Quick post on dealing with the seemingly endless parade of meaningless web service errors. 

I am working on a Flex project with a .NET back end (via Web Services, no remoting) and have run into several issue whereby the remote .NET server (.NET 2.x, IIS 6) returns a 500 Internal Server Error to the browser. The browser does not pass along any details of the error (save for the 500 status). 

Flex will report that you've received a Stream Error (#2032) but offers no meat to the error. This has been frustrating the hell out of me. After spending some time trying to determine the root cause and such, I realized there is a MUCH easier way. 

If you're developing Flex applications with a Web Service back end (or other HTTP Services), download and install the free Firefox extension, HttpFox. The extension captures and reports on all HTTP calls...and responses. 

In my case, while the browser (and, thus, HttpFox) still just receives the HTTP 500 Internal Service Error message, I am able to view (and extract) the entire SOAP Envelope XML, something I could not get from Flex. This has been instrumental in problem solving because I can send the SOAP Envelope to the Web Services developer for their review. 

When there is not an error, HttpFox will provide you access to the SOAP Response XML as well. 

In general, I have found this extension to be incredibly helpful with Flex application development. If you're working with Flex and Web Services, give it a try. Hell, it's free :)!


If your using Flash Builder, there is also the built in Network Monitor for viewing SOAP messages.. Not as good as either firebug or httpFox and only captures service calls but you may already have access to it.
Craig Kaminsky
@parker: HttpFox is a different plugin from Firebug. I like Firebug but find it a little less user-friendly when I want to see the XML being transmitted (from the post and response) for these calls. HttpFox, IMO, has a better view and makes reviewing the XML in the call (and the call details) easier than Firebug's NET view.
Is this different or better than Firebug (the Net view)?