What are web services?
  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 1 Minute to read

What are web services?


We are currently in the process of assessing the requirements for a comprehensive external API. At present, web services represent the only supported external API, though they will eventually be deprecated and replaced by our new system once it is complete.

Web services allow external systems to control your Totara site. They can be enabled under Quick-access menu > Configure features.  

It is recommended that you only enable web services if you intend to use them. Since this feature allows external systems to control your site it could leave your Totara vulnerable if you have web services enabled but don't use them.

By going to Plugins > Web services from the quick-access menu you can access all of the settings associated with web services. 

Overview page

The Overview page walks you through the necessary steps for setting up web services. This includes setting up mobile devices, enabling access for external systems, and setting up users as clients. 

API documentation

If you want to see the API documentation for your site, navigate to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Web services > API Documentation.

As different Totara sites can choose to enable and restrict certain web services, then the API documentation becomes tailored to an individual site.

You can save the API documentation as a PDF by clicking the Print all button. This is helpful if you need to share it with someone outside of your site. 

External services

To view or edit the functions being carried out by external services enabled on your site, you can go to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Web services > External services. 

In either the Built-in services or Custom services tables, you can click Function next to a particular service to view all the functions being carried out by that service or click Edit to customise the functions that the web service is carrying out. 

© Copyright 2022 Totara Learning Solutions. All rights reserved. Some content originally obtained via GPLv3 license and continues to be available under GPLv3. All other content is the sole copyright of Totara Learning Solutions. 



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