My Hobby is Post-Apocalyptic Doomsday Gold

General — Jeff Eske on March 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

It appears that, according to National Geographics “Doomsday Preppers” infographic (see the graphic and a link to the site below), my leatherworking hobby would put me in the top 10 Most Valuable Professions. You have to look pretty hard to find it (HINT: As far down and to the right as you can go).

Would You Survive Doomsday? An Infographic – Nat Geo TV Blogs

Infographic from National Geographic

Infographic from National Geographic

OTRS – Parsing Out the Variables in a SOAP Response

OTRS,Programming,Snippets,Web Services,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on March 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Unlike some web services, the OTRS web services don’t return the values in specific xml tags; it uses generic “s-gensym” tags.  Also, it returns field name within a set of generic tags, followed by the field value in a set of generic tags.  Here’s part of the SOAP response:

<s-gensym1558 xsi:type="xsd:string">PriorityID</s-gensym1558>
<s-gensym1560 xsi:type="xsd:int">3</s-gensym1560>
<s-gensym1562 xsi:type="xsd:string">ServiceID</s-gensym1562>
<s-gensym1564 xsi:type="xsd:string" />
<s-gensym1566 xsi:type="xsd:string">Type</s-gensym1566>
<s-gensym1568 xsi:type="xsd:string">Failure</s-gensym1568>

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?  Here’s an example of one that actually uses the field name as the enclosing tag name.  It makes it easier to understand:

<fusion:ServiceDown><fusion:v>false</fusion:v></fusion:ServiceDown>
<fusion:BusinessUnit><fusion:v>Some Business Unit</fusion:v></fusion:BusinessUnit>

In this example, you can see that the ServiceDown field(fusion:ServiceDown) has a value(fusion:v) of “false”.  With OTRS, every time you run your SOAP request, you some random-ass “s-gensym” field name for everything.

To actually pull the SOAP response data out, you can use a foreach() loop and dump the field names and values into a more useful array.  In addition to that, the array will be setup as a key/value pair, so you can actually get the field value by referring to the field name.  I’m sure that there’s a much better, more elegant method to do the same thing, but this way works.  First the code, then an explanation of what’s going on:

[code]
$ticketInfo = array();
$i = 0;
foreach ($TicketDetails as $name => $value){ 
 if (false !== strpos($name, "s-gensym")){
 $temp[$i] = $value; 
 $v = $temp[$i-1]; 
 if($i % 2 != 0){ 
 $ticketInfo[$v] = $value; 
 }
 $i++;
 }
}
[/code]

Basically, what this code does is take your SOAP response array ($ticketInfo) and run it through a foreach() loop.  The OTRS SOAP response includes to entries for each field.  The first entry is the field name and the second entry is the field value.  So, what I want to do is combine both entries into a key->value pair in an array.

The foreach() explodes the values of the s-gensym variables out and adds the value to 2 different arrays.  This is where the elegance is definitely lacking.  I’m first saving the value into the $temp[] array to refer back to it later.  Then, if the row is divisble by two – basically every other, or every second row, I grab the previous value from temp[] and write it to $ticketInfo[] as the key and write the current value as the value.  What I end up with in the end is an array ($ticketInfo[]) that has the field name as the key and the field value as the value.

You can then pull the desired value by referring to the appropriate key, such as:

$ticket_age = $ticketInfo[Age];
$ticket_title = $ticketInfo[Title];

A simple way to print out all of the values in your array is, again, with the foreach() loop.  All you need is this little piece of code:

[code]
foreach ($ticketInfo as $name => $value){
 echo "<b>".$name.":</b> ".$value."<br>";
}
[/code]

The foreach() will loop through the array and explode out the key/value pairs, then echo them out.  It can be handy for troubleshooting, to see what everything actually looks like in the array.

Jeff Eske

OTRS – Web Services Descriptions and Examples

OTRS,Web Services,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on March 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

The OTRS ticketing system comes with some basic web service functions included by default.  I’ve already done a post about using web services to create a new ticket via TicketCreate(), as well as a post about retrieving an existing ticket via TicketGet().  I’ve also created a page to allow you to search for a ticket using the TicketSearch() function, but I haven’t posted anything about that yet.  I’ve also posted a code snippet that actually helped me considerably when I was troubleshooting exactly what was going on.

What I’d like to do here is just note some observations that I’ve made while messing around trying to figure all of this out.  Hopefully it will be of some use to someone.  As with everything on this site, the Disclaimer holds here to – all I can guarantee is that this stuff worked for me.  What I have listed below is what I’ve determined from trial-and-error, so take it with a grain of salt.  This is almost more to document it for myself than anyone else.

===============

TicketCreate()
Purpose:
Used to create new tickets object (duh!).  Generally, you’ll want to do an ArticleCreate() also, to add some useful information to the ticket.
Required Input Values: TypeID(integer), QueueID(integer), LockID(integer), PriorityID(integer), State(text), CustomerUser(text), OwnerID(integer), UserID(integer).
Optional, but Recommended: Title(text). The title is required, but it seems logical to add one.
Returns: TicketID(integer)

[code]
// PHP code sample for TicketCreate().  Adjust the values as necessary
$TicketID = $client->__soapCall(
 "Dispatch",array($username, $password,
 "TicketObject", "TicketCreate",
 "Title", "Some Title",
 "TypeID", some_typeID_number,
 "QueueID",  some_queueID_number,
 "LockID", 1,
 "PriorityID", some_priorityID_number,
 "State", "new",
 "CustomerUser", "some_user@your_organization",
 "OwnerID", some_ownerID_number,
 "UserID", some_userID_number,
 )
 );
[/code]

===============

ArticleCreate()
Purpose: Add an article to a ticket.  The TicketCreate() function basically just creates a “wrapper” for articles.  The articles provide the content.
Required Input Values: TicketID(integer), ArticleType(text), SenderType(text), HistoryType(text), HistoryComment(text), ContentType(text), UserID(integer)
Optional, but Recommended: From(text), Subject(text), Body(text), Loop(integer), AutoRepsonseType(text), OrigHeader(array)
Returns: ArticleID(integer)

[code]
// PHP code sample for ArticleCreate().  Adjust the values as necessary
$ArticleID = $client->__soapCall("Dispatch", 
array($username, $password,
"TicketObject", "ArticleCreate",
"TicketID", some_ticketID_to_add_article_to,
"ArticleType", "webrequest",
"SenderType", "customer",
"HistoryType", "WebRequestCustomer",
"HistoryComment", "created from PHP",
"From", "some_customer@your_organization",
"Subject", "Some Subject",
"ContentType", "text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1",
"Body", "Some Article Body text",
"UserID", some_userID_number,
"Loop", 0,
"AutoResponseType", 'auto reply',
"OrigHeader", array(
'From' => 'some_customer@your_organization',
'To' =>  'some_customer@your_organization',
'Subject' => 'Some Subject.  Probably the subject from above',
'Body' => 'Some Body text.  Probably the body from above'
),
)
);
[/code]

===============

TicketGet() 
Required Input Values: TicketID(integer)
Returns: Array of Age(integer), PriorityID(integer)ServiceID(integer), Type(text), Responsible(text), StateID(integer), ResponsibleID(integer), ChangeBy(integer), EscalationTime(integer), Changed(date/time), OwnerID(integer), RealTillTimeNotUsed(integer), GroupID(integer), Owner(text), CustomerID(text), TypeID(integer), Created(date/time), Priority(text), UntilTime(integer), EscalationUpdateTime(integer), QueueID(integer), Queue(text), State(text), Title(text), FirstLock(date/time), CreateBy(integer), TicketID(integer), StateType(text), EscalationResponseTime(integer), UnlockTimeout(integer), EscalationSolutionTime(integer), LockID(integer), TicketNumber(integer), ArchiveFlag(text), CreateTimeUnix(unixtime), Lock(text), SLAID(integer), CustomerUserID(text)

[code]
// PHP code sample for TicketGet().  Adjust the values as necessary
$TicketDetails = $client->__soapCall("Dispatch", 
array($username, $password,
"TicketObject", "TicketGet",
"TicketID", some_ticketID_number,
"Extended", 1,
));
[/code]

===============

TicketSearch()
Required Input Values: CustomerUserID(text)
Returns: Array of TicketID(integer), TicketNumber(integer)

[code]
// PHP code sample for TicketSearch().  Adjust the values as necessary
$TicketDetails = $client->__soapCall("Dispatch", 
array($username, $password,
"TicketObject", "TicketSearch",
"CustomerUserID", "some_customers_login",
));
[/code]

One additional thing to note.  Both of the last two functions return arrays of values, rather than a single value.  You might want to look at my post about how to parse the values into a usable array.

Jeff Eske

SEE ALSO:
OTRS – Simple Web Service Example Using PHP,

PHP Script to Display SOAP Requests and Responses,

OTRS – TicketGet() Web Service Example in PHP

OTRS – TicketGet() Web Service Example in PHP

OTRS,Web Services,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on March 5, 2013 at 11:42 am

UPDATED:  I’ve changed employers and have moved on to other projects.  I no longer use OTRS, or have access to OTRS, so I won’t really be able to help you beyond what I’ve already posted here. 

Jeff

Continuing on with my studies of OTRS web services, I’ve created a page that will pull an OTRS ticket back when supplied with the ticket’s ID via GET.  Prior to this I posted how to create a ticket using the OTRS TicketCreate() SOAP function. Basically, you give the page the ticket ID via the URL – http://webserver/get_ticket.php?id=xx. I’ve included a complete ticketGet zip file at the end.  In addition to this example, I have another post explaining how to submit a ticket via web services.

Basically, all that’s required is passing one argument, the TicketID, and you can get back ALL of the ticket details.  It’s actually much more straightforward than I assumed that it would be.  One thing that I noticed is that reading through the OTRS dev documentation, the order that the ticket details are returned is different than what actually comes back.  That’s not really a big deal, since I moved everything into an array, with the various ticket details saved as a key/value pair.  More on that later.  The example that I have here only returns the ticket, but it is possible to return the associated articles also, but that will be for a later post.

The actual soapCall() function looks like this:

[code]
$TicketDetails = $client->__soapCall("Dispatch", 
array($username, $password,
"TicketObject", "TicketGet",
"TicketID", $TicketID,
));
[/code]

All I’m passing in is the SOAP username and password, along with the TicketID.  What it returns then is an XML-formatted response.  My page parses all of the returned values into an array, by using a foreach loop.  There are probably much more elegant solutions, but this works. Because of the way OTRS returns things, my foreach loop is a little janky.  Like I said, there’s probably a more elegant solution.

Without further ado, here’s the foreach loop:

[code]

$ticketInfo = array();
$i = 0;
foreach ($TicketDetails as $name => $value){
    if (false !== strpos($name, "s-gensym")){
        $temp[$i] = $value;
        $v = $temp[$i-1];
        //echo $value."<br>";
        if($i % 2 != 0){
            $ticketInfo[$v] = $value;
        }
        $i++;
    }
}
[/code]

As I said – a little janky.  Anyway, basically what OTRS does it returns the detail’s name as a variable, then the detail’s value as the NEXT variable like: “Age”, “123421”, “Title”, “This is my ticket title”, “TicketID”, “2”, so basically, you get the detail name, then the detail value.  To get these into a usable format, I’m basically creating 2 arrays, $temp[] and $ticketinfo[].  Since I’m simple-minded, the easiest thing for me to do was to create the $temp[] array so that I could basically use it as the “key” array when populating the $ticketinfo[] array.  Then what I’m doing is basically putting things into the $ticketinfo[] array as key/value pairs.  I take the current value – $value and put it in as the value and use the previously returned value, from $temp[], as the key.

I’ve included the complete commented code for the page below.  You can copy/paste it into a new, blank page, or you can download the zipped version of the file below.

[code]
<?PHP
error_reporting(E_ALL);
#### OTRS specific information ####
$url = "http://your_otrs_server/otrs/rpc.pl"; // URL for OTRS server
$username = "SOAP_username"; // SOAP username set in sysconfig
$password = "SOAP_password"; // SOAP password set in sysconfig
$TicketID = $_GET[id];
########################################################################
#### You don't have to change anything below here, although you can ####
########################################################################
#### Initialize new client session ####
$client = new SoapClient(
 null, 
 array(
 'location' => $url,
 'uri' => "Core",
 'trace' => 1,
 'login' => $username,
 'password' => $password,
 'style' => SOAP_RPC,
 'use' => SOAP_ENCODED
 )
);
#### Create and send the SOAP Function Call ####
$TicketDetails = $client->__soapCall("Dispatch", 
array($username, $password,
"TicketObject", "TicketGet",
"TicketID", $TicketID,
));
#### Get the SOAP response into an array as key/value pairs ####
# This is kind of janky, but what it does is parse out the #
# detail values in the SOAP response and writes them as a key/value #
# pair in the $ticketInfo[] array. #
$ticketInfo = array();
$i = 0;
foreach ($TicketDetails as $name => $value){ // explode the xml response
 if (false !== strpos($name, "s-gensym")){
 $temp[$i] = $value; 
 $v = $temp[$i-1]; 
 if($i % 2 != 0){ 
 $ticketInfo[$v] = $value; 
 }
 $i++;
 }
}
##############################################################################
#### The code below here is just to provide viewable proof that it worked ####
#### It can all be commented out or removed ####
##############################################################################
#### Return the SOAP request and response as xml-formatted text ####
print "<pre>\n"; 
print "Request :\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastRequest()) ."\n"; 
print "Response:\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastResponse())."\n"; 
print "</pre>";
echo"<hr width='200'>";
// Spew out the key/value pairs from the $ticketInfo[] array
foreach ($ticketInfo as $name => $value){
 echo "<b>".$name.":</b> ".$value."<br>";
}
?>
[/code]

Here’s the ticketGet zip file.  The formatting is obviously better in that version than what you see above.

Jeff Eske

 

PHP Script to Display SOAP Requests and Responses

Programming,Web Services,Web Stuff — Jeff Eske on March 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

Some time back, while working out web services on another project, I put together a janky little snippet of PHP code that’s actually pretty handy when dealing with SOAP-based web services.  For me, the hardest part of working with web services is trying to figure out exactly what the request needs to look like to work correctly.  The other thing is figuring out exactly what I got back!  This little snippet actually shows you what the xml-formatted SOAP request and SOAP response each look like.  The REALLY nice thing is that it only takes 4 lines of code.

Here’s what it looks like:

[code]
print "<pre>\n";
print "Request :\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastRequest()) ."\n";
print "Response:\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastResponse())."\n";
print "</pre>";
[/code]

Basically, all you do is plug this in after you’ve created your new SoapClient() object and performed the soapCall().  A basic example would look like the code below.  Please note, this isn’t a working piece of code, just an illustration of how it would look.

[code]
$client = new SoapClient(
 some client specifics here
);
$SomeSoap = $client->__soapCall(
  do some SOAP function
);
print "<pre>\n";
print "Request :\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastRequest()) ."\n";
print "Response:\n".htmlspecialchars($client->__getLastResponse())."\n";
print "</pre>";

[code]

What this should get you, when you run the script, is two separate, preformatted lines of text.  The first line will be the XML-formatted request that PHP sent to the web service.  The second line should be the XML-formatted response returned.  Granted, this doesn’t necessarily give you the final format that you need, but it will get you names of all of the XML variables that have been returned.  With that information, you can proceed to find a way to extract the information that you need.

Stay tuned for more on this subject.

Jeff Eske

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