Everybody knows the a SOAP API is a horrid thing to work with, even a well designed one. But everybody also knows that SOAP is going to be around for a while.
Recently, while working with the ExactTarget SOAP API in Python, I figured out another helpful trick with SUDS, which is the main python SOAP wrapper.
Let me preface this by saying that suds is not a great library; particularly, it was written by and for people from another era of web development and does not stand up to today's needs. Why doesn't somebody write a better one? because everyone who does modern web dev hates SOAP in the first place.
But anyway, one annoying feature of suds is that when you create an object from its object factory, it always fills in all properties with an empty string, even those that are optional and have sane defaults. So essentially, it breaks all objects right out of the gate, forcing you to go through one by one and choose those sane defaults explicitly.
However, there's another way - for any properties that are giving you trouble in this fashion, just delete them after creating the object:
Suds will then not send the property, allowing the API server to choose the sane default.