient('https://dummy:11443/ClinicalDocumentWSService/ClinicalDocumentWS?wsdl')
client.authorization = new HTTPBasicAuthorization("mirth", "password")

// Grab the latest member list
def members = getSubjectGroupMemberIds(client, 'GROUP001', 'NEW').results
def memberCount = members.list.size()
println "There are ${memberCount} members initially"

// Get a patient
def retrievedSubject = getPatientsByFilterWithoutClinicalItems(client, {
    firstName("Bob")
    lastName("Bunting")
    numRows(1)
  }) 
def subjectId = retrievedSubject.results.list.id
println "Subject ID: ${subjectId}, name: ${retrievedSubject.results.list.name.first} ${retrievedSubject.results.list.name.middle} ${retrievedSubject.results.list.name.last}"

// Add the patient to the subjects of interest list (NEW, ACTIVE, EXCLUDED, RETIRED)
println XmlUtil.serialize( createSubjectGroupMember(client, 'GROUP001', 'NEW', 'MYSTATUS', subjectId) )

// Grab the latest member list
members = getSubjectGroupMemberIds(client, 'GROUP001', 'NEW').results
assert  members.list.size() == (memberCount + 1)

println XmlUtil.serialize(members)


// SOAP call methods

def getSubjectGroupMemberIds(client, groupId, groupStatusId){
  doSOAPRequest( client, 'getSubjectGroupMemberIds', {
    subjectGroupId( groupId )
    subjectGroupStatusId( groupStatusId )
  })
}

/**
 * Typically search by forename, surname, dob and gender
 * also by patient alias (NHS # or MRN #)
 **/
def getPatientsByFilterWithoutClinicalItems(client, subjectFilter){
  doSOAPRequest( client, 'getPatientsByFilterWithoutClinicalItems', {
    subjectFilterModel subjectFilter
  })
}


def createSubjectGroupMember(client, groupId, groupStatusId, recFacilityId, patientId){
  doSOAPRequest( client, 'createSubjectGroupMember', {
    subjectGroupId( groupId )
    subjectGroupStatusId( groupStatusId )
    subjectId( patientId )
    receivingFacilityId ( recFacilityId )
    createSubjectGroupMemberExt( 0 ) // '0' causes an update to fail silently if it exists already.
  })
}


/**
 * Do a SOAP request with the given command and payload.
 * Doesn't massage the payload, this method is just to reduce copy/paste for the SOAP request.
 **/
def doSOAPRequest(client, command, commandBody){
  def response = client.send(
                           connectTimeout:5000,
                           readTimeout:20000,
                           useCaches:false,
                           followRedirects:false,
                           sslTrustAllCerts:true) {
    envelopeAttributes "xmlns:ejb":"http://ejb.results.mirth.com/"
    body {
        "ejb:${command}"(commandBody)
    }
  }
  okStatus(response) ? response."${command}Response".'return' : null
}


/**
 * Check that the HTTP response is good.
 * Shamelessly lifted from https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/WEBSVCS/WS-Groovy
 **/
def okStatus( SOAPResponse response ){
  return response.httpResponse.statusMessage=="OK"
}