If you are using the IBM i HTTPAPI (LIBHTTP) opensource utilities, you already realize how easy it is to talk to an internet web service from within your IBM i RPG programs but sometimes even the best-laid plans go wrong. 

This is when you need to learn how about the “debug HTTPAPI webservices” function.

  • Webservice programming on IBM i System or
  • How RPGLE talks to websites or
  • Randomly looking for pictures of naked ladies but somehow found yourself here…

Then you have come to the right place. So, lets look at how to debug an RPGLE program, specifically using the HTTPAPI opensource library (also confusingly called “libhttp”) and it’s existing service program procedures.

This sounds daunting but, if you have a passing knowledge of RPGLE then it’s insanely easy with HTTPAPI’s beautiful logging functions.

You may not have realized that after you have run your program, you will have a beautiful log of the entire webservice process stored in an IFS file in your temporary folder — assuming you are running in debug mode of course.

So , in your program make sure you are turning on debug:

// Note: http_debug(*ON/*OFF) can be used to turn debugging
// on and off. When debugging is turned on, diagnostic  
// info is written to an IFS file named /tmp/httpapi_debug.txt
/if defined(DEBUGGING)

and then after you have ran it you can see the results by typing: dsplnk ‘/tmp/httpapi_debug.txt’

You will see a gloriously detailed log that looks something like this:

************Beginning of data**************
Debug webserviceHTTPAPI Ver 1.24 released 2012-01-23
OS/400 Ver V7R1M0

New iconv() objects set, PostRem=819. PostLoc=0. ProtRem=819. ProtLoc=0
http_url_post(): entered
http_persist_open(): entered
http_long_ParseURL(): entered
DNS resolver retrans: 2
DNS resolver retry : 2
DNS resolver options: x'00000136'
DNS default domain: NICKLITTEN.COM
DNS server found:
DNS server found: 10.517.54.222
https_init(): entered
Dump of local-side certificate information:

Dump of server-side certificate information:
Cert Validation Code = 6000
... blah blah blah lots of certificate gubbins ...

Serial Number: 4C:1?:4F:??
Common Name: *.authorize.net
Country: US

Country: US
State/Province: Washington
Locality: Bellevue
Org Unit: Authorize.Net
Org: Authorize.net
Issuer CN: Entrust Certification Authority - L1C
Issuer Country: US
Issuer Org: Entrust, Inc.
Issuer Org Unit: (c) 2009 Entrust, Inc., OU=www.entrust.net/rpa is incorporated by reference
Version: 3
not before: 20120228133909
Unknown Field: 13:39:09 28-02-2012
not after: 20140228210940
Unknown Field: 21:09:40 28-02-2014
pub key alg: 1.2.840.113549.1.1.5

Protocol Used: TLS Version 1
http_persist_post(): entered
http_persist_req(POST) entered.

http_persist_req(POST) entered.
http_long_ParseURL(): entered
do_oper(POST): entered
There are 0 cookies in the cache
POST /soap/v1/Service.asmx HTTP/1.1
Host: apitest.authorize.net
User-Agent: http-api/1.24
Content-Type: text/xml
SOAPAction: https://api.authorize.net/soap/v1/AuthenticateTest... blah blah blah
Content-Length: 449

senddoc(): entered
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi="http://w
recvresp(): entered
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 15:09:04 GMT
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET

... and much much more.

You can see the full SOAP string that you sent and also the full reply you received back.

Debugging RPG has never been so easy.

This is one happy RPG programmer 🙂

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}