Considerations when integrating with Workday +

How Cloud Elements reduces the pain for developers

What You Should Know About Workday’s API

Workday is a powerful, cloud-based human capital and financial management solution with a similarly powerful API that only customers and approved partners can access. Founded by two PeopleSoft executives in the wake of Oracle’s takeover in 2005, Workday is listed as the 2nd most popular HRIS (behind SAP SuccessFactors, but growing 30%+ per year vs 4% for SuccessFactors). Beyond streamlining applicant and employee management, Workday offers a full accounting and financial management suite comparable to other enterprise ERP solutions.

For product teams automating hire-to-retire or procure-to-pay processes, Workday integration is in high demand among enterprise customers. Before you begin building an integration, here are a few things you should know:


Workday offers outbound event notifications only for custom reports (RaaS); it does not provide webhooks or other polling-based, built-in eventing frameworks for other events. You will need to build a polling framework using SOAP queries and you will need to manage event queries vs. API requests due to API throttling.

Resource Discovery

The Workday API specification is massive, with over 2000 native resources before including custom resources. Workday’s API does not help you manage this list of resources, so you’ll likely have to develop API queries to retrieve available resources and then dynamically adjust subsequent calls to work with the data you need.

Bulk Framework

Workday’s SOAP API does not support bulk data operations for moving a large amount of data. You will need to consider API request limits, file chunking, error handling, asynchronous processing, and callbacks (among others) to support bulk operations in your integration.

API Throttling

Workday does not set any explicit limits on API calls or concurrency requirements, but experience shows that the application will rate limit under higher loads. For polling and bulk data situations you will need to keep these limits in mind.


A strong working knowledge of the SOAP protocol is necessary. Conducting searches, (e.g. searching for a vendor by email address), is complex. You may need to write scriptlets (JavaScript exposed as REST) to convert Workday’s SOAP protocols to REST in order to support HTTPS calls. Note: Workday allows users to generate custom reports they call Reports as a Service (RaaS), which can be retrieved via RESTful calls.


Workday supports Basic (username and password) authentication and a JWT token-based, two-step authentication (more). Your integration will need to manage the necessary tokens and/or include the user credential in the SOAP header. Note: you or your customer must configure your Integration Security User (ISU) in Workday to have all permissions needed for your Workday integration.

Why Using Cloud Elements Beats Coding Directly to the Workday API

You can spend months learning the Workday endpoints’ unique methods, error codes, etc. and creating necessary functionality on top of that, like polling for events. Instead, Cloud Elements removes much of the complexity for you, such as:

  • Normalized REST methods—we’ve done the conversion from SOAP/XML for you
  • Standardized auth experience for developers—more secure integrations with less work
  • 100% API-accessible & one-to-many—for app developers integrating to multiple ERPs
  • Eventing and Bulk frameworks out-of-the-box—why reinvent the wheel?
  • Discovery APIs & standardized query—write one query, use many times

Cloud Elements’ platform lets your teams develop and deploy Workday integrations faster, bringing new functionality to market sooner and dedicating more resources to your core product. Here’s how other Cloud Elements customers leverage integration to streamline processes for users and surface valuable insights.

Cloud Elements Workday Application

Note: Workday does not offer a sandbox that unapproved third-parties can use to test integration workflows. Regardless of whether you decide to integrate directly to Workday’s SOAP API or leverage our Workday Element, you will need to contact Workday or work with your Workday customers.

See Our API Docs


HR pros know that creating a seamless employee experience helps recruit and retain top talent. Automate onboarding tasks for new hires; smooth payroll, benefits, and expense management to remove day-to-day friction for employees; and unify data to better engage a global workforce.

Popular Endpoints

  • SAP SuccessFactors
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • ServiceNow
  • JIRA
  • Oracle Taleo
  • ZenDesk
  • Sage Intacct
  • HireRight
  • Bamboo HR
  • Cherwell
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Seamlessly integrate recruiting, applicant tracking, and offers for target candidates
  • Automate routine onboarding and offboarding tasks, reducing manual HR efforts
  • Generate requests for internal IT to provision licenses and troubleshoot problems
  • Easily capture and share exit interview information back to leadership


Seamlessly integrate closed-won opportunity data from CRM or ecommerce orders to streamline fulfillment and avoid duplicate data-entry tasks. Empower sellers with up-to-date product catalog data and drive greater productivity for the accounts receivable team.

Popular Endpoints

  • Docusign
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • Magento
  • Square
  • SugarCRM
  • Recurly
  • Zuora
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Reduce clicks and busywork for sellers and avoid human errors
  • Ensure more accurate quoting by syncing product catalogs to CRM systems
  • Surface customer invoice and ticket status for sellers to generate upsell opportunities
  • Enhance inventory, materials, and vendor status insights with real-time data


Sync vendor management, requisitions, and bill processing to drive productivity gains for the AP team while also improving financial controls and visibility for the CFO. Cut down swivel-chair data entry, reduce errors, and cut file-based payment initiators.

Popular Endpoints

  • Tipalti
  • SAP Concur
  • TeamPay
  • Coupa
  • Tungsten Networks
  • SAP Ariba
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • Oracle NetSuite
  • Sage 200
  • QuickBooks
  • FreshBooks
  • Orderful, Square
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Reduce swivel chair/ dual-screen data entry to avoid human errors
  • Reduce manual rework when file-based batch payments fail due to data errors
  • Provide real-time visibility to the CFO and improve financial controls
  • Streamline expense management for a better employee experience

Real-Time Business Analytics

Quickly generate robust reporting by aggregating data across dozens of applications and NetSuite modules. Move beyond static, dated reports by automatically exporting the abstraction layer on a defined or event-driven schedule.

Popular Endpoints

  • SAP Analytics Cloud, Snowflake
  • Salesforce Applications
  • Marketo, Oracle Eloqua
  • Google Drive
  • Sharepoint, Jira
  • SAP S/4 HANA
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Bring together sales, service, and marketing data into a single data warehouse
  • Synchronize analytics services and replicate data to take pressure off back-end systems
  • Create an event-driven data lake to serve real-time analytics


Employees expect to deal with their company as a whole, not as isolated groups or business units. Integrate support tickets across your entire customer footprint to quickly resolve issues and avoid embarrassing interactions.

Popular Endpoints

  • ServiceNow
  • Zendesk
  • Freshdesk
  • SAP Cloud for Customer
  • Jira
  • Oracle Service Cloud
  • Salesforce Service Cloud
  • See the full catalog

Use Cases

  • Sync tickets across multiple applications, creating cross-departmental customer support
  • Notify sales teams in real time for issues affecting their accounts
  • Create enhanced views for support agents and gain a 360-degree view of the customer
  • Automate capturing Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and customer feedback cycles