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SOAP vs. REST

Table of contents

Introduction

Ongoing WMS has two different Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which are intended for connecting systems like business systems (ERPs) and web shops to the WMS:

We also have an automation API which is used when you wish to connect automation equipment like conveyor belts.

In this article we will explain the difference between the Goods Owner SOAP API and the Goods Owner REST API.

Key difference

The key difference between the two APIs is:

Thus the SOAP API has more functionality, and the REST API is easier to use.

Detailed comparison

Here are some specific comparison points between the APIs.

SOAP REST
May create, update and read articles, orders, purchase orders and return orders Yes Yes
May cancel orders and purchase orders Yes Yes
May attach files to orders and articles Yes Yes
May read tracking information from orders Yes Yes
May read stock adjustments Yes Yes
May read shipments and production orders 1 Yes No
May read the current stock balance 2 Yes Yes
May read historical stock balances (from past dates) 2 Yes No
Allows the API user to read and update a large variety of data fields on the orders, purchase orders and articles 3 Yes No
Can create kit articles and production articles4 Yes Yes
Can create sub order lines 5 Yes No
Each order and purchase order must have a unique order number 6 No Yes
Each article must have a unique article number 7 No Yes
Allows detailed advising of goods information on purchase orders 8 Yes No

Shipments and production orders

The following entities can only be managed using the SOAP API, and not by the REST API:

In our experience, very few integrations need to use these entities.

Stock balances

Both APIs can read stock balances, but only the SOAP API can ask for what the stock balance was at a past date.

Which fields can be used?

The SOAP API allows you to update and read many fields on orders, purchase orders and articles. The REST API gives access to a much smaller selection of fields, making the REST API less complex.

Kit articles and production articles

A kit article is an article which is defined in terms of other articles. When you create an order for a kit article, the system will automatically create order lines for the articles which make up the kit. You cannot have the kit article in stock - only the underlying subarticles can be kept in stock.

A production article is an article which may be produced from other articles. It is similar to a kit article in that it has to be defined in terms of other articles. However, you can keep a production article in stock.

Both the SOAP and REST APIs may create and update kit articles and production articles.

Sub order lines

Only the SOAP API may create sub order lines, that is, define order lines which are "children" of another order line.

Unique order, purchase order and article numbers

The REST API has some requirements regarding uniqueness. In the REST API:

In the SOAP API, the above are not always required.

Advising detailed goods information on purchase orders

Both the REST API and SOAP API allow you to create purchase orders, which advise the warehouse of which articles and quantities are expected to arrive at the warehouse.

The SOAP API takes this one step further, and allows the API user to also advise exactly which batch numbers, pallet numbers, expiry dates, etc are expected. The REST API does not allow this.