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Using cURL as a SOAP client

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cURL (groks URL) can be used as a SOAP client to send XML SOAP requests to web services. But the problems that I was facing in sending the data directly with the -d switch of curl is that DOS command shell would greet me with an error message:

< was unexpected at this time.

But there is a great way to send data in the POST requests by using the -d switch with the @ symbol. For example to send the xml data in the xmlfilewithdata.xml in the POST request to http://www.somesite.com/thewebservice you could use the following command:
curl -d @xmlfilewithdata.xml http://www.somesite.com/thewebservice

Off go all the errors and there it is …. your SOAP client – cURL!

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Using Certificates with cURL

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The problem: Using Digital Certificates issued by a Certification Authority (CA) with curl.

The situation: I have a .cer (Digital Certificate) file, .pfx (Personal Information Exchange file i.e., the private key for the certificate). I cannot use either of these to authenticate to the web service as curl would not accept these formats.

The solution:
1) Convert it into PEM format (X.509 certificate) using openssl.
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out abcd.pem
Enter a passphrase and a password.
2) Still you cannot use this with curl because you’d get a few errors.
3) Convert this PEM certificate into three different certificates for the client, the private key and the certification authority certificate.
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out ca.pem -cacerts -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out client.pem -clcerts -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in abcd.pfx -out key.pem -nocerts
4) Use the following command:
curl -k https://www.thesitetoauthenticate.com/test -v –key key.pem –cacert ca.pem –cert client.pem:

This stuff is also mentioned on curl forum at http://curl.haxx.se/mail/archive-2005-09/0138.html