Setting custom SOAP headers in the WCF adapter

While browsing for the answer to the question: “How do I add SOAP-headers to a message sent using the WCF-custom or WCF-basicHttp adapter?” I never really found a good, short answer. So I thought I’d give it a go.

Setting SOAP headers

I assume you know what SOAP-headers are and why you might use them. If not, then back to basics.

In my case the client needed BizTalk to send requests with the WS-addressing SOAP header called “To”. I needed to know the easiest way to do this and preferably using configuration and no orchestrations.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the simplest way to do it.

Using a pipeline

Use a pipeline component to promote this property: http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2006/01/Adapters/WCF-properties#OutboundCustomHeaders.

My guess is that your local BizTalk-code hub already have a pipeline component to promote arbitrary values. If you do not, the code for promoting the property is here.

The only thing to remember is that the value of the property is a bit special. You can hard code the values of your headers, even using xml-formatting; no problem, but you have to surround the value with a <headers> tag.

<headers> 
<h:To xmlns:h="http://www.w3.org/2005/08/addressing">rcvAddr</h:To>
</headers>

This will result in the WCF adapter serializing a SOAP envelope with SOAP headers that contains the value you give between the <headers> tag.

Here is the result in my environment:

image

Using an orchestration

If you already have an orchestration, and want to side-step the age old rule about not mixing the process (orchestration) from the communication (a port), you can set the headers from code. A bit more information can be found here.

What you basically do is setting the property from an assignment shape, much like you would access a FILE.RecieveFileName.

outboundMessageInstance(WCF.OutboundCustomHeaders) = 
"<headers><add:To xmlns:add="http://www.w3.org/2005/08/addressing">rcvAddr</h:To></headers>"

A limitation

Note that this is a promoted message property. This means that you can assign a string with the maximum length of 255. If you need to set a more elaborate header you need to use a message inspector and write your own code. It is a bit tricky but not that hard. Perhaps I will write a post about that some day.