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Calling the WoRMS webservice from PHP5

This tutorial assumes you are using any webserver with PHP5 installed and working properly.

Step 1: Enable the soap extension in your php.ini

If you downloaded pre-compiled platform binaries, they may have ext/soap compiled in but not loaded, so you'll need to update your PHP configuration to load ext/soap. Edit your php.ini, and look for the Dynamic Extensions section. Add a line (or removed the ';' in front), this will cause the extension to be loaded automatically.

SOAP Extension

  • On Windows: extension=php_soap.dll
  • On UNIX: extension=php_soap.so

If you haven't previously loaded any optional extensions, you may also have to set the extension_dir directive to point to the directory containing the extension libraries, including php_soap, for example: extension_dir="C:/php/ext/" (use forward slashes even on Windows)
Don't try to put directory information in the extension directive; use extension_dir if necessary.


Step 2: Paste the following code in a .php file (this is just an example)
 $client = new SoapClient("http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=soap&wsdl=1");

 $AphiaID=$client->getAphiaID("Solea solea");
 $taxon=$client->getAphiaRecordByID($AphiaID);
 echo "<b>AphiaID</b>: ".$taxon->AphiaID."<br />\n";
 echo "<b>Displayname</b>: ".$taxon->scientificname." ".$taxon->authority."<br />\n";
 echo "<b>URL</b>: ".$taxon->url."<br />\n";
 echo "<b>Accepted name</b>: ".$taxon->valid_name." ".$taxon->valid_authority."<br />\n";
 $class=$client->getAphiaClassificationByID($AphiaID);
 echo "<b>Classification</b>: ";
 show_classification($class);

 function show_classification($class){
  echo $class->scientificname." (".$class->rank.") > ";
  if ($class->child) show_classification($class->child);
 }

Step 3: Run the script

It should return something like this:
AphiaID: 127160
Displayname: Solea solea (Linnaeus, 1758)
URL: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=127160
Accepted name: Solea solea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Classification: Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Pleuronectiformes (Order) > Soleidae (Family) > Solea (Genus) > Solea solea (Species) >

Download this example.