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PHP : Function Reference : XML-RPC Functions

XML-RPC Functions


These functions can be used to write XML-RPC servers and clients. You can find more information about XML-RPC at », and more documentation on this extension and its functions at »


This extension is EXPERIMENTAL. The behaviour of this extension -- including the names of its functions and anything else documented about this extension -- may change without notice in a future release of PHP. Use this extension at your own risk.


No external libraries are needed to build this extension.


XML-RPC support in PHP is not enabled by default. You will need to use the --with-xmlrpc[=DIR] configuration option when compiling PHP to enable XML-RPC support. This extension is bundled into PHP as of 4.1.0.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 338. XML-RPC configuration options

Name Default Changeable Changelog
xmlrpc_errors "0" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 4.1.0.
xmlrpc_error_number "0" PHP_INI_ALL Available since PHP 4.1.0.

For further details and definitions of the PHP_INI_* constants, see the Appendix I, php.ini directives.

Resource Types

This extension defines a XML-RPC server resource returned by xmlrpc_server_create().

Predefined Constants

This extension has no constants defined.

Table of Contents

xmlrpc_decode_request — Decodes XML into native PHP types
xmlrpc_decode — Decodes XML into native PHP types
xmlrpc_encode_request — Generates XML for a method request
xmlrpc_encode — Generates XML for a PHP value
xmlrpc_get_type — Gets xmlrpc type for a PHP value
xmlrpc_is_fault — Determines if an array value represents an XMLRPC fault
xmlrpc_parse_method_descriptions — Decodes XML into a list of method descriptions
xmlrpc_server_add_introspection_data — Adds introspection documentation
xmlrpc_server_call_method — Parses XML requests and call methods
xmlrpc_server_create — Creates an xmlrpc server
xmlrpc_server_destroy — Destroys server resources
xmlrpc_server_register_introspection_callback — Register a PHP function to generate documentation
xmlrpc_server_register_method — Register a PHP function to resource method matching method_name
xmlrpc_set_type — Sets xmlrpc type, base64 or datetime, for a PHP string value

Code Examples / Notes » ref.xmlrpc


You can pass PHP errors with the XML-RPC extension as described here:


To install xml-rpc feature on Windows, you need to have "php_xmlrpc.dll" on your "/extensions" Folder.
And you need to enable it on "php.ini".
You need also library from .
to make your code simply.
Look the examples at .

martin dot rode

To connect to a python xmlrpc server I use:
function do_call($host, $port, $request) {
   $url = "http://$host:$port/";
   $header[] = "Content-type: text/xml";
   $header[] = "Content-length: ".strlen($request);
   $ch = curl_init();  
   curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
   curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
   curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 1);
   curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, $header);
   curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $request);
   $data = curl_exec($ch);      
   if (curl_errno($ch)) {
       print curl_error($ch);
   } else {
       return $data;
$request = xmlrpc_encode_request('add', array(3, 4));
$response = do_call($host, $port, $request);

09-mar-2006 08:47

This XML-RPC Service makes the use XML-RPC very esay.
* function myfun() returns  
*@return array
function myfunc(){
   return $some_array;
$ws = new XML_RPC_Server();
It creates also a simple docu.


This extension does not handle the process of making making XML-RPC client requests via HTTP; it only prepares the XML-RPC request payload.
This differs from many other XML-RPC implementations but offers greater flexibility, allowing SSL connections, authentication headers and XML-RPC via other transports like SMTP.


There's a handy library by Keith Devens (version 2.2.1) at
Here is a sample client. It remotely calls sample.sumAndDifference
with two parameters (3 and 5).
It returns:
sum => 8
difference => -2
include ("kd_xmlrpc.php");
// define("XMLRPC_DEBUG", 0);    // Set to 1 for handy debugging
$method = "sample.sumAndDifference";
$params = XMLRPC_prepare(array(3,5));
$site = "";
$location = "/api/sample.php";
list($success, $result) = XMLRPC_request( $site, $location, $method, $params );
// XMLRPC_debug_print();    // uncomment for debugging
foreach ( $result as $key => $value ) {
         echo(" $key => $value \n");


The PHP XML-RPC project at SourceForge makes life a hell of a lot easier. However, the project uses some function names which are identical to thoses provided by the XML-RPC extention.
If you are on a server with XML-RPC extension compiled in but wish to use the PHP based version then you will have to rename some of the functions.
I notice that sourceforce says there is activity on the project in 2005 but the last release was January 12, 2003.
I recommend that you use this not so friendly PHP extention if available. However this sourceforce project is still a good idea if you don't control which extenions are be available on the server.

jerome delamarche

The documentation lacks an example that shows how to send a fault in a response. Here is how to do it:
$args = array("faultCode" => $errcode, "faultString" => $errmsg);
$resp = xmlrpc_encode_request(NULL,$args);
//echo $resp;

php dot net et athens musician det net

The devshed article and tutorial has been moved to the following url as of July 5, 2006


Refer to the below link for documentation / latest releases of the package.


pear hs an XML_RPC package, if you can't recompile your php:


On "datetime" values:
If you implement an XML-RPC server with these functions and a client calls a method on your server, sending a datetime as parameter (in ISO 8601 format, as specified at, the PHP XML-RPC will pass your registered server method an object as parameter. That object, for example, looks like:
If you do xmlrpc_get_type(obj), it will return "datetime", so presumably that function just returns the value of 'type'. 'scalar' seems to be the on-the-wire representation of the datetime (ISO 8601, exactly as received). 'timestamp' appears to be the ISO value in 'scalar' converted into a normal PHP timestamp (i.e. Unix time_t).
Note on 'scalar': Using a MySQL DB, we did something like  "select blah where start_time >= $obj->scalar ;". That actually worked and returned expected results, so MySQL appears to handle that ISO 8601 format correctly.


Note that you do need the iconv module installed to use the XML-RPC extension (see:


Just a quick addition to my previous xmlrpc_client class: since you cannot use remote methods containing capital letters or methods from subhandlers (like 'system.listMethods()'), I added a 'call(...)' method to the class.
   // this method should be copy/pasted in the
   // xmlrpc_client class
   function call($function)
       $return = NULL;
       $argv = func_get_args();
       array_shift($argv); // remove function argument
       $this->__call($function, $argv, &$return);
       return $return;
   // now, you can also do
   $result = $client->call('system.listMethods');
   $sum = client->call('add', '1', '2');


It took me a while to get a client together without external libraries.  This very basic client/server pair works on my home set-up - hopefully it will save the next xml-rpc virgin some grief.
/* clienttest.php */
function do_call($host, $port, $request) {

$fp = fsockopen($host, $port, $errno, $errstr);
$query = "POST /home/servertest.php HTTP/1.0\nUser_Agent: My Egg Client\nHost: ".$host."\nContent-Type: text/xml\nContent-Length: ".strlen($request)."\n\n".$request."\n";
if (!fputs($fp, $query, strlen($query))) {
$errstr = "Write error";
return 0;
$contents = '';
while (!feof($fp)) {
$contents .= fgets($fp);
return $contents;
$host = 'localhost';
$port = 80;
$request = xmlrpc_encode_request('cycle', 'egg');
$response = do_call($host, $port, $request);
/* do something with $response, e.g. print it */
/* servertest.php */
function lifecycle($method, $params) {
/* $method = 'cycle', $params = (array of) request parameter(s); $data is also passed from xmlrpc_server_call_method, if we had any data to pass */
switch($params[0]) {
case 'egg':
$reply = 'All eggs will be birds one day.';
$reply = 'That must have been an otheregg';
return $reply;
$server = xmlrpc_server_create();
/* register the 'external' name and then the 'internal' name */
xmlrpc_server_register_method($server, "cycle", "lifecycle");
$request = $HTTP_RAW_POST_DATA; // no you don't need 'always on', and no $_POST doesn't work.
/* the parameters here are 'server, xml-string and user data'.  There's supposed to be an optional 'output options' array too, but I can't get it working :( hence header() call */
$response = xmlrpc_server_call_method($server, $request, null);
header('Content-Type: text/xml');
print $response;

giunta dot gaetano

If you need to use this extension but are stuck on a server where it can not be installed, the php-xmlrpc library found at includes an emulation layer that aims to be 100% compatible with the API of the native extension (as part of the "extras" package since version 0.2).
This means your code should be able to run unmodified on top of the php-xmlrpc library. Of course performance will be at least an order of magnitude worse...


If you need a tutorial on the XML-RPC-Extension go to devshed:


If anyone is interested in making XMLRPC requests directly from the client, I have been able to get xmlrpc to
work with vcXMLRPC javascript backend.
After about 1 week of scanning the market, I found this solution to be the best on Javascript back end.  It uses the Microsoft.HTTP activeX control for IE, or HTTPRequest Object for Mozilla.
You include vc(Virtual Cowboys) vcXMLRPC.js file into your pages and make the rpc calls from with javascript to create the requests.
It works both ways.
Two Notes:
I have tested it on IE 6.02 and you need to change lines in ProcessRequest :
function to read:
 dom = this.getObject("XMLDOM",http.responseText);
and change the getObject function to use the latest ActiveX Control:
MSXML2.XMLHTTP.3.0  (or 4.0)
MSXML2.DOMDocument.3.0  (or 4.0)
The controls are found on MSDN in the Web Services -> XML area.
As another note, you DO NOT NEED the rpcproxy.cgi script to use this.  That is a proxy script to get around JS Security.  You can use PHP to build the proxy.  But, I was able to get the CGI working with GCC compiler on Solaris (change the -KPCI, depend and -x03 optimizer settings in the Makefile )


I use the following code (requires the overload extension) to make developing clients easier:
include("utils/utils.php"); // from xmlrpc-epi utils
   $client = new xmlrpc_client("http://localhost:7080");
   print $client->echo('x')."\n";
   print $client->add(1, 3)."\n";
class xmlrpc_client
   var $url;
   var $urlparts;
   function xmlrpc_client($url)
       $this->url = $url;
       $this->urlparts = parse_url($this->url);
       foreach(array('scheme', 'host', 'user', 'pass', 'path',
                     'query', 'fragment')
               as $part) {
           if (!isset($this->urlparts[$part])) {
               $this->urlparts[$part] = NULL;
   function __call($function, $arguments, &$return)
       $requestprms['host'] = $this->urlparts['host'];
       $requestprms['port'] = $this->urlparts['port'];
       $requestprms['uri'] = $this->urlparts['path'];
       $requestprms['method'] = $function;
       $requestprms['args'] = $arguments;
       $requestprms['debug'] = 0;
       $requestprms['timeout'] = 0;
       $requestprms['user'] = NULL;
       $requestprms['pass'] = NULL;
       $requestprms['secure'] = 0;
       $result = xu_rpc_http_concise($requestprms);
       if (is_array($result) && isset($result['faultCode'])) {
           print('Error in xmlrpc call \''.$function.'\''."\n");
           print('  code   : '.$result['faultCode']."\n");
           print('  message: '.$result['faultString']."\n");
           return false;
       $return = $result;
       return true;

john # curioussymbols com

I couldn't make the 'xmlrpc_errors' php.ini setting do anything
noticeable (PHP 4.3.11), so I used the following code to report errors
from my XMLRPC server. Hope it's helpful for someone.
function return_xmlrpc_error($errno,$errstr,$errfile=NULL,$errline=NULL
global $xmlrpc_server;
if(!$xmlrpc_server)die("Error: $errstr in '$errfile', line '$errline'");
header("Content-type: text/xml; charset=UTF-8");
,'faultString'=>"Remote XMLRPC Error from
 ".$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'].": $errstr in at $errfile:$errline"
In my server function, I just trigger_error("message",E_USER_ERROR)]
if something can't be completed.
Then on the client side,
$data =& xmlrpc_decode($response['body']);

mistcat attyatatat phreaker dootttt net

Hope this saves somone some frustration:
As of php 4.3.1 and xmlrpc-epi-php-0.51 php would return a content type text/html instead of text/xml in its responses.  this is a bad thing.  Perl's XMLRPC::Lite for instance will not like you if you do this.  Happily the solution is simple:
header("Content-Type: text/xml");
Happy Hunting.


A little snippet to implement OO XML RPC Server.
File RPCPlugin.php :
class RPCPlugins {

private $plugins;

function __construct ($pathname, $rpcServer) {
$d = dir($pathname);
while (($file = $d->read()) !== false) {
if (ereg('(.*)\.php$', $file, $regs)) {
include_once ($pathname . '/' . $file);
$this->plugins = new $class($rpcServer);

class RPCPlugin {

private $_rpcServer;

function __construct($rpcServer) {
$this->_rpcServer = $rpcServer;

$methods = get_class_methods($this);

foreach ($methods as $method) {
if (substr($method, 0,1) != '_') {
xmlrpc_server_register_method($rpcServer,get_class($this) . "." . $method,array(&$this,$method));


An example of plugin in plugins/Test.php  :
class Test extends RPCPlugin {

function HelloWorld ($method, $params) {
return "Hello World --->>" . $params[0];

Now the real server :
require_once 'RPCPlugin.php';

$rpcServer = xmlrpc_server_create();

$plugins = new RPCPlugins(realpath('plugins/'), $rpcServer);

$resp = xmlrpc_server_call_method($rpcServer,$HTTP_RAW_POST_DATA,null);
if ($resp) {
header ('Content-Type: text/xml');
echo $resp;
Then you can call ethod by classname.method.
For this sample Test.HelloWorld


here's how to install it on windows (so it actually works):
- php.ini > enable "php_xmlrpc.dll" in extensions.
- php.ini > make sure "extension_dir" is set correctly to find the dll in your php installation dir /extensions.
- copy iconv.dll from your php install dir /dlls to a directory in your path (ex: c:/windows).
if you got some errors while launching apache prior to trying this I suggest you reboot your machine first... sounds weird I know, but remember... you're running Windowz.
Have fun

keithno dot spamthornhill

for others attempting the same thing, here is what a function would look like if you wanted to send a base64 encoded file from a client and then save it onto the server. the other code necessary to call this function via an RPC is available in other comments so i won't repeat it.
1 - name of file
2 - base64 encoded data of file
note the use of $file_data->scalar
function sendFile($method_name, $params, $user_data) {
$file = "/somedir/" . $params[0];
$file_data = $params[1];
$fh = @fopen($file, "wb");
if ($fh) {
if (@fwrite($fh, $file_data->scalar)) {
$msg = "success msg";
} else {
$msg = "couldn't write to file";
return $msg;
} else {
return "couldn't open file";


For a really easy way to use this XML-RPC extension take a look at
XML-RPC Class Server (
It automatically creates servers out of PHP classes. Creating clients is almost as easy, especially with the recent addition of the overload extension to PHP (see


Anyone interested in PHP-GTK talking to an XML-RPC server:


An alternative XML-RPC implementation is available at - it's written in PHP so you can use it on servers for which you don't have the luxury of rebuilding PHP on.


An alternative to $HTTP_RAW_POST_DATA use :
$request = file_get_contents('php://input');


Adding to what giunta dot gaetano at sea-aeroportimilano dot it and astrolox at lawyersonline dot co dot uk said about the Sourceforge PHP XML-RPC project: You can probably use function_exists() to determine whether the extension is installed so you don't have to incur performance costs. If it's not installed, then the function won't exist, and function_exists() returns false. You can then fall back on the alternative library if that's the case. For example:
if(!function_exists("xmlrpc_server_create")) {
   // include necessary files.


"Latest releases" is a bit redundant, since this extension is bundled into PHP (as of 4.1.0).  You don't need to download anything from sourceforge to make this work.  Just compile PHP with the --with-xmlrpc flag.
The site is useful, however, for documentation.

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