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What Magento API Mean to Magento Developers

Published on 25 February 15
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In general, an API is the abbreviation of Application Programming Interface containing a set of routines, protocols, and tools to develop software application. Therefore, it is expressing its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types. Thus, good API provides solid building block for the programmers and they have to merely put together to create a functional application viable in any computing environment whether it is on desktops, smartphones, or on the web.


What Magento API Mean to Magento Developers - Image 1


Now, we know Magento application running on the web and device agnostic so we donât know on which device it will run or in which operation system it will perform its functions. Therefore, letâs consider the API as the collection of all sorts of programming objects derived from the class definitions and its associated behaviours.

API & Libraries

In programming sense, an API is describing and prescribing some expected behaviors or rules and software libraries implement them or help to implement. No doubt, a software library is associated with API, but it is not compulsory to have only one, it may be multiple libraries and an API can implement various sets of rules using different libraries from different sources by sharing same programming interface.

API & Framework

Another component of software programming is associated besides the libraries, is software framework. Logically, a framework may contain several libraries and may implement several APIs at a time. However, in framework use, behavior built in to the framework is mediating by extending its content with the new classes seated in framework and sometimes the program flow of control may be out of the control of caller and in the hands of the framework against the normal behavior of an API. Framework uses inversion or similar mechanisms to control the flow.

Architecture of API in Magento

In overall terms, construction of API or its usage is an architectural approach revolving around the offering programmable interface with set of services for various applications to serve different types of customers or users. Therefore, on web, we can say that an API is a set of HTTP requests carrying definition of the structure of response messages in XML, JSON, etc. formats.

However, today, software industry is departing from SOAP and SOA and leaning towards REST style web resources for modern web services as well as Cloud computing services using ROA like architectures.

In simple words, the basic architecture of the Magento API containing following mechanism:


1. An HTTP request made to a URL
2. Standard routing system sends requests to the controller
3. Controller takes actions in Mage_API module
4. The resulting controller action instantiates the Magento server object/s
5. The server object/s initializing the API type like SOAP, XML-RPC, etc
6. These API type calls to run methods of the server objects and it is based on parameters defined in Magento configuration
7. Magento configuration determines that which API adapter object and which API handler object should be instantiated
8. Technically, a handler object is subservient to the adapter object so once the run method calls, API server object calls run method on the adapter method
9. Thus, adapter object is ultimately fulfilling the API requests at the end
10. At deeper level, the adapter object is responsible for inclusion and instantiating the objects in the API libraries
11. At other hand, the handler object is responsible to translate the API function call in to the correct Magento API resource classes and methods


Based on the above-depicted knowledge of Magento API, we can say that our Magento developers should have in-depth knowledge of API adapters and handlers. Fortunately, Magento developers at Mindinventory are accustomed with this fine grinded Magento programming knowledge and can help you to have a robust magneto store for your bespoken and any scale of storefront development at cost-effective ways.















In general, an API is the abbreviation of Application Programming Interface containing a set of routines, protocols, and tools to develop software application. Therefore, it is expressing its operations, inputs, outputs, and underlying types. Thus, good API provides solid building block for the programmers and they have to merely put together to create a functional application viable in any computing environment whether it is on desktops, smartphones, or on the web.

What Magento API Mean to Magento Developers - Image 1

Now, we know Magento application running on the web and device agnostic so we donât know on which device it will run or in which operation system it will perform its functions. Therefore, letâs consider the API as the collection of all sorts of programming objects derived from the class definitions and its associated behaviours.

API & Libraries

In programming sense, an API is describing and prescribing some expected behaviors or rules and software libraries implement them or help to implement. No doubt, a software library is associated with API, but it is not compulsory to have only one, it may be multiple libraries and an API can implement various sets of rules using different libraries from different sources by sharing same programming interface.

API & Framework

Another component of software programming is associated besides the libraries, is software framework. Logically, a framework may contain several libraries and may implement several APIs at a time. However, in framework use, behavior built in to the framework is mediating by extending its content with the new classes seated in framework and sometimes the program flow of control may be out of the control of caller and in the hands of the framework against the normal behavior of an API. Framework uses inversion or similar mechanisms to control the flow.

Architecture of API in Magento

In overall terms, construction of API or its usage is an architectural approach revolving around the offering programmable interface with set of services for various applications to serve different types of customers or users. Therefore, on web, we can say that an API is a set of HTTP requests carrying definition of the structure of response messages in XML, JSON, etc. formats.

However, today, software industry is departing from SOAP and SOA and leaning towards REST style web resources for modern web services as well as Cloud computing services using ROA like architectures.

In simple words, the basic architecture of the Magento API containing following mechanism:

1. An HTTP request made to a URL
2. Standard routing system sends requests to the controller
3. Controller takes actions in Mage_API module
4. The resulting controller action instantiates the Magento server object/s
5. The server object/s initializing the API type like SOAP, XML-RPC, etc
6. These API type calls to run methods of the server objects and it is based on parameters defined in Magento configuration
7. Magento configuration determines that which API adapter object and which API handler object should be instantiated
8. Technically, a handler object is subservient to the adapter object so once the run method calls, API server object calls run method on the adapter method
9. Thus, adapter object is ultimately fulfilling the API requests at the end
10. At deeper level, the adapter object is responsible for inclusion and instantiating the objects in the API libraries
11. At other hand, the handler object is responsible to translate the API function call in to the correct Magento API resource classes and methods

Based on the above-depicted knowledge of Magento API, we can say that our Magento developers should have in-depth knowledge of API adapters and handlers. Fortunately, Magento developers at Mindinventory are accustomed with this fine grinded Magento programming knowledge and can help you to have a robust magneto store for your bespoken and any scale of storefront development at cost-effective ways.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and E-Commerce Community

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