Common issues that lead to SOAP faults (Part II)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Welcome to part 2 of the series of posts that will give tips and tricks on how to deal with SOAP issues. As a SOAP-based web service, AdWords API can be easy to make calls to. At the same time, it can sometimes be difficult to debug the SOAP faults. In the last episode, we discussed how using an invalid Developer token could lead to SOAP faults. Now, below, we'll talk about dealing with missing headers in your SOAP requests.

No Header

New developers are also likely to get the error "The client request did not contain a [header type] header." (Error code 1, 2, 8...).

  • If you get this error, the most obvious reason is that you haven’t mentioned a required SOAP header in your request XML. Each SOAP request requires the following headers: "email", "password", "developerToken", "applicationToken", and "useragent". In addition, you may also need to include the "clientEmail" or "clientCustomerId" header, depending on the API method you’re calling.
  • Another possible reason for getting this error is that you have mentioned all the required headers, but have provided the wrong XML namespace in your XML. For example, if you send the following header request to, you will get the error that email header was missing.
   <email xmlns="">INSERT_YOUR_ EMAIL _HERE</email>
   <!--more nodes-->
  • The best way to fix this issue is to turn on SOAP XML logging and check your SOAP request XML for missing header values. A well-formed SOAP request message looks something like this:
<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="" xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="">
     <applicationToken xmlns="">INSERT_APPLICATION_TOKEN_HERE</applicationToken>
     <developerToken xmlns="">INSERT_DEVELOPER_TOKEN_HERE</developerToken>
     <email xmlns="">INSERT_YOUR_EMAIL_HERE</email>
     <password xmlns="">INSERT_YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE</password>
     <useragent xmlns="">INSERT_YOUR_USERAGENT_HERE</useragent>
     <getAccountInfo xmlns=""/>
If you are using AdWords API code samples, then the headers are mentioned within the source code itself. If you are using an AdWords API client library, then the headers are often mentioned in an appropriate configuration file. The .NET client library uses app.config, the Java and Ruby client libraries use file and APIlity uses authentication.ini to store the header values. The Python library uses auth.pkl. You can inspect these files to see if the required headers are mentioned in the configuration files. Finally, all the client libraries have an appropriate constructor, which can accept the required headers and initialize the library, so you might want to inspect the code that initializes the library as well.

Next time, we'll explore errors related missing API operations and methods.

--Anash Oommen, AdWords API Team