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RPC::XML::Server(3)   User Contributed Perl Documentation  RPC::XML::Server(3)

       RPC::XML::Server - A sample server implementation based on RPC::XML

           use RPC::XML::Server;

           $srv = RPC::XML::Server->new(port => 9000);
           # Several of these, most likely:
           $srv->server_loop; # Never returns

       This is a sample XML-RPC server built upon the RPC::XML data classes,
       and using HTTP::Daemon and HTTP::Response for the communication layer.

       Use of the RPC::XML::Server is based on an object model. A server is
       instantiated from the class, methods (subroutines) are made public by
       adding them through the object interface, and then the server object is
       responsible for dispatching requests (and possibly for the HTTP
       listening, as well).

   Static Methods
       These methods are static to the package, and are used to provide
       external access to internal settings:

           Returns the directory that this module is installed into. This is
           used by methods such as "add_default_methods" to locate the XPL
           files that are shipped with the distribution.

           Returns the version string associated with this package.

           This returns the identifying string for the server, in the format
           "NAME/VERSION" consistent with other applications such as Apache
           and LWP. It is provided here as part of the compatibility with
           HTTP::Daemon that is required for effective integration with

       The following are object (non-static) methods. Unless otherwise
       explicitly noted, all methods return the invoking object reference upon
       success, and a non-reference error string upon failure.

       See "Content Compression" below for details of how the server class
       manages gzip-based compression and expansion of messages.

           Creates a new object of the class and returns the blessed
           reference. Depending on the options, the object will contain some
           combination of an HTTP listener, a pre-populated HTTP::Response
           object, a RPC::XML::Parser object, and a dispatch table with the
           set of default methods pre-loaded. The options that new accepts are
           passed as a hash of key/value pairs (not a hash reference).  The
           accepted options are:

               If passed with a "true" value, prevents the creation and
               storage of the HTTP::Daemon object. This allows for deployment
               of a server object in other environments. Note that if this is
               set, the server_loop method described below will silently
               attempt to use the Net::Server module.

               If passed with a "true" value, prevents the loading of the
               default methods provided with the RPC::XML distribution. These
               may be later loaded using the add_default_methods interface
               described later. The methods themselves are described below
               (see "The Default Methods Provided").

               These four are specific to the HTTP-based nature of the server.
               The path argument sets the additional URI path information that
               clients would use to contact the server.  Internally, it is not
               used except in outgoing status and introspection reports.  The
               host, port and queue arguments are passed to the HTTP::Daemon
               constructor if they are passed. They set the hostname, TCP/IP
               port, and socket listening queue, respectively. They may also
               be used if the server object tries to use Net::Server as an
               alternative server core.

               If you plan to add methods to the server object by passing
               filenames to the "add_method" call, this argument may be used
               to specify one or more additional directories to be searched
               when the passed-in filename is a relative path. The value for
               this must be an array reference. See also add_method and
               xpl_path, below.

               Specify a value (in seconds) for the HTTP::Daemon server to use
               as a timeout value when reading request data from an inbound
               connection. The default value is 10 seconds. This value is not
               used except by HTTP::Daemon.

               If specified and set to a true value, enables the automatic
               searching for a requested remote method that is unknown to the
               server object handling the request. If set to "no" (or not set
               at all), then a request for an unknown function causes the
               object instance to report an error. If the routine is still not
               found, the error is reported. Enabling this is a security risk,
               and should only be permitted by a server administrator with
               fully informed acknowledgement and consent.

               If specified and set to a "true" value, enables the checking of
               the modification time of the file from which a method was
               originally loaded. If the file has changed, the method is re-
               loaded before execution is handed off. As with the auto-loading
               of methods, this represents a security risk, and should only be
               permitted by a server administrator with fully informed
               acknowledgement and consent.

               If this parameter is passed, the value following it is expected
               to be an array reference. The contents of that array are passed
               to the new method of the RPC::XML::Parser object that the
               server object caches for its use.  See the RPC::XML::Parser
               manual page for a list of recognized parameters to the

               If this key is passed, the value associated with it is assumed
               to be a numerical limit to the size of in-memory messages. Any
               out-bound request that would be larger than this when
               stringified is instead written to an anonynous temporary file,
               and spooled from there instead. This is useful for cases in
               which the request includes RPC::XML::base64 objects that are
               themselves spooled from file-handles. This test is independent
               of compression, so even if compression of a request would drop
               it below this threshhold, it will be spooled anyway. The file
               itself is unlinked after the file-handle is created, so once it
               is freed the disk space is immediately freed.

               If a message is to be spooled to a temporary file, this key can
               define a specific directory in which to open those files. If
               this is not given, then the "tmpdir" method from the File::Spec
               package is used, instead.

               you can provide a daemon object here, so RPC::XML::Server will
               not use it's own HTTP::Daemon but your provided daemon object.
               This parameter is optional.

               must be a code reference which will be called before anything
               else happens to the HTTP data stream. It can be used to parse
               the HTTP header for HTTP authentication checks and stuff like
               that.  This callback function will get the request object
               (HTTP::Request) and the connection object
               (HTTP::Daemon::Clientconn) as parameters.  If the callback
               function does not return a true value, no further processing of
               the request will be done.  This parameter is optional.

           Any other keys in the options hash not explicitly used by the
           constructor are copied over verbatim onto the object, for the
           benefit of sub-classing this class. All internal keys are prefixed
           with "__" to avoid confusion. Feel free to use this prefix only if
           you wish to re-introduce confusion.

       url This returns the HTTP URL that the server will be responding to,
           when it is in the connection-accept loop. If the server object was
           created without a built-in HTTP listener, then this method returns

           Returns the number of requests this server object has marshalled.
           Note that in multi-process environments (such as Apache or
           Net::Server::PreFork) the value returned will only reflect the
           messages dispatched by the specific process itself.

           Each instance of this class (and any subclasses that do not
           completely override the "new" method) creates and stores an
           instance of HTTP::Response, which is then used by the HTTP::Daemon
           or Net::Server processing loops in constructing the response to
           clients. The response object has all common headers pre-set for
           efficiency. This method returns a reference to that object.

           Gets and possibly sets the clock-time when the server starts
           accepting connections. If a value is passed that evaluates to true,
           then the current clock time is marked as the starting time. In
           either case, the current value is returned. The clock-time is based
           on the internal time command of Perl, and thus is represented as an
           integer number of seconds since the system epoch. Generally, it is
           suitable for passing to either localtime or to the "time2iso8601"
           routine exported by the RPC::XML package.

           You can call this method to set the timeout of new connections
           after they are received.  This function returns the old timeout
           value.  If you pass in no value then it will return the old value
           without modifying the current value.  The default value is 10

       add_method(FILE | HASHREF | OBJECT)
       add_proc(FILE | HASHREF | OBJECT)
           This adds a new published method or procedure to the server object
           that invokes it. The new method may be specified in one of three
           ways: as a filename, a hash reference or an existing object
           (generally of either RPC::XML::Procedure or RPC::XML::Method

           If passed as a hash reference, the following keys are expected:

               The published (externally-visible) name for the method.

               An optional version stamp. Not used internally, kept mainly for
               informative purposes.

               If passed and evaluates to a "true" value, then the method
               should be hidden from any introspection API implementations.
               This parameter is optional, the default behavior being to make
               the method publically-visible.

               A code reference to the actual Perl subroutine that handles
               this method. A symbolic reference is not accepted. The value
               can be passed either as a reference to an existing routine, or
               possibly as a closure. See "How Methods are Called" for the
               semantics the referenced subroutine must follow.

               A list reference of the signatures by which this routine may be
               invoked. Every method has at least one signature. Though less
               efficient for cases of exactly one signature, a list reference
               is always used for sake of consistency.

               Optional documentation text for the method. This is the text
               that would be returned, for example, by a system.methodHelp
               call (providing the server has such an externally-visible

           If a file is passed, then it is expected to be in the XML-based
           format, described in the RPC::XML::Procedure manual (see
           RPC::XML::Procedure).  If the name passed is not an absolute
           pathname, then the file will be searched for in any directories
           specified when the object was instantiated, then in the directory
           into which this module was installed, and finally in the current
           working directory. If the operation fails, the return value will be
           a non-reference, an error message. Otherwise, the return value is
           the object reference.

           The add_method and add_proc calls are essentialy identical unless
           called with hash references. Both files and objects contain the
           information that defines the type (method vs. procedure) of the
           funtionality to be added to the server. If add_method is called
           with a file that describes a procedure, the resulting addition to
           the server object will be a RPC::XML::Procedure object, not a
           method object.

           For more on the creation and manipulation of procedures and methods
           as objects, see RPC::XML::Procedure.

           Delete the named method or procedure from the calling object.
           Removes the entry from the internal table that the object
           maintains. If the method is shared across more than one server
           object (see "share_methods"), then the underlying object for it
           will only be destroyed when the last server object releases it. On
           error (such as no method by that name known), an error string is

           The delete_proc call is identical, supplied for the sake of
           symmetry. Both calls return the matched object regardless of its
           underlying type.

           This returns a list of the names of methods and procedures the
           server current has published.  Note that the returned values are
           not the method objects, but rather the names by which they are
           externally known. The "hidden" status of a method is not consulted
           when this list is created; all methods and procedures known are
           listed. The list is not sorted in any specific order.

           The list_procs call is provided for symmetry. Both calls list all
           published routines on the calling server object, regardless of
           underlying type.

           Get and/or set the object-specific search path for "*.xpl" files
           (files that specify methods) that are specified in calls to
           add_method, above. If a list reference is passed, it is installed
           as the new path (each element of the list being one directory name
           to search). Regardless of argument, the current path is returned as
           a list reference. When a file is passed to add_method, the elements
           of this path are searched first, in order, before the installation
           directory or the current working directory are searched.

           Returns a reference to an object of the class RPC::XML::Method or
           RPC::XML::Procedure, which is the current binding for the published
           method NAME. If there is no such method known to the server, then
           "undef" is returned. The object is implemented as a hash, and has
           the same key and value pairs as for "add_method", above. Thus, the
           reference returned is suitable for passing back to "add_method".
           This facilitates temporary changes in what a published name maps
           to. Note that this is a referent to the object as stored on the
           server object itself, and thus changes to it could affect the
           behavior of the server.

           The get_proc interface is provided for symmetry.

           Enters the connection-accept loop, which generally does not return.
           This is the "accept()"-based loop of HTTP::Daemon if the object was
           created with an instance of that class as a part. Otherwise, this
           enters the run-loop of the Net::Server class. It listens for
           requests, and marshalls them out via the "dispatch" method
           described below. It answers HTTP-HEAD requests immediately (without
           counting them on the server statistics) and efficiently by using a
           cached HTTP::Response object.

           Because infinite loops requiring a "HUP" or "KILL" signal to
           terminate are generally in poor taste, the HTTP::Daemon side of
           this sets up a localized signal handler which causes an exit when
           triggered. By default, this is attached to the "INT" signal. If the
           Net::Server module is being used instead, it provides its own
           signal management.

           The arguments, if passed, are interpreted as a hash of key/value
           options (not a hash reference, please note). For HTTP::Daemon, only
           one is recognized:

               If passed, should be the traditional name for the signal that
               should be bound to the exit function. If desired, a reference
               to an array of signal names may be passed, in which case all
               signals will be given the same handler. The user is responsible
               for not passing the name of a non-existent signal, or one that
               cannot be caught. If the value of this argument is 0 (a "false"
               value) or the string "NONE", then the signal handler will not
               be installed, and the loop may only be broken out of by killing
               the running process (unless other arrangements are made within
               the application).

           The options that Net::Server responds to are detailed in the manual
           pages for that package. All options passed to "server_loop" in this
           situation are passed unaltered to the "run()" method in

           This is the server method that actually manages the marshalling of
           an incoming request into an invocation of a Perl subroutine. The
           parameter passed in may be one of: a scalar containing the full XML
           text of the request, a scalar reference to such a string, or a pre-
           constructed RPC::XML::request object.  Unless an object is passed,
           the text is parsed with any errors triggering an early exit. Once
           the object representation of the request is on hand, the parameter
           data is extracted, as is the method name itself. The call is sent
           along to the appropriate subroutine, and the results are collated
           into an object of the RPC::XML::response class, which is returned.
           Any non-reference return value should be presumed to be an error

           The dispatched method may communicate error in several ways.
           First, any non-reference return value is presumed to be an error
           string, and is encoded and returned as an RPC::XML::fault response.
           The method is run under an "eval()", so errors conveyed by $@ are
           similarly encoded and returned.  As a special case, a method may
           explicitly "die()" with a fault response, which is passed on

           This method adds all the default methods (those that are shipped
           with this extension) to the calling server object. The files are
           denoted by their "*.xpl" extension, and are installed into the same
           directory as this Server.pm file. The set of default methods are
           described below (see "The Default Methods Provided").

           If any names are passed as a list of arguments to this call, then
           only those methods specified are actually loaded. If the "*.xpl"
           extension is absent on any of these names, then it is silently
           added for testing purposes. Note that the methods shipped with this
           package have file names without the leading "status." part of the
           method name. If the very first element of the list of arguments is
           "except" (or "-except"), then the rest of the list is treated as a
           set of names to not load, while all others do get read. The
           Apache::RPC::Server module uses this to prevent the loading of the
           default "system.status" method while still loading all the rest of
           the defaults. (It then provides a more Apache-centric status

           Note that there is no symmetric call in this case. The provided API
           is implemented as methods, and thus only this interface is

       add_methods_in_dir(DIR [, DETAILS])
       add_procs_in_dir(DIR [, DETAILS])
           This is exactly like add_default_methods above, save that the
           caller specifies which directory to scan for "*.xpl" files. In
           fact, the add_default_methods routine simply calls this routine
           with the installation directory as the first argument. The
           definition of the additional arguments is the same as above.

           add_procs_in_dir is provided for symmetry.

       share_methods(SERVER, NAMES)
       share_procs(SERVER, NAMES)
           The calling server object shares the methods and/or procedures
           listed in NAMES with the source-server passed as the first object.
           The source must derive from this package in order for this
           operation to be permitted. At least one method must be specified,
           and all are specified by name (not by object refernce). Both
           objects will reference the same exact RPC::XML::Procedure (or
           Method, or derivative thereof) object in this case, meaning that
           call-statistics and the like will reflect the combined data. If one
           or more of the passed names are not present on the source server,
           an error message is returned and none are copied to the calling

           Alternately, one or more of the name parameters passed to this call
           may be regular-expression objects (the result of the qr operator).
           Any of these detected are applied against the list of all available
           methods known to the source server. All matching ones are inserted
           into the list (the list is pared for redundancies in any case).
           This allows for easier addition of whole classes such as those in
           the "system.*" name space (via "qr/^system\./"), for example. There
           is no substring matching provided. Names listed in the parameters
           to this routine must be either complete strings or regular

           The share_procs interface is provided for symmetry.

       copy_methods(SERVER, NAMES)
       copy_procs(SERVER, NAMES)
           This behaves like the method share_methods above, with the
           exception that the calling object is given a clone of each method,
           rather than referencing the same exact method as the source server.
           The code reference part of the method is shared between the two,
           but all other data are copied (including a fresh copy of any list
           references used) into a completely new RPC::XML::Procedure (or
           derivative) object, using the "clone()" method from that class.
           Thus, while the calling object has the same methods available, and
           is re-using existing code in the Perl runtime, the method objects
           (and hence the statistics and such) are kept separate. As with the
           above, an error is flagged if one or more are not found.

           This routine also accepts regular-expression objects with the same
           behavior and limitations. Again, copy_procs is simply provided for

   Specifying Server-Side Remote Methods
       Specifying the methods themselves can be a tricky undertaking. Some
       packages (in other languages) delegate a specific class to handling
       incoming requests.  This works well, but it can lead to routines not
       intended for public availability to in fact be available. There are
       also issues around the access that the methods would then have to other
       resources within the same running system.

       The approach taken by RPC::XML::Server (and the Apache::RPC::Server
       subclass of it) require that methods be explicitly published in one of
       the several ways provided. Methods may be added directly within code by
       using "add_method" as described above, with full data provided for the
       code reference, signature list, etc. The "add_method" technique can
       also be used with a file that conforms to a specific XML-based format
       (detailed in the manual page for the RPC::XML::Procedure class, see
       RPC::XML::Procedure).  Entire directories of files may be added using
       "add_methods_in_dir", which merely reads the given directory for files
       that appear to be method definitions.

   How Methods Are Called
       When a routine is called via the server dispatcher, it is called with
       the arguments that the client request passed. Depending on whether the
       routine is considered a "procedure" or a "method", there may be an
       extra argument at the head of the list. The extra argument is present
       when the routine being dispatched is part of a RPC::XML::Method object.
       The extra argument is a reference to a RPC::XML::Server object (or a
       subclass thereof). This is derived from a hash reference, and will
       include these special keys:

           This is the name by which the method was called in the client. Most
           of the time, this will probably be consistent for all calls to the
           server-side method. But it does not have to be, hence the passing
           of the value.

           This is the signature that was used, when dispatching. Perl has a
           liberal view of lists and scalars, so it is not always clear what
           arguments the client specifically has in mind when calling the
           method. The signature is an array reference containing one or more
           datatypes, each a simple string. The first of the datatypes
           specifies the expected return type. The remainder (if any) refer to
           the arguments themselves.

           This is the address part of a packed SOCKADDR_IN structure, as
           returned by "pack_sockaddr_in" in Socket, which contains the
           address of the client that has connected and made the current
           request. This is provided "raw" in case you need it. While you
           could re-create it from "peerhost", it is readily available in both
           this server environment and the Apache::RPC::Server environment and
           thus included for convenience.

           This is the address of the remote (client) end of the socket, in
           "x.x.x.x" (dotted-quad) format. If you wish to look up the clients
           host-name, you can use this to do so or utilize the encoded
           structure above directly.

           Lastly, this is the port of the remote (client) end of the socket,
           taken from the SOCKADDR_IN structure.

       Those keys should only be referenced within method code itself, as they
       are not set on the server object outside of that context.

       Note that by passing the server object reference first, method-classed
       routines are essentially expected to behave as actual methods of the
       server class, as opposed to ordinary functions. Of course, they can
       also discard the initial argument completely.

       The routines should not make (excessive) use of global variables, for
       obvious reasons. When the routines are loaded from XPL files, the code
       is created as a closure that forces execution in the
       RPC::XML::Procedure package. If the code element of a procedure/method
       is passed in as a direct code reference by one of the other syntaxes
       allowed by the constructor, the package may well be different. Thus,
       routines should strive to be as localized as possible, independant of
       specific namespaces. If a group of routines are expected to work in
       close concert, each should explicitly set the namespace with a
       "package" declaration as the first statement within the routines

   The Default Methods Provided
       The following methods are provided with this package, and are the ones
       installed on newly-created server objects unless told not to. These are
       identified by their published names, as they are compiled internally as
       anonymous subroutines and thus cannot be called directly:

           Returns a string value identifying the server name, version, and
           possibly a capability level. Takes no arguments.

           Returns a series of struct objects that give overview documentation
           of one or more of the published methods. It may be called with a
           string identifying a single routine, in which case the return value
           is a struct. It may be called with an array of string values, in
           which case an array of struct values, one per element in, is
           returned. Lastly, it may be called with no input parameters, in
           which case all published routines are documented.  Note that
           routines may be configured to be hidden from such introspection

           Returns a list of the published methods or a subset of them as an
           array of string values. If called with no parameters, returns all
           (non-hidden) method names. If called with a single string pattern,
           returns only those names that contain the string as a substring of
           their name (case-sensitive, and this is not a regular expression

           Takes either a single method name as a string, or a series of them
           as an array of string. The return value is the help text for the
           method, as either a string or array of string value. If the
           method(s) have no help text, the string will be null.

           As above, but returns the signatures that the method accepts, as
           array of string representations. If only one method is requests via
           a string parameter, then the return value is the corresponding
           array. If the parameter in is an array, then the returned value
           will be an array of array of string.

           This is a simple implementation of composite function calls in a
           single request. It takes an array of struct values. Each struct has
           at least a "methodName" member, which provides the name of the
           method to call. If there is also a "params" member, it refers to an
           array of the parameters that should be passed to the call.

           Takes no arguments and returns a struct containing a number of
           system status values including (but not limited to) the current
           time on the server, the time the server was started (both of these
           are returned in both ISO 8601 and UNIX-style integer formats),
           number of requests dispatched, and some identifying information
           (hostname, port, etc.).

       In addition, each of these has an accompanying help file in the
       "methods" sub-directory of the distribution.

       These methods are installed as "*.xpl" files, which are generated from
       files in the "methods" directory of the distribution using the
       make_method tool (see make_method). The files there provide the Perl
       code that implements these, their help files and other information.

   Content Compression
       The RPC::XML::Server class now supports compressed messages, both
       incoming and outgoing. If a client indicates that it can understand
       compressed content, the server will use the Compress::Zlib (available
       from CPAN) module, if available, to compress any outgoing messages
       above a certain threshhold in size (the default threshhold is set to
       4096 bytes). The following methods are all related to the compression
       support within the server class:

           Returns a false value if compression is not available to the server
           object.  This is based on the availability of the Compress::Zlib
           module at start-up time, and cannot be changed.

           Return or set the compression threshhold value. Messages smaller
           than this size in bytes will not be compressed, even when
           compression is available, to save on CPU resources. If a value is
           passed, it becomes the new limit and the old value is returned.

   Spooling Large Messages
       If the server anticipates handling large out-bound messages (for
       example, if the hosted code returns large Base64 values pre-encoded
       from file handles), the "message_file_thresh" and "message_temp_dir"
       settings may be used in a manner similar to RPC::XML::Client.
       Specifically, the threshhold is used to determine when a message should
       be spooled to a filehandle rather than made into an in-memory string
       (the RPC::XML::base64 type can use a filehandle, thus eliminating the
       need for the data to ever be completely in memory). An anonymous
       temporary file is used for these operations.

       Note that the message size is checked before compression is applied,
       since the size of the compressed output cannot be known until the full
       message is examined. It is possible that a message will be spooled even
       if its compressed size is below the threshhold, if the uncompressed
       size exceeds the threshhold.

           These methods may be used to retrieve or alter the values of the
           given keys as defined earlier for the "new" method.

       Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all methods return some type of
       reference on success, or an error string on failure. Non-reference
       return values should always be interpreted as errors unless otherwise

       This began as a reference implementation in which clarity of process
       and readability of the code took precedence over general efficiency. It
       is now being maintained as production code, but may still have parts
       that could be written more efficiently.

       Please report any bugs or feature requests to "bug-rpc-xml at
       rt.cpan.org", or through the web interface at
       <http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=RPC-XML>. I will be
       notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your
       bug as I make changes.

       o   RT: CPAN's request tracker


       o   AnnoCPAN: Annotated CPAN documentation

           http://annocpan.org/dist/RPC-XML <http://annocpan.org/dist/RPC-XML>

       o   CPAN Ratings


       o   Search CPAN


       o   Source code on GitHub


       This file and the code within are copyright (c) 2009 by Randy J. Ray.

       Copying and distribution are permitted under the terms of the Artistic
       License 2.0
       <http://www.opensource.org/licenses/artistic-license-2.0.php>) or the
       GNU LGPL 2.1 (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.php

       The XML-RPC standard is Copyright (c) 1998-2001, UserLand Software,
       Inc.  See <http://www.xmlrpc.com> for more information about the XML-
       RPC specification.

       RPC::XML, RPC::XML::Client, RPC::XML::Parser

       Randy J. Ray <rjray@blackperl.com>

perl v5.12.1                      2010-07-05               RPC::XML::Server(3)

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