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Oracle data access with SOAP

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

Question:  How do I access Oracle data with SQL using SOAP?

Answer:  Oracle SOAP is an implementation of the "Simple Object Access Protocol" an open source extension of Apache. 

Internally, SOAP is just a protocol standard and the communications with Oracle is not direct, like using SQL.  Instead, SOAP calls Oracle indirectly:

  1. You send a SOAP message to the http server (Apache).
  2. The http server, in turn, invokes a process (PL/SQL, Java Stored Procedure).  The Oracle procedure has the Oracle SQL embedded inside it, and this procedure (or function) retrieves the data from Oracle.
  3. Outbound, the data is passed back to the http server, where it can be formatted (i.e. XML) and then sent back to the requesting client as a SOAP message, with the Oracle data inside the message.

Oracle notes that "You may consume web services via SOAP, and use the Oracle Java Virtual Machine or PL/SQL to invoke the remote web service" 

"[Oracle] provides a number of capabilities that make calling an external Web service, from within the database, a reasonably simple task."

Lewis Cunningham also has some tips that suggest that you interface with SOAP indirectly:

"You won't use SOAP to query a specific table for a specific row. If the other database is designed for SOAP, they can probably supply you with a URL where you can UTL_HTTP or AQ to retrieve the SOAP message. "

If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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