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Salesforce Integration with SOAP API - Part 2 - Introduction to WSDL and Salesforce's Approach


Preface - This post is part of "Salesforce Integration with SOAP API" series.

Introduction to WSDL –
WSDL (Web Service Descriptive Language) is an XML format for describing network services as a set of endpoints operating on messages containing either document-oriented or procedure-oriented information.
Salesforce provides WSDL documents that describe –
  • The public interface to the Web service.
  • The protocol to be used for exchanging information (SOAP).

In Salesforce we have two different types of WSDL documents –
  • Enterprise WSDL – Strongly typed representation of an organization’s data.
  • Partner WSDL – Loosely typed representation of an organization’s data.

We should understand the differences between above two WSDLs. The differences are listed below –
Enterprise WSDL –
  • This is strongly typed.
  • This is tied (bound) to a specific configuration of Salesforce.
  • For any changes (Addition or Deletion of Custom Objects/Custom Fields) WSDL should be copied from the organization again.
  • The enterprise WSDL is intended primarily for Customers.
Partner WSDL –
  • This is loosely typed.
  • This can be used to reflect against any configuration of Salesforce.
  • Partner WSDL is static. So if any changes are made to an organization’s Salesforce, partner WSDL should not be changed.
  • The Partner WSDL is intended primarily for Partners.
In my next post, I will explain how to configure eclipse IDE to connect to Salesforce using Java programming language. If you have any feedback, please let me know. Thanks.
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