How to Import & Export WSDL Data to/from Magento 2

Magento 2 Development; Magento 2 tutorial

In the following article, we shed light on how to import and export data between Magento 2 and other systems using WSDL. Let’s define this standard and describe the Magento 2 WSDL import & export.


WSDL Definition

Web Services Description Language or simply WSDL is an XML-based file whose purpose is to inform a client app about what a web service does. It is used to describe what the web service does and provides the client with all the information necessary to connect to the web service to utilize all the functionality offered by the web service. Thus, you can use it as another way to integrate your Magento 2 website with external systems. 

But everyone knows that Magento 2 works with CSV files providing limited capabilities regarding data exchange. Luckily, you can always rely on Improved Import & Export to get the missing features. 

Magento 2 WSDL Import & Export

To enable the Magento 2 WSDL import and export processes, you need our extension with a few customizations. Soon, we will prepare an add-on, but every WSDL and API behind it are unique, so they require some custom development evaluation – please contact us for more details.

The Improved Import & Export extension utilizes the principle of PHP parsers to enable integration. Thus, the extension acts as a simple WSDL to PHP classes converter which takes a WSDL file and outputs class files ready to use. Since XML files are utilized, check this article – How to import XML to Magento 2. We shed light on the XML import processes in it, so the publication also describes the nuances of Magento 2 WSDL integration.

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WSDL Structure

Let’s go a little bit further and define the structure of a WSDL document used to describe a web service. To let client apps understand what the web service does, a WSDL file offers the following information: 

  • Web service location;
  • Methods exposed by the web service.

Another feature typical for all WSDL file files is their sophisticated look. Luckily, you don’t need to work with them directly if Improved Import & Export is enabled. Thus, the Magento 2 WSDL import and export processes become not only possible but also time-efficient saving you from lots of technical aspects and related configurations caused by manual WSDL management. 

The complex look of WSDL files is explained by their ability to contain all the necessary information that any client app would require. Usually, you face the following structure working with a WSDL file:

  1. Definition
  2. TargetNamespace
  3. DataTypes
  4. Messages
  5. Porttype
  6. Bindings
  7. service

Pay attention to the fact that the definition of messages passed by the SOAP protocol is specified in the WSDL document. Any WSDL document can inform a client app regarding the types of SOAP messages sent and accepted by the Web service. Think of WSDL as of a postcard with the address of a particular location – the web service which can deliver all the necessary functionality.

WSDL Elements

Any WSDL file consists of the following elements:

  1. <types>. This tag is used to define all the complex data types used in the message exchanged between the client app and the service.
  2. <messages>. This tag is designed to define the message exchanged between the client app and the server explaining the input and output operations, which can be performed by the web service.
  3. <portType>. This tag is developed to encapsulate every input and output message into a single logical operation.
  4. <binding>. This tag is utilized to bind the operation to the particular port type: when the app calls the relevant port type, it can access the operations bound to this port type.
  5. <service> is a name provided to the web service itself.

WSDL Message Part

Now, let’s take a look at a more detailed description of certain WSDL elements. This chapter is dedicated to “messages” – an item denoted by the <message> tag.

With the help of this element, WSDL files describe the data that gets exchanged between the web service and the client application. Note that there are two types of messages:

  • For input;
  • For output.

The input messages are necessary to describe parameters accepted by the web service. The output messages tell what results are provided by the web service.

Also, note that each message includes <part> – an element used to describe the parameter utilized.

Port Type Binding

Now, let’s say a few words about ports – WSDL elements designed to define a complete operation offered by the web service. To achieve this goal, WSDL provides an element called <portType>.


Let’s name a few reasons for using WSDL. The most significant advantage is web service nature. Being an essential component in building modern-day web applications, web services allow multiple apps to talk to each other even if they are built on entirely different programming languages. Thus, a .Net app can communicate with a Java app based on a web service.

The key features of a web service are:

  • XML. A web service is built using XML, which is also utilized by almost all modern day technologies. Consequently, a WSDL file is written in XML, which can be read by any programming language.
  • HTTP. Communication between web services is based on HTTP – a protocol used by all web-based apps.
  • W3C. Web services conform to the W3C language specification, which is the governing body for all web standards.
  • WSDL is used by web services to provide the most in-depth description.

In the case of two completely different technologies, a WSDL file binds everything together. A web service in the .Net language can be consumed by a Java class via the WSDL file. Thus, tons of coding effort is reduced. 

For further information about WSDL, read this article: WSDL Tutorial: Web Services Description Language with Example. You can also discover more facts and examples here: XML WSDL and Basic WSDL Structure Understanding.

Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension Features

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

Now, when you are informed about the critical aspects of WSDL 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 WSDL
  • 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 WSDL integrations.


Schedules represent the most intuitive and straightforward way of automation in different data transfers, including the Magento 2 WSDL 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).

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export


Event-based triggers are another huge improvement provided by the Improved Import & Export extension. They introduce a more flexible approach to the Magento 2 WSDL integration exchanging data in real time. Use the following algorithm to automate data transfers between the two systems:

  1. Create a trigger;
  2. Connect it to an event;
  3. 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 WSDL in terms of attributes and their values with the help of the following features:

Mapping Presets

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 presetspredefined 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:

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

Matching Interface

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:

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

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 WSDL. 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

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:

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

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 WSDL 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.

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

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 Sheet moving data to your e-commerce store. The following image shows how to use Google Sheets to transfer data to Magento 2:

Magento 2 WSDL Import Export

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:

Final Words

Let’s summarize the key aspects of WSDL:

  • A WSDL document is used to describe a web service providing any client application with the information where the web service is located and what methods available in it.
  • WSDL integrate tools written in different programming languages: the web service can be implemented in one programming language but called from another one.
  • A WSDL document consists of two messages: input and output. They form an operation together.

And you can freely leverage this technology on your Magento 2 website without any effort due to the extended functionality of Improved Import & Export. For further information, follow the link below and contact our support:

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