Introduction

Magento is a PHP based open-source e-commerce web application which launched back in 2008. Created by Varien, based on the Zend Framework, it quickly became one of the most popular e-commerce platforms.

This article is not a primer on Magento, thus a basic understanding of its inner workings is advisable. Knowledge of PHP is not required, but you should at least have a Magento installation up and running.

At the time of this writing I am using the Magento Community Edition version 1.3.2.4 and I’ve inserted the sample data version 1.2.0 into its database.

The default installation of Magento comes bundled with a web services API, called the Magento Core API. This API allows interaction of third party applications with several sets of core data. You can either use SOAP or XML RPC protocols to communicate with the Magento API.

This is great for example if you want to build applications to manage Magento’s customers, orders, products…etc. You can write your own back-end application instead of using Magento’s default Admin Panel. You can also opt to import data into Magento’s database when migrating from another e-commerce platform. The API provides for countless other possibilities to meet your business needs.

This article focuses on communicating with the Magento Core API from .NET’s Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). So let’s get started…

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Introduction

Most of the time when I need to consume a web service I do so using a .NET client built upon the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). In most cases the web service in question has also been developed using .NET’s WCF.

About 8 years ago I used PHP as my primary tool for building web sites. At the time I used versions 3 & 4. Recently I had the opportunity to brush up my PHP skills by building a couple of small sites using PHP 5. Besides lending itself more towards object orientend programming I noticed that they added support for SOAP by adding the SoapClient class.

As PHP is still widely used it is not unimaginable, but likely very probably that PHP developers out there need to consume a web service that has been developed with WCF. This article explains how to create WCF services that offer support for PHP clients and how such clients can consume these services.

Let’s start coding…

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