PHP Classmaps


When creating a SOAP Client in PHP, you can also set a classmap key in the configuration array. This classmap defines which types defined in the WSDL should be mapped to actual classes, instead of the default StdClass. The reason you would want to do this is because you can get auto-completion of fields and method calls on these classes, instead of having to guess which fields are set on the regular StdClass.

class MyAddress {
    public $country;
    public $city;
    public $full_name;
    public $postal_code; // or zip_code
    public $house_number;

class MyBook {
    public $name;
    public $author;

    // The classmap also allows us to add useful functions to the objects
    // that are returned from the SOAP operations.
    public function getShortDescription() {
        return "{$this->name}, written by {$this->author}";

$soap_client = new SoapClient($link_to_wsdl, [
    // Other parameters
    "classmap" => [
        "Address" => MyAddress::class, // ::class simple returns class as string
        "Book" => MyBook::class,

After configuring the classmap, whenever you perform a certain operation that returns a type Address or Book, the SoapClient will instantiate that class, fill the fields with the data and return it from the operation call.

// Lets assume 'getAddress(1234)' returns an Address by ID in the database
$address = $soap_client->getAddress(1234);

// $address is now of type MyAddress due to the classmap
echo $address->country;

// Lets assume the same for 'getBook(1234)'
$book = $soap_client->getBook(124);

// We can not use other functions defined on the MyBook class
echo $book->getShortDescription();

// Any type defined in the WSDL that is not defined in the classmap
// will become a regular StdClass object
$author = $soap_client->getAuthor(1234);

// No classmap for Author type, $author is regular StdClass.
// We can still access fields, but no auto-completion and no custom functions
// to define for the objects.
echo $author->name;