About SOAP Messages

Orchestrations communicate with Web services by sending and receiving SOAP messages. SOAP messages are XML (eXtensible Markup Language) documents that are formatted according to the rules of the SOAP specification. (See the World Wide Web Consortium Web site at http://www.w3.org for more information about the SOAP specification.)

SOAP Envelope

A SOAP message consists of a SOAP envelope. The SOAP envelope contains an optional SOAP Header and a required SOAP Body.

SOAP Header

The optional SOAP Header includes application-specific information about how the SOAP message is to be processed. Each Header contains one or more header blocks, which can include message routing and delivery instructions, payment information, authentication credentials, or any other information that relates to processing the data in the SOAP Body.

The SOAP Header can also contain a headerfault message element that usually relates to Header-processing errors.


The required SOAP Body contains the actual message to be processed by the ultimate endpoint. The Body may contain an XML element such as employeeNumber, or an element that maps to the arguments or parameters in a programming method or function.

SOAP Fault

The SOAP Body can also contain an optional SOAP fault, which is used to carry error and status information about a SOAP message. If an error occurs during the processing of a request, a response SOAP message is returned to the sender that contains the SOAP fault in the Body of the message.

Related Topics

Mapping SOAP Header Data