Dead simple Rails 3/4 SOAP server library
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WashOut with EPIC WSDL

This is the modified version of wash_out gem. Thanks to 'inossidabile' for building the original one. Please look at the commits to understand the changes need to be made to make this webservice compatible to the way it is expected by EPIC. Your webservices that are built with original wash_out will work with all the like services out there but will fail with EPIC. Changes have been made here to reflect the strict type and xml checking that happens in EPIC.


WashOut is a gem that greatly simplifies creation of SOAP service providers.

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But if you have a chance, please


Rails >3.0 only. MRI 1.9, 2.0, JRuby (--1.9).

Ruby 1.8 is not officially supported since 0.5.3. We will accept further compatibilty pull-requests but no upcoming versions will be tested against it.

Rubinius support temporarily dropped since 0.6.2 due to Rails 4 incompatibility.


In your Gemfile, add this line:

gem 'wash_out'

Please read release details if you are upgrading. We break backward compatibility between large ticks but you can expect it to be specified at release notes.


A SOAP endpoint in WashOut is simply a Rails controller which includes the module WashOut::SOAP. Each SOAP action corresponds to a certain controller method; this mapping, as well as the argument definition, is defined by soap_action method. Check the method documentation for complete info; here, only a few examples will be demonstrated.

# app/controllers/rumbas_controller.rb
class RumbasController < ApplicationController
  soap_service namespace: 'urn:WashOut'

  # Simple case
  soap_action "integer_to_string",
              :args   => :integer,
              :return => :string
  def integer_to_string
    render :soap => params[:value].to_s

  soap_action "concat",
              :args   => { :a => :string, :b => :string },
              :return => :string
  def concat
    render :soap => (params[:a] + params[:b])

  # Complex structures
  soap_action "AddCircle",
              :args   => { :circle => { :center => { :x => :integer,
                                                     :y => :integer },
                                        :radius => :double } },
              :return => nil, # [] for wash_out below 0.3.0
              :to     => :add_circle
  def add_circle
    circle = params[:circle]

    raise SOAPError, "radius is too small" if circle[:radius] < 3.0[:center][:x], circle[:center][:y], circle[:radius])

    render :soap => nil

  # Arrays
  soap_action "integers_to_boolean",
              :args => { :data => [:integer] },
              :return => [:boolean]
  def integers_to_boolean
    render :soap => params[:data].map{|x| x ? 1 : 0}

  # With a customised input tag name, in case params are wrapped;
  # e.g. for a request to the 'IntegersToBoolean' action:
  #   <soapenv:Envelope>
  #     <soapenv:Body>
  #       <MyRequest>  <!-- not <IntegersToBoolean> -->
  #         <Data>...</Data>
  #       </MyRequest>
  #     </soapenv:Body>
  #   </soapenv:Envelope>
  soap_action "integers_to_boolean",
              :args => { :my_request => { :data => [:integer] } },
              :as => 'MyRequest'
              :return => [:boolean]

  # You can use all Rails features like filtering, too. A SOAP controller
  # is just like a normal controller with a special routing.
  before_filter :dump_parameters
  def dump_parameters
    Rails.logger.debug params.inspect
# config/routes.rb
WashOutSample::Application.routes.draw do
  wash_out :rumbas

In such a setup, the generated WSDL may be queried at path /rumbas/wsdl. So, with a gem like Savon, a request can be done using this path:

require 'savon'

client = "http://localhost:3000/rumbas/wsdl")

client.operations # => [:integer_to_string, :concat, :add_circle]

result =, message: { :a => "123", :b => "abc" })

# actual wash_out
result.to_hash # => {:concat_reponse => {:value=>"123abc"}}

# wash_out below 0.3.0 (and this is malformed response so please update)
result.to_hash # => {:value=>"123abc"}

Reusable types

Basic inline types definition is fast and furious for the simple cases. You have an option to describe SOAP types inside separate classes for the complex ones. Here's the way to do that:

class Fluffy < WashOut::Type
  map :universe => {
        :name => :string,
        :age  => :int

class FluffyContainer < WashOut::Type
  type_name 'fluffy_con'
  map :fluffy => Fluffy

To use defined type inside your inline declaration, pass the class instead of type symbol (:fluffy => Fluffy).

Note that WashOut extends the ActiveRecord so every model you use is already a WashOut::Type and can be used inside your interface declarations.

WSSE Authentication

WashOut provides two mechanism for WSSE Authentication.

Static Authentication

You can configure the service to validate against a username and password with the following configuration:

soap_service namespace: "wash_out", wsse_username: "username", wsse_password: "password"

With this mechanism, all the actions in the controller will be authenticated against the specified username and password. If you need to authenticate different users, you can use the dynamic mechanism described below.

Dynamic Authentication

Dynamic authentication allows you to process the username and password any way you want, with the most common case being authenticating against a database. The configuration option for this mechanism is called wsse_auth_callback:

soap_service namespace: "wash_out", wsse_auth_callback: ->(username, password) {
  return !User.find_by(username: username).authenticate(password).blank?

Keep in mind that the password may already be hashed by the SOAP client, so you would have to check against that condition too as per spec


Use config.wash_out... inside your environment configuration to setup WashOut globally. To override the values on a specific controller just add an override as part of the arguments to the soap_service method.

Available properties are:

  • parser: XML parser to use – :rexml or :nokogiri. The first one is default but the latter is much faster. Be sure to add gem nokogiri if you want to use it.
  • wsdl_style: sets WSDL style. Supported values are: 'document' and 'rpc'.
  • catch_xml_errors: intercept Rails parsing exceptions to return correct XML response for corrupt XML input. Default is false.
  • namespace: SOAP namespace to use. Default is urn:WashOut.
  • snakecase_input: Determines if WashOut should modify parameters keys to snakecase. Default is false.
  • camelize_wsdl: Determines if WashOut should camelize types within WSDL and responses. Supports true for CamelCase and :lower for camelCase. Default is false.


Note that WSDL camelization will affect method names but only if they were given as a symbol:

soap_action :foo  # this will be affected
soap_action "foo" # this will be passed as is


Contributors (in random order)


It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms of MIT license.

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