This article is intended to provide a high level overview of the World Manager SOAP API and how this can be used to create seamless integration between the World Manager Platform and third party services.
The following phrases/words will be used throughout this document:
- SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol. A protocol allowing services on various operating systems to communicate via HTTP and XML.
- API: A set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an application or service.
- Middleware: Software that acts as a bridge between web applications.
- Third Party: A World Manager Brand or Third Party provider that a Brand wishes to integrate with.
- Service: A website, web based application or platform.
Put simply, the SOAP API allows third party services to create, modify, remove user Accounts, Areas and Locations within the World Manager platform.
The SOAP API also allows third party services to retrieve data relating to Accounts, Areas and Locations which can be used as required by the third party service.
Typical Uses for the API
Some of the most common uses for the World Manager API are outlined below however the functionality that is available is also dependent on the third party service being integrated with.
Some typical integration implementations would be:
- Automatically synchronizing account information between World Manager and a third party service (EG: Payroll system)
- Automatically synchronizing Areas & Locations between World Manager and a third party service
- Retrieving account & location data to be used in a third party reporting system
How does it work?
In the majority of integration projects, a developer creates ‘Middleware’ that acts as a translator or bridge between two different API’s.
Once this middleware has been implemented, this allows API’s on either side to send or receive information or process functions that relate to either product or service.
It is also possible for an integration layer to be implemented directly into a third-party service, effectively acting as its own middleware.
The SOAP API service is protected to ensure that only authorised World Manager Brands or third parties are able to utilise it.
There are currently four levels of security present:
- API Key
- Username and Password (For each individual World Manager user account)
- Session token
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) data transport
A failure at any one of these four levels will deny access to the SOAP API service, meaning access to the database is protected at all times.
Third Party Service as Point Of Truth
The most common use for the SOAP API is to perform account synchronization between a third party service and the World Manager platform. For example:
A brand uses the World Manager platform. They also use an online Payroll service “Payroll-X” to manage their payroll and ensure that important information is entered whenever an employee joins their company. After creating the employee record in Payroll-X, they create an account in the World Manager platform for this employee to use. Payroll-X is also used to update the employee record if this data changes over time.
The brand could simplify this process by implementing the World Manager SOAP API, allowing the Payroll-X service to create accounts automatically when they are created within Payroll-X.
This example would indicate that Payroll-X is defined as the single ‘point of truth’, and employee records/accounts would be managed in Payroll-X, and then the World Manager platform would be updated with changes to existing accounts or new accounts that have been created in Payroll-X.
In a scenario such as this, we would recommend that restrictions are put in place to prevent users or administrators from modifying information via ‘Accounts’ or ‘My Details’ to prevent any changes being overwritten by the Third Party Service.
World Manager Platform as Point Of Truth
The opposite data flow to the above example would also be possible, where the World Manager Platform is used to manage user accounts and the Third Party Service uses the SOAP API to check for new accounts created or existing accounts that have been modified, and then creates or modifies employee records using the data provided by the SOAP API.
It is technically possible to implement a hybrid solution where both World Manager and a Third Party Service synchronize data, keeping both sides up to date.
For example, a Third Party Payroll system creates an account and this is pushed to the World Manager platform. A user then updates their details within the World Manager platform and these changes are then pushed from World Manager to the Third Party Payroll system.
This form of integration is the most complex to implement and would typically require significant technical resources.
The first step towards starting an integration project would be to consider the following questions carefully:
- What 3rd Party product or service do you want to integrate with? (Include Name, Product type, Product purpose)
- What is your ideal vision for the outcome of the project? (How do you see this product working with the World Manager platform? Describe how this would work in terms of workflow)
- Who is the contact at the 3rd Party that we can get in touch with to discuss the project? (Include Name, Phone Number, Email Address)
- Do you have any internal technical resources available that are capable of working with the SOAP API?
If an internal technical resource capable of developing the middleware is not available, World Manager can introduce a consultant partner who can provide these services. In these instances, after informing World of the integration request and answers to above questions, World Manager may arrange for our Integration Consultant to contact the 3rd Party to begin technical discussions.
In the instance that a technical resource is available, they may contact World Manager Support to request the latest version of the SOAP API technical documentation and once they have received this document they will be able to begin work on the integration.
Tip: Full technical documentation is available for developers. If you wish to have a copy of the latest technical documentation for our SOAP API, please email email@example.com.