Consume a Complex Web Service

Last update: Edit

1 Introduction

This how-to explains how to consume a (third-party) web service with which you can integrate your Mendix application and re-use functionality and data from other applications. Web services are the preferred way of integrating a Mendix application with external systems. They can be used to retrieve data, send updates, and perform operations. In Mendix, calling a web service is done in a microflow using the call web service action.

This how-to will teach you how to do the following:

  • Import a web service using the Import Web Service wizard
  • Directly import a web service document into your project
  • Configure a web service call

2 Importing a Web Service Using the Wizard

This section describes the powerful wizard that enables integrating—in just a few clicks—the creation of an imported web service, the related data entities, the XML-mapping, and a microflow to trigger the web service.

2.1 The Configuration

To import a web service using the wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Open your domain model and click Import web service/XML file in the toolbar.

    This opens the Import Web Service or XML Schema wizard that will guide you through importing the result of a web service (or an XML file). As a result, it will generate the following:

    • Domain model entities to store the results
    • An XML-to-domain mapping that maps the incoming XML to Mendix objects
    • An imported web service (or XML schema) document
    • A microflow that calls the web service (or imports an XML file) (optional)
  2. On the Import Web Service or XML Scheme dialog box, select Web service operation and click Next:

  3. On the Import Web Service dialog box, select Create new imported web service and click Next.

  4. For WSDL source in the Web service Description section of the New Web Service Operation dialog box, specify the WSDL to be used for this imported web service. For the WSDL source you can either provide a URL (for example, http://webservices.oorsprong.org/websamples.countryinfo/CountryInfoService.wso?WSDL) or load a File from your computer.

  5. Click Next to fetch the services and operations in the WSDL.

  6. In the Select Ports pop-up window select a web service port and click OK. Studio Pro now imports the operations.

  7. On the New Web Service Operation dialog box, you can review the services and operations that are available to the imported web service. If you click on any of the operations, information about the operation will be displayed in the right pane. Select a web service operation and click Next.

  8. On the Select Elements dialog box, you can optionally select individual elements to map as return values of the web service. Click Next.

  9. In the final step of this wizard you can select icons that will be attached to the generated entities and create a microflow in which the imported web service is called:

  10. Click Finish to create the web service.

2.1 The Outcome

When finished the wizard will add the following to your model based on the options selected: * The imported service * An XML to domain mapping * A microflow in which the web service operation is called * Domain model entities (by default, Studio Pro creates non-persistable entities)

3 Importing a Web Service Directly

An alternative to using the wizard described above is to import a web service document directly into your project. For further information, see Consumed Web Services in the Studio Pro Guide.

To import a web service directly, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click a module and select Add Other > Consumed web service.
  2. Specify a name for the new consumed web service and click OK.
  3. In the Consumed Web Service box, specify the WSDL Source to be used for this consumed web service. You can specify a URL or load a File from your computer.

  4. Click Import to fetch the services and operations in the WSDL. If prompted, in the WSDL Source dialog box, select the ports you want to use and click OK.

  5. In the Consumed Web Services box, review the Services and Operations available to the imported web service. If you click on any of the Operations, information about the operation will be displayed in the right pane. You can select individual web service operations from the list otherwise the whole service and operation will be imported:

  6. Click OK. The web service will be added to the model.

4 Configuring the Web Service Call

To configure the web service call, follow these steps:

  1. If you did not use the web service wizard or did not use the option in the wizard to automatically create a microflow, you have to create a microflow that will call the imported web service:

  2. If you are creating your own microflow, add the call web service activity to the microflow. For details on how to add activities to a microflow, see Activities in the Studio Pro Guide.

  3. Double-click the activity to open the Call Web Service properties editor and in the Operation section, click Select for Operation.

  4. In the Select Web Service Operation dialog box, you can select the operation for this web service call:

  5. In the SOAP Request Body tab of the Call Web Service properties editor, you can configure the SOAP body. This contains the parameters needed to execute the web service request. The Simple, Export Mapping, and Custom options enable you to select the type of SOAP body to use. Click Edit value and use one of the following to change the domain-to-XML mapping or the variables from the microflow used as input arguments:

    • Simple expressions for each request parameter — if the imported web service requires only primitive arguments:

    • Export mappings for each request parameter or Export mapping for the entire request — if the domain model entities need to be mapped to XML elements

    • Custom request template — for the definition of a custom XML body with parameters:

  6. In the HTTP Headers tab, if the Mendix Runtime should HTTP authentication before calling the web service, check Use HTTP authentication and enter the User name and Password using the Edit buttons:

  7. In the SOAP Response tab, you can configure the handling of the return from the web service call as follows:

    • If the return is a complex XML structure, select Mapping and use an XML-to-domain mapping to map the XML elements to the domain model entities:

    • If the return is a primitive, you can store it in a variable by selecting Store in variableYes and provide the Type and Variable:

    • If you want to ignore the return, select Ignore

  8. Your imported web service is now ready to be used in your application.

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