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How to determine Method array content?

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I'm going to pick on Web Services Business Methods because it is probably one of the more common WS operations for people to integrate, however this applies to any method that takes an array.

I'm hoping there is some "best practice" stuff out there or some one has a little known trick to ease the kludgyness of creating integrations for CA products.... Whenever I start working on a new integration I always seem to get hung up on these arrays: attrVals, propertyValues, attributes.

What I am wondering is how others fill these things...

  1. When you decide to use a method, what do you do to determine what fields you want to set outside of the required fields? Is there some way to just use another method and return all possible settable keynamess for that method type's arrays?
  2. Once you have determined what fields you want to use in a method, how do you know what type of value you need to send (Handle, field name, a DB field name, an object layer object name) ? 
  3. Once you determine the type of the value, how do you pull or find the actual string value you need to send in the array?

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