Zetoc Web Services SOAP Interface

Zetoc SOAP Service Definition

dc:title Zetoc SOAP service  
rslpcd:locator http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/bin/soap/zetocsoap Access point
iesr:interface http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/soap/zetocsoap.wsdl WSDL
dc:type/iesr:AccMthdList soap  
dcterms:accessRights/iesr:AuthList ip Authentication details - see below
rslpcd:administrator Mimas  

[The above metadata properties are according to the JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR) Service Entity description.]

The Zetoc SOAP interface was developed as part of the A2Z project. It is not regarded as a production standard interface into Zetoc and is not formally supported, but informal queries and problems will be answered.

New Fields in Identifier Search Response : 2008-03-07

Four new fields have been added to the Identifier Search Response. They will have values in data harvested from UK PubMed Central, i.e. Zetoc identifiers beginning with 'PM'. These fields, which are defined in the Application Profile are:

Searching Zetoc using SOAP

Search Requests

There are four search requests that replicate the Zetoc Web interface. For the first three request types the start record in the result set may be specified

Search Responses

There are two search responses:

Brief Search Response
Returns the number of hits; the next position in the result set following the results returned; and an array of brief records. The brief record details correspond to the brief records returned via the Zetoc Web interface, including additionally the Zetoc identifier. A maximum of 25 records is returned. To retrieve a full set of hits it is necessary to iterate over the result set with repeated requests.
Identifier Search Response
Returns a full Zetoc record corresponding to the supplied Zetoc identifier

Metadata Properties

The metadata properties supported by the Zetoc SOAP Search Requests and Responses are defined by an Application Profile.


Authentication to use Zetoc via the SOAP interface is controlled by DNS domain and IP check, allowing the same access as for the Zetoc Web interface. Access via Athens is not supported, human intervention not being possible.

It should be noted that the usual Zetoc Terms and Conditions apply. This means that any portal providing access to Zetoc for its end-users must first establish that they are entitled to use Zetoc.

Technical Details


Zetoc SOAP is implemented in C++ using gSOAP. gSOAP is a set of compiler tools that provide a SOAP/XML-to-C++ language binding to ease the development of SOAP/XML Web services and client applications in C++. It has been developed by Prof Robert van Engelen and his team in the Department of Computer Science and School of Computational Science and Information Technology at Florida State University, USA (http://www.cs.fsu.edu/~engelen/soap.html). It is available under a GNU licence from SourceForge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/gsoap2). gSOAP is used to implement several major applications, including Adobe Version Cue, an innovative file-management feature of the recently unveiled Adobe Creation Suite.

Data Mapping

A Mapping from Zetoc SOAP to Zetoc data is available.

Known Problems

Request XML Issues

The Zetoc SOAP underlying software is unable to deal with some XML shorthand constructs. XML that Zetoc SOAP cannot process results in a '500 HTTP Internal Server Error' response.

Search Request Data Value Issues

HTTP Issues

Response Issues

WSDL Issues

Several proprietary SOAP client tools are unsuccessful in using the Zetoc SOAP WSDL file. In these cases it is necessary to set up access to Zetoc SOAP manually without using the WSDL file to generate stub code. Problems include:

7 March 2008