Creating a REST proxy API from an existing WSDL service

If you have a SOAP service defined in a WSDL file, you can use the WSDL file to create an API Connect REST proxy API that calls that SOAP service.

About this task

You can complete this task either by using the API Designer UI application, or by using the browser-based API Manager UI.

To complete this task, you must be assigned a role that has the Api-Drafts:Edit, Settings:View, and App:View permissions. The pre-supplied Developer role has these permissions by default; if you are assigned a custom role it must have these permissions. For more information, see Creating custom roles.

If the WSDL file is a stand-alone file with no external dependencies, you can load the .wsdl file from a directory to create the REST API definition.

If the WSDL file references other WSDL files or references XSD files containing XML schema definitions, you must create a .zip archive of the WSDL file and its dependent documents, and then load the .zip file from a directory to add the REST API definition.


To add a REST API definition by loading a WSDL file, complete the following steps:

  1. In the navigation pane, click Develop icon in the API UI navigation pane Develop, select the APIs tab, then click Add > API (from REST, GraphQL or SOAP).
    The Select API type screen is displayed.
  2. Select OpenAPI 2.0; this API type does not support OpenAPI 3.0.
  3. On the Add API pane, select From existing WSDL service (REST Proxy). Click Next.
    The Create API from Existing WSDL Service (REST Proxy) window opens.
  4. To upload the service information from a stand-alone .wsdl file, or a .zip file that contains a WSDL file and its dependent documents, you can either drag and drop your file, or browse and select the file that you want to use.

    After you upload the file, the WSDL is evaluated and a message displays whether the WSDL is valid.

    If you upload a .zip file, you can include in the .zip file an options file to specify additional directives. For details, see Using an options file when importing a WSDL service.

  5. Click Next. At the Select Service panel, select a WSDL service from the imported file.
  6. Click Next. Specify the API summary in the Info section. You can fine-tune the API after it is created.
    • The Title can include special characters but should be kept short so that it can be easily displayed in the user interface.
    • The Name is entered automatically. The value in the Name field is a single string that is used to identify the API in developer toolkit CLI commands. To view the CLI commands to manage draft APIs, see apic draft-apis.
    • The Version corresponds to the value of the info.version property of the API's OpenAPI definition. The version.release.modification version numbering scheme is recommended; for example 1.0.0.
    • The Base path is the URL segment of the API and does not include the host name or any additional segments for paths or operations. The base path cannot include special characters and must begin with a / character even if it is otherwise empty.
    • The optional Description helps to identify the API.
  7. Click Next. In the Secure section, configure the API security that you require.
    • Secure using Client ID - Select this option to require an Application to provide a Client ID (API Key). This causes the X-IBM-Client-Id parameter to be included in the request header for the API. If selected, you can then select whether to limit the API calls on a per key (per Client ID) basis:
      • Limit API calls on a per key basis - If selected, you must configure the rate limit that you require. Rate limits control the maximum number of calls allowed within a time period (hour, minute, month or day). For example, 100 calls per hour.
      For information about security options in IBM® API Connect, see Configuring API security.
    • CORS - Select this option to enable cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) support for your API. This allows your API to be accessed from another domain.
      • CORS support is available only on the DataPower® API Gateway.
      • When CORS is enabled, the API Gateway runs the cors preflow policy to handle all CORS requests that are made to the API.
      • When CORS is enabled and a preflight request is received, only the following API actions are performed:
        • The cors preflow policy configures the appropriate response headers.
        • The response headers are set.
      • When a preflight request is received, the request.attributes.isCORSPreflight flag is set to true.
      • For all preflight requests, the security and client-identification preflow policies are always skipped, whether CORS is enabled or not enabled.
  8. Optional: Select Activate API if you want to immediately use the API for further development and testing.
    • When you select the Activate API option, API Connect automatically completes the following actions:
      • Creates a draft Product, adds the API to the Product, and publishes the Product to the Sandbox Catalog so that the API is available to be called. The Product has the title api_title auto product. This Product is not visible in the Develop view and you cannot delete it directly. However, if you delete the API the draft Product is deleted together with the API; see Deleting an API definition. The Product is visible in any Catalogs to which it is published. If you want to remove the Product from a Catalog, you must do this separately; see Removing a Product from a Catalog
      • Subscribes the Sandbox test application to the Product so that you can immediately test the API in the test environment. For information on testing an API, see Testing an API.
    • You cannot use the Activate API option if lifecycle approval is enabled in the Sandbox Catalog for the Stage, Publish, or Replace actions. If any such lifecycle approvals are enabled, then to be able to use the Activate API option they must be disabled; for information on lifecycle approval settings, see Creating and configuring Catalogs.
    • To use the Activate API option, you must be assigned a role that has the Product:Manage and Subscription:Manage permissions. The pre-supplied Developer role has these permissions by default; if you are assigned a custom role it must have these permissions. For more information, see Creating custom roles.
  9. Click Next to create your API definition.

    The Summary panel displays messages as the definition is created, and the selected security options and rate limits are enforced.

    If you selected Activate API, the wizard populates an API Endpoint URL that you can use in testing. If you have also selected Secure using Client ID, the wizard displays a Client ID and Client Secret you can use.

  10. Select one of the following options:
    • To further configure your API, click Edit API. For details, see Editing an API definition.
    • If you do not want to configure your API further at this time, click the Develop link in the breadcrumb trail to return to the welcome page; you can then move on immediately to another task. For details on how to configure your API later, see Editing an API definition.


You created a REST API definition by using an existing WSDL file.

What to do next

APIs are made available to application developers by including them in a Product, and then publishing that Product to a Catalog. For more information, see Working with Products and Working with Catalogs.

You can also manage the Product lifecycle, and control who can see and subscribe to your Product, by opening the Sandbox Catalog associated with your API in the Manage icon in the API Designer UI navigation pane Manage page of the API Designer UI.