Rails software development

Ruby, SOAP4R and WSDL

For PeopleHub, we interface with a service provider to process payments with the banks. They, conveniently, have started to provide SOAP services, which is awesome. So, the question for me then, was how to integrate with them.

For some reason, I had trouble getting documentation on SOAP4R. The website itself is quite sparse, and there wasn’t much to see, until I found Ruby + SOAP4R + WSDL at Brendan, much kudos to you.

Basically, using SOAP without using the WSDL to generate code is a right pain the arse. Visual Studio does some nice intgrated stuff that generates code for you, as does the Apache stuff for Java. So, in ruby land, I was lost. Of course, Rails does have ActiveWebService and ActiveResource, but these were for producing services and using REST service from Rails respectively – no good for ad-hoc stuff.

The only thing I would caution the reader about is that although Ruby comes with a version of SOAP4R as part of the standard library, it DOES NOT come with the wsdl2ruby util from the distribution. Follow all of Brendan’s suggestions and you’ll be laughing.

rant software development

Friggin Mambo

I know Mambo has been pretty popular in the past. Personally I never warmed to it, because once I got past the fancy veneer it was excruciatingly difficult for a newbie to discover how to write a >1 page module.

Apparently, I am not alone in that difficulty. For the last week I’ve been trying to get a bit of Mambo work done at my new job and it seems that Mambo developers are so scarce that anyone who is worth their salt has a job in it while no-one else knows diddly about it.

Personally I’d be happier if I could get the sites redeveloped in ANYTHING, but that’s a bit hard when the customer actually likes the admin side of Mambo and sees no reason to change. Can’t blame them for that, really…

Anyway, what a PITA. Thanks to my buddy over at though, things might come good. But why is this ‘big thing’ from a year ago now nothing but a blip on the radar? I guess from the standpoint of a CMS-only website there are new frameworks out there like Drupal, but ferchrissakes, you’d think people would want to cash in those skills for which they worked so hard. Although, from what I’ve seen, it’s not worth the pain.