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Why do you need SOAP to connect to gather your own data
 
number25
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Im just a little confused on why you need to use SOAP or XML to gather data from your own database using the API ? And why do you need to connect to MAGENTO to do that ?? Im just a little confused. the API wasnt really clear on that.

 
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Unirgy
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1. interface to retrieve/update data that is less likely to change over time
2. integration with services external to Magento server
3. potential desktop administration gui

and many more

 
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number25
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those are good points. So im guessing to connect to the data I have to use http://www.mydomain.com/api/soap/?wsdl Is that correct ??? and then use my login name and password that i use to get into the admin page for authorization ????

 
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One Step Checkout
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You can create users and roles for accessing the API’s from the administration under System -> Webservices -> Users.

Also, a good reason for using such an API is that the database structure of Magento uses EAV system for attributes, so fetching data using regular SELECT foo FROM bar queries is not trivial.

 
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Unirgy
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@Jone: if on the same server, for regular data retrieval it would be easier and faster to use regular PHP statements, no need for EAV statements:

$product Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load(1);
echo 
$product->getSku();
 
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