Exploring the Pipeline Class Using Web Services Enhancements SP2
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Published: 05 Jan 2006
Unedited - Community Contributed
This article shows the working of Pipeline class using Web Services Enhancements SP2. The author examines the properties and methods with the help of examples.
by Jayaram Krishnaswamy
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This article specifically deals with exploring the properties and methods of the Pipeline Class. However, knowledge of the WSE architecture is important since incoming and outgoing messages pass through the Pipeline. The input and output filters constitute the Pipeline. Details of Pipeline class are not documented sufficiently in the WSEREF [Web Services Enhancements Reference Document]. The author has interrogated the class members in the preparation of this explorative tutorial. Also it may be noted that SP3 has been recently released.

Communication with messages is central to web services, and therefore there is a strong reason to understand how messages are formed and processed. The distributed messaging that is at the heart of interoperability, would bring in a set of complications, such as different methods of transport; requirements for processing messages at intermediate points etc


There are several contexts, in which the word pipeline is used, such as the HTTP Pipeline, the BizTalk pipeline, the commerce server pipeline, etc. However, in the context of WSE2.0, Pipeline refers to the constructs involved in processing incoming and outgoing messages from a web service, or a SOAP Node. The incoming and outgoing messages are filtered to get at the information contained in the SOAP headers. This functionality for the incoming/outgoing messages is handled by the input and output filters as shown in this picture from Microsoft's WSE2.0 documentation. However, additionally there may be several intermediaries that function both as a receiver and a sender.

Message processing is handled by the pipeline in conjunction with the SoapContext class. It is through the use of SoapContext the user accesses the Filter functions. The default filters in WSE2.0 are the following:

·         Diagnostics

·         Security

·         Referral

·         Policy

·         TimeStamp

Two separate arrays of objects, SoapInputFilter and SoapOutputFilter that filters the SOAP messages are contained in the Pipeline class. These arrays are contained in the SoapInputFilterCollection and SoapOutputFilterCollection classes. These filters are independently included in the several other namespaces in WSE2.0. The orders in which the incoming message or, the outgoing message face the filters before they get filtered are different. Also it is possible to customize the pipeline so as to include/omit the default filters, or add custom filters. WSE2.0 also supports ordering the filters. These functionalities offered by the various methods cuts down the overhead in processing messages and helps optimization. It may also be noted that all filters are enabled by default on the web service. On the web client such default enabling is contingent upon the client proxies deriving from the WebServicesClientProtocol class.

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