In this article, we shed light on how to import and export data between Magento 2 and other systems using WADL. Let’s define the standard and describe the Magento 2 WADL import & export. You can also check how to transfer WSDL between your e-commerce store and other systems.'
Table of contents
- 1 WADL Definition
- 2 WADL Format
- 3 WADL vs. WSDL
- 4 Magento 2 WADL Import & Export
- 5 WADL Purpose
- 6 Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension Features
- 6.1 Automated Import & Export
- 6.2 Advanced Mapping Features
- 6.3 Extended Connectivity Options
- 7 Final Words
The Web Application Description Language or simply WADL is a machine-readable XML description used for HTTP-based web services. WADL works as follows: first of all, it models the resources provided by a service; then, defines the relationships between them.
Such a nature of WADL provides the ability to simplify the reuse of web services based on the HTTP architecture. Besides, it enables the reuse of apps beyond the primary sphere of application in a web browser.
As for the WADL format, it is quite simple, including the following elements:
A set of resource elements describes the service. Next, param elements available in each resource describe the inputs. Besides, method elements are used, describing the request and response of a resource.
In its turn, the request element specifies a particular way of the input representation, showing what types and specific HTTP headers are required.
As for the response, it describes the representation of the service’s reply and provides any fault information to solve errors.
WADL vs. WSDL
Now, when you know the essentials of WADL, let’s compare it with WSDL.
While the Web Service Description Language is an XML vocabulary used to describe SOAP-based web services, the Web Application Description Language is also an XML vocabulary but designed for RESTful web services. Both vocabularies enable a generic client to load a WADL/WSDL file accessing the full functionality of the corresponding web service. While WADL is used for expressing the behavior of HTTP resources, WSDL describes the SOAP-based RPC-style services.
Use WADL for RESTful and hybrid services. With a corresponding file, you can find out the following information:
- Which URIs to visit,
- What data to provided to URIs
- What data to get from them.
Thus, a WADL library enables you to parse the file to model the space of possible service requests in the form of a native language API.
Magento 2 WADL Import & Export
To enable the Magento 2 WADL import and export processes, you need our extension with a few customizations. Soon, we will prepare an add-on, but every WADL and API behind it are unique, so they require some custom development evaluation. Therefore,
The Improved Import & Export extension utilizes the principle of PHP parsers to enable integration. Thus, the extension acts as a simple WADL converter which takes a WADL file and outputs class files ready to use. Since XML files are utilized, check how this format is used by our extension: How to import XML to Magento 2. We shed light on the XML import processes, providing data useful for a better understanding of the Magento 2 WADL integration.
What is the primary purpose of WADL? This XML vocabulary is used to define a contract, which, in its turn, specifies how one party can call another. Try to avoid using WADL when you create a web app from scratch or do other simple things, but when you integrate complex enterprise systems together, get a strictly defined communication contract. Yes, you need WADL to achieve this goal.
Every time you cannot contact the developers of an external system or application, have to deal with a legacy platform, or whatsoever, a contract lets you avoid numerous headaches. WADL not only enables communication via contracts but also clarifies it as much as possible.
Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension Features
Now, when you are informed about the critical aspects of WADL and know how to integrate Magento 2 with other systems using the standard, let’s take a look at features provided by Improved Import & Export, which simplify any data transfer to and from your e-commerce store. Our extension completely revamps the default import and export functionality of the platform, so you get an absolutely new way of data transfers, which helps you avoid many issues associated with the built-in tools.
The default instruments don’t let you do the following things:
- Transfer data via WADL
- Establish API connections;
- Automate data transfers;
- Map attributes;
- Leverage import/export of all entities.
As a result, it is necessary to repeat numerous processes every time a data transfer between Magento 2 and other systems is required. Usually, you have to recreate changes applied to your e-commerce store on an external platform manually. Since the integration requires multiple updates per day, it turns into a complete waste of time. But the problem can be easily solved with the help of a more reliable solution.
The Improved Import & Export extension allows transferring all information from Magento 2 to external systems and back. Note that all processes are automated: relax while the plugin transfers data, matches different external attributes and their values from one system to another, leverages multiple API connections in the integration working with all entities — the Magento 2 whatever integration becomes a breeze with our module.
Automated Import & Export
If your integration is a continuous process that requires advanced automation, Improved Import & Export provides the ability to avoid daily duties related to data transfers via schedules and event-based triggers. Use both to simplify your WADL integrations.
Schedules represent the most intuitive and straightforward way of automation in different data transfers, including the Magento 2 WADL integrations. The flow of information between the two systems is based on cron. You specify a time interval and the extension imports/exports updates according to it letting you create fully independent import and export jobs with several different options:
- custom intervals,
- customizable, predefined update schemes,
- profiles with no schedules (which are suitable for maintaining such tasks as migration to Magento 2),
- and asynchronous data transfers (launch every scheduled profile manually whenever you want).
Event-based triggers are another huge improvement provided by the Improved Import & Export extension. They introduce a more flexible approach to the Magento 2 WADL integration exchanging data in real time. Use the following algorithm to automate data transfers between the two systems:
- Create a trigger;
- Connect it to an event;
- Link an action to a trigger to launch it automatically.
Thus, transferring data to an external system with the help of a trigger dramatically simplifies the integration. When something happens in Magento 2, the plugin transfers the corresponding data to it.
For instance, a customer creates an account on your website; the extension rapidly provides the corresponding data to a CRM platform. The module will help you forget about creating similar schemes manually! Follow the link below for more information regarding triggers: How to Run Magento 2 Import or Export After Specific System Event or Process.
Advanced Mapping Features
Map external attributes to ones used in Magento 2 and vice versa to enable automated data transfers between the two systems. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension radically simplifies the Magento 2 whatever integration via WADL in terms of attributes and their values with the help of the following features:
Use our module to solve the problem of different attribute standards without headaches and enable Magento 2 integration with external systems in the most intuitive way with mapping presets – predefined mapping schemes that eliminate manual attributes matching.
You no longer need to look for unsupported attributes and fix them. Our extension performs all the necessary improvements automatically. It analyzes the input data transferred from external systems, discovers third-party attributes, and matches them to the ones used in Magento. As for export processes, the module knows what attributes are required by a particular external system and modifies ones utilized in Magento according to its rules. You only need to select a matching scheme suitable for your migration:
Importing/exporting data between an external system and Magento 2 can also be based on manual attributes mapping right in the Magento admin! The Improved Import & Export module provides a unique matching interface which offers full control over the process: you specify external (internal) attributes and link them to the corresponding internal (external) ones in a particular grid enabling the data transfer. Here is how everything works:
Attribute Values Mapping
The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension offers a separate interface for attribute values mapping that provides the ability to simplify the Magento 2 whatever synchronization and automate it entirely even if you use WADL. With our plugin, third-party designations will no longer interrupt transfers to Magento 2 since you can choose an external value and specify its replacement. Repeat the procedure until all third-party designations are mapped to ones utilized in Magento 2. Note that the created schemes are saved and applied for further updates. For more details, read this article: Attribute Values Mapping.
Attribute Values Editing
If attribute values mapping is not enough, you can rely on attribute values editing. Transferring data from other systems to Magento 2 can be automated with the ability to modify attribute values in bulk. Use the following rules:
- Add a prefix to multiple attribute values;
- Add a suffix to numerous attribute values;
- Split various attribute values;
- Merge many attribute values.
Note that you can combine them and create conditions increasing the efficiency of the applied changes. You can find more information in this article: How to Modify Attribute Values During Import and Export in Magento 2.
Category mapping dramatically simplifies all integrations, which include product data transfers. With the help of this feature, you can match external categories to ones used internally, reducing the number of difficulties that usually occur when products are transferred from other platforms to Magento 2. The Improved Import & Export module allows mapping external product categories to ones used in your catalog as follows:
To create new categories right in the import job, choose a parent category, and specify a new one that will be generated automatically. Thus, the extension will link products to it during the import process. If your Magento 2 website doesn’t include a category from an imported file, it’s no longer a problem. You can find more information about this feature here: Category Mapping.
Attributes On The Fly
And if a data file provided from an external system lacks attributes, the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension lets you create them on the fly via the following general form:
The feature is described here in more detail: Product attributes import.
Extended Connectivity Options
The fundamental aspect of the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension that enables numerous new integrations is support for additional connectivity options. Designed to improve all data transfers and make seamless connections possible, they include multiple file formats and several alternative ways of transferring data between your e-commerce store and external systems.
Multiple File Standards
Most integrations are based on data files, but Magento supports CSV only. The Improved Import & Export extension dramatically extends the default abilities by adding XML, JSON, ODS, and Excel. Besides, it unpacks file archives automatically while the default tools work with uncompressed CSV files only! And the XML support enables WADL integration!
Multiple File Sources
The following file sources can be leveraged to import and export data files between Magento 2 and external systems:
- FTP/SFTP. Transfer data files using a local or remote server.
- Dropbox. Use a Dropbox account to establish a connection between the two systems. Alternatively, you can rely on Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, and Amazon Drive.
- URL. A direct URL can be used to import a data file as well.
Alternative Ways of Import & Export
Note that the alternative ways of import and export are not represented in Magento 2 by default. However, direct API connections are the only way to enable numerous Magento 2 integrations.
As we’ve mentioned above, the Improved Import & Export extension provides the ability to leverage REST as a primary API standard. Other APIs are utilized if necessary: our module also works with SOAP and GraphQL. Note that all API connections support other extension’s features so that you can leverage mapping, schedules, and attributes on the fly while transferring data between Magento 2 and other platforms.
As for the intermediary services, you can rely on Google Sheets, Office 365 Excel, and Zoho Sheetmoving data to your e-commerce store. The following image shows how to use Google Sheets to transfer data to Magento 2:
And of course, the Improved Import & Export extension opens completely new possibilities with support for WSDL and WADL.
The video below displays other details of our extension:
You need WADL to enable communication between different systems. Its purpose is similar to WSDL, but the sphere of application is different. You can use WADL to integrate Magento 2 with external systems exchanging data between the two platforms. But the desired functionality is not available out-of-the-box. Therefore, you need the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension. For further information about the Magento 2 WADL integration, follow the link below and contact our support:'