SOAP box: accessing VIES from PHP-GTK

With OSInet having a large part of its business with suppliers and customers within the EU at large, I often find myself having to check the validity of the VAT information for third parties, and the EU VIES database comes in handy.

VIES client UI done in PHP-GTKHowever, although I had been discussing remote access using XML-RPC or SOAP as early at 2004 with the database administrators, the UI had remained web 1.0-only until quite recently (apparently march 2007), when an AXIS SOAP service went online, just as I had suggested three years ago. So I figured I really couldn't let the occasion pass, and did a PHP-GTK client to VIES, which happens to be my first production SOAP application in PHP-GTK, previous ones having always been done in Pascal using Delphi or Kylix.

Let's see how this can be done... (code updated 2010-09-21)