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From "Dunlop, Aaron" <>
Subject RE: HttpServletResponse.setStatus and setContentType
Date Wed, 08 Dec 2004 17:52:52 GMT
Thanks for the suggestion, Yoav, but thus far in my experiments, sendError seems to

--Send "Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8"
--Ignore the content I've written (using ServletResponse.getOutputStream()) and instead send
the generic Tomcat HTML 'Server Error' message. Which of course is even worse for a web service
client, since it's not well-formed XML.... ;-)

I'm trying:


(where writes the XML to the specified OutputStream)

Using sendError(int, String) does effectively the same thing, except with the string message
included in the HTML response.

When I instead tried:

I got the appropriate XML contents back, but with Content-Type set to "text/html;charset=utf-8"
instead of "text/xml"

There must be a way to do this - plenty of people use Tomcat to handle SOAP web services...I'll
check the Axis source and see how they handle it. But any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks again,
Aaron Dunlop

-----Original Message-----
From: Shapira, Yoav []
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2004 5:59 AM
To: Tomcat Users List
Subject: RE: HttpServletResponse.setStatus and setContentType

You know, the JavaDoc for HttpServletResponse#setStatus is pretty clear
on this ;)  Use sendError for errors, setStatus for normal responses.

Yoav Shapira

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Dunlop, Aaron []
>Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:44 PM
>To: Tomcat Users List
>Subject: HttpServletResponse.setStatus and setContentType
>I have a standard HTTP servlet acting as an XML web service endpoint,
>running on an embedded Tomcat 5.0.30.
>I of course use HttpServletResponse.setContentType to specify that the
>response is "text/xml". When the request is successful and I set a 2xx
>response code, the Content-Type header looks as expected. But if an
>is detected and I return an HTTP error code (using setStatus), the
>Type header specifies "text/html;charset=utf-8" instead of "text/xml".
>It doesn't seem to matter whether I call setContentType before or after
>setStatus, and all the 4xx and 5xx codes I've tried trigger this
>I'd just ignore it, but unfortunately, the WSI Basic Profile specifies
>a SOAP fault must return a 500 along with the XML fault. And some
>(ahem... .NET...) seem to choke trying to parse the fault when the
>content-type is returned.
>I didn't find anything in the specs or documentation that indicated to
>that this was required behavior, but perhaps I'm missing something.
>Any ideas?
>Thanks in advance,
>Aaron Dunlop
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