Getting Off the Ground with Magento API

31 July 2017 |

magento-api

Magento is one of the top shopping platforms that are widely used by merchants all over the world. This e-Commerce solution powers over 26% of all online stores worldwide, and the number of merchants using this cart is growing very quickly. Being integrated with Magento is beneficial for businesses and services of different kinds, as it turns all the 240k+ users into their potential customers.

Integration with Magento requires working with its API (Application Programing Interface), and this article is going to give you an overview of what you will have to deal with if decided on connecting to this cart. For the convenience of developers, Magento API is available in both REST and SOAP. Let’s take a closer look at each option.

Magento REST API

In simple terms, REST API defines a set of functions to which the developers can perform requests and receive responses. It uses the HTTP protocol to perform the data interaction and can be used for basically any programming language.

The API makes it possible for you to manage products, sales orders, inventory, customers and their addresses. It supports both XML and JSON and works with such four main HTTP methods as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. An important concept of REST API architecture is that different HTTP request methods perform different actions when applied to the same URL.

In order to make API calls, you will have to authenticate your identity and have all the necessary permissions to access the API resource. Authentication allows Magento to recognize the caller's user type and and define API calls' resource accessibility based on their access rights.

There are two steps that are required if you want to utilize Magento REST API:

  1. You need to set up permissions for REST resource operations from Magento Admin Panel.
  2. You must configure the attributes for different user types in Magento Admin Panel. There are 3 various types of users accessing the data:
  • Admin as the backend logged in user;
  • Customer as the fronted logged in user;
  • Guest as a non-logged in fronted user.

Magento SOAP API

Many developers and programmers consider SOAP to be too tricky, and thus prefer to work with REST. Nevertheless, let’s briefly overview this type of Magento API. In a few words, it enables you to make calls for work with such resources as products, categories, customers, and sales orders as well as allows you to operate shopping carts and inventory. SOAP is the default protocol of Magento API, but shopping platform also supports XML-RPC as an option.

Here are the basic API methods that can be called from your SOAP or XML-RPC client:

MethodDescriptionReturn value
startSession()Start the API session and return session ID.string
endSession(sessionId)End the API session.boolean
login(apiUser, apiKey)Start the API session, return the session ID, and authorize the API user.string
call(sessionId, resourcePath,array arguments)Call the API resource that is allowed in the current session. See Note below.mixed
multiCall(sessionId, array calls,array options)Call the API resource’s methods that are allowed for current session. See Notes below.array
resources(sessionId)Return a list of available API resources and methods allowed for the current session.array
globalFaults(sessionId)Return a list of fault messages and their codes that do not depend on any resource.array
resourceFaults(sessionId, resourceName)Return a list of the specified resource fault messages, if this resource is allowed in the current session.array

In order to connect to Magento SOAP or XML-RPC web services you need to load the WSDL (Web Services Description Language) from one of the URLs list below (where “magentohost” is the domain for your Magento host.).

For SOAP:

  • http://magentohost/api/?wsdl
  • http://magentohost/api/soap/?wsdl

For XML-RPC:

  • http://magentohost/api/xmlrpc

If you want to explore more information about Magento API and how to work with it, visit the documentation provided by the platform.

Bottom Line

To summarize all the above-mentioned, Magento API is a helpful piece of code that enables to get access the data of a particular store and retrieve the information on products, orders, categories, customers, etc. to create robust and useful apps. Ready integration with this shopping platform is indeed great, but there are some difficulties you will face when developing it.

API2Cart is a solution that will help you to avoid much of this unpleasant experience. It is integrated with Magento and allows you to get all the necessary data and perform operations with orders, customers, products, etc. Moreover, Magento is not the only e-Commerce platform that service works with. It is integrated with 30+ popular platforms such as Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, PrestaShop, etc. which means that by integrating once you get a possibility to work with all those top shopping carts with no pain.

Have a look at API2Cart documentation to explore a more detailed information on how it works. Do not hesitate to schedule a FREE consultation if you have any questions regarding the work of the service.