I've a large F5 LTM load balancer environment I'm looking after which we are configuring to rate limit requests at a URI level. For human web users we are 302ing them to a busy page, but we also run web services and need to politely tell the soap client to go forth and procreate as well. Not knowing a whole heap about SOAP/XML responses I'm not clear on what we should tell the client. Will a very basic 500 reponse suffice or do we need to craft an legit SOAP response as well?

  • This really depends on how the client deals with the 5xx series message (some will look at the body and handle it as a response, others won't). To be safe, do as wallenborn suggests and return the SOAP Fault message as the body of your 5xx error. – voretaq7 Dec 6 '12 at 21:13

You could combine your 500 with a SOAP Fault message, which allows your clients wrap their request into a try/catch (or whatever their language's mechanism is for dealing with this) and receive a polite "please come back later" message in the caught exception.


Why not send an http 503 or 509 status?


  • well I meant 503 actaully, not 500, my bad. But It was whether the XML content is relevant or we can happily just leave it at a 503 and forget abuot it? – Chris Phillips Jan 13 '12 at 11:24

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