How to Request a WSKey

WSKey Overview

Web service keys, commonly referred to as WSKeys, are the primary method used for authenticating and authorizing interactions with web services available on the OCLC WorldShare Platform. WSKeys authenticate clients sending requests to web services, in effect, creating a “secure pipe” between a remote client and the data and functionality available on the Platform. This means a couple of things that you should be aware of as you register:

  • Requests for Production WSKeys must go through a validation process to verify your standing in relation to either your organization or the data you want to access, or both.
  • You can request a single WSKey for one or many services. (You can also choose to have a separate WSKey for each service by filling out separate WSKey requests.)

Option 1: Developer Network

WSKeys are requested from our Developer Network WSKey user interface. You login with the or user account accessible from the Sign In links at the top of all Developer Network pages.

Simply "Request a WSKey" from the page navigation and fill out the form. Here are a couple of tips for understanding the information you will need to tell us.

Info Requested Explanation and Tips
Enviornment Select sandbox if you are exploring an API for the first time. Production access will access and modify the data your library uses to run its operations
Services You may request a key with access to one or more services
Reason Provide an explanation of what you are trying to do. If there is any confusion about your request, this will help us configure your key more quickly
Redirect URI You only need to enter this if you are using one of our OAuth 2 flows. Leave this blank if you are unsure and it can be updated later if needed.  

If you indicate you are creating an OpenSocial app for a WorldShare interface, we will automatically fill in your redirect URI.

Commercial use is for non-OCLC member libraries. Do not check this box if you are simply using the key in a third-party application like ILLiad or MarcEdit.

After submitting your request, you can login to the Developer Network WSKey interface to check on the status of your request.

Option 2: Service Configuration

WSKeys can also be requested in OCLC's Service Configuration application. In the future, all management of your API keys will happen in Developer Network.

To request a WSKey for use either in the Platform test environment or in a production context, you'll need to access the OCLC Service Configuration, for which you'll need an OCLC user account. If you don't currently have an OCLC account, it's easy to request one.

You can learn more about WSKeys here.

Request Form Walk Through

Select Environment

The first thing you’ll need to do is select which environment you want a WSKey for. Do you want to test in the Sandbox environment, or are you requesting access to your data in the Production environment? We always recommend that you do your initial development, testing and QA work in the Sandbox environment first.

Select Your Type of Application

Next, we need to know if you are a WMS site creating an OpenSocial App uploaded to an OCLC container, or whether you’ll be creating an Application hosted on your server.

If you are developing an application using an OAuth flow, you’ll need to provide the Redirect URL for your application.

Choose Services

Select the Web Service(s) you want this WSKey associated with. 

After sending the request, you’ll need to fill in the Personal Information section. Be sure to include your institution’s OCLC symbol to expedite the process.

WSKey Usage

There are two exceptional types of usage that we ask about. Leave both boxes blank if neither matches your intended use of the WSKey.

  • I am interested in commercial use of this web service.

Only commercial partners need to check this box.

  • I need to access data for other institutions.

If you anticipate reading and/or updating data for an institution other than your own, please check this box. Common cases in which this scenario applies include consortia who are accessing data for multiple institutions or or commercial partners accessing a library's data in WMS. If your only intended use of other institutions’ data is through the WorldCat Search API, you do not need to check this box. If you are unsure, please describe your intended use of the service in the comments and we will make sure your key is configured properly.

Terms and Conditions

You must explicitly verify that you have read the Terms & Conditions that are in place between OCLC and the institution for which you are acting.

Next Steps

Once you have completed the form, you may be able to view your WSKey right away. Some requests will require processing time. In any case, the WSKey details will be emailed to the address you provided.

See our Authentication page for more information about how to use your WSKey.

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