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SoftLayer API Client for Java

Java CI Maven Central Javadocs


This library provides a JVM client for the SoftLayer API. It has code generated and compiled via Maven. The client can work with any Java 8+ runtime. It uses the code generation project in gen/ to generate the service and type related code. Although likely to work in resource-constrained environments (i.e. Android, J2ME, etc), using this is not recommended; Use the REST API instead.

By default the HTTP client is the Java HttpUrlConnection and the JSON marshalling is done by Gson. Both of these pieces can be exchanged for alternative implementations (see below).

The examples/ project has sample uses of the API. It can be executed from Maven while inside the examples/ folder via a command:

mvn -q compile exec:java -Dexec.args="EXAMPLE_NAME API_USER API_KEY"

Where EXAMPLE_NAME is the unqualified class name of an example in the com.softlayer.api.example package (e.g. ListServers), API_USER is your API username, and API_KEY is your API key. NOTE: Some examples order virtual servers and may charge your account.


Add the library as a dependency using your favorite build tooling.

Note that the published client library is built upon the state of the API at the time of the version's release. It will contain the generated artifacts as of that time only. See "Building" for more information on how to regenerate the artifacts to get regular additions to the SoftLayer API.




implementation 'com.softlayer.api:softlayer-api-client:0.3.4'



Creating a Client

All clients are instances of ApiClient. Currently there is only one implementation, the RestApiClient. Simply instantiate it and provide your credentials:

Username and API Key

For using a Classic Infrastructure or IBM Cloud API key. When using the IBM Cloud Api key, your username is the literal string apikey, more information about that can be found on the SLDN Authenticating to the SoftLayer API article.

⚠️ Make sure to avoid hard coding your username and API key when using the client! Always pull credentials from the environment, secure config, or other source.

import com.softlayer.api.*;

ApiClient client = new RestApiClient().withCredentials(myUser, myApiKey);

Access Token

Information on how to get a temporary api token can be found on the SLDN Authenticating to the SoftLayer API article.

import com.softlayer.api.*;
ApiClient client = new RestApiClient().withBearerToken(myBearerToken);

If the end point isn't at the normal SoftLayer API, you can provide the prefix to the constructor of the RestApiClient. By default, it is set to the public API endpoint,

If you are using the classic infrastructure private network, you can communicate with the API over that network by using the service URL instead:

ApiClient client = new RestApiClient(RestApiClient.BASE_SERVICE_URL)
    .withCredentials(myUser, myApiKey);

Making API Calls

Once a client is created, it can be used to access services. There are hundreds of services to control your SoftLayer account. A simple one is the Account service. Here's a call to get all of the hardware on the account:

import com.softlayer.api.service.Account;
import com.softlayer.api.service.Hardware;

for (Hardware hardware : Account.service(client).getHardware()) {
    System.out.println("Hardware: " + hardware.getFullyQualifiedDomainName());

Some calls on a service require an ID to know what object to act on. This can be obtained by passing in the numeric ID into the service method or by calling asService on an object that has an ID. Here's an example of soft-rebooting a virtual server with "reboot-test" as the hostname:

import com.softlayer.api.service.virtual.Guest;

for (Guest guest : Account.service(client).getVirtualGuests()) {
    if ("reboot-test".equals(guest.getHostname())) {

Some calls require sending in data. This is done by just instantiating the object and populating the data. Here's an example of ordering a new virtual server: (Note running this can charge your account)

import com.softlayer.api.service.virtual.Guest;

Guest guest = new Guest();
guest.setDatacenter(new Location());
guest = Guest.service(client).createObject(guest);
System.out.println("Virtual server ordered with ID: " + guest.getId());

Using Object Masks

Object masks are a great way to reduce the number of API calls to traverse the data graph of an object. For example, here's how by just asking for an account, you can retrieve all your VLANs, their datacenter, and the firewall rules that are on them:

import com.softlayer.api.service.Account;

Account.Service service = Account.service(client);

for (Vlan vlan : service.getObject().getNetworkVlans()) {
    for (Rule rule : vlan.getFirewallRules()) {
        System.out.format("Rule %d on VLAN %d in %s has some restriction on subnet %s/%d\n",
            rule.getOrderValue(), vlan.getVlanNumber(),
            rule.getSourceIpAddress(), rule.getSourceIpCidr());

All values of a type can be masked upon. If a value represents a primitive or collection of primitives, the same mask it is called on is returned. Otherwise the mask of the other type is given. These translate into SoftLayer's string-based object mask format. A string or an instance of a mask can be given directly by calling setMask on the service. Note, when object masks are added on a service object, they will be sent with every service call unless removed via clearMask or overwritten via withNewMask or setMask.

Asynchronous Invocation

All services also provide an asynchronous interface. This can be obtained from a service by calling asAsync. Here's an example of getting all top level billing items and listing when they were created:

import java.util.List;
import com.softlayer.api.service.ResponseHandler;
import com.softlayer.api.service.Account;
import com.softlayer.api.service.billing.Item;

Account.service(client).asAsync().getAllTopLevelBillingItems(new ResponseHandler<List<Item>>() {
    public void onError(Exception ex) {

    public void onSuccess(List<Item> items) {
        for (Item item : items) {
            System.out.format("Billing item %s created on %s\n", item.getDescription(), item.getCreateDate());

Using the default HTTP client, this runs the call in a separate thread and calls the handler parameter upon completion. The get at the end basically makes it wait forever so the application doesn't exit out from under us. With the default HTTP client the asynchronous invocations are handled by a simple thread pool that defaults to a cached thread pool that creates daemon threads. It can be changed:

import java.util.concurrent.Executors;
import java.util.concurrent.ExecutorService;
import com.softlayer.api.service.RestApiClient;
import com.softlayer.api.service.http.ThreadPoolHttpClientFactory;
import com.softlayer.api.service.billing.Item;

RestApiClient client = new RestApiClient();
ExecutorService threadPool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(3);
((ThreadPoolHttpClientFactory) client.getHttpClientFactory()).setThreadPool(threadPool);

Unlike using the default thread pool, you will be responsible for shutting down this overridden thread pool as necessary. Other HTTP client implementations may handle asynchrony differently and not use thread pools at all.

In addition to the callback-style above, can also get the response as a Future. Here's an example of waiting 10 seconds to get all top level billing items:

import java.util.List;
import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;
import java.util.concurrent.Future;
import com.softlayer.api.service.Account;
import com.softlayer.api.service.billing.Item;

Future<List<Item>> response = Account.service(client).asAsync().getAllTopLevelBillingItems();
List<Item> items = response.get(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS);
for (Item item : items) {
    System.out.format("Billing item %s created on %s\n", item.getDescription(), item.getCreateDate());

Thread Safety

No class in this library is guaranteed to be thread-safe. Callers are expected to keep this in mind when developing with the library and to never use the same ApiClient (or any other object created with it) concurrently across threads.


Sometimes there is a need to get the responses from the SoftLayer API in a paginated way instead of all at once. This can be done by utilizing result limits. A result limit can be passed in with the number of results requested and the offset to start reading from. Requesting smaller amounts of data will increase the performance of the call. Here is an example of obtaining the first 10 tickets and outputting the total:

import com.softlayer.api.ResultLimit;
import com.softlayer.api.service.Account;
import com.softlayer.api.service.Ticket;

Account.Service service = Account.service(client);
service.setResultLimit(new ResultLimit(10));
for (Ticket ticket : service.getTickets()) {
    System.out.println("Got ticket " + ticket.getTitle());
System.out.println("Total tickets on the account: " + service.getLastResponseTotalItemCount());

The services are not guaranteed to be thread-safe on their own, so it is difficult to obtain the total with getLastResponseTotalItemCount when using the service asynchronously. To assist with this when using the callback style, the ResponseHandlerWithHeaders can be used instead of ResponseHandler. But the safest way is to only use a single service per thread.

Differences from the API

Due to restrictions on identifiers in Java, some properties, methods, classes, and packages will be named differently from the naming used by the API. For example, an API property that starts with a number will be prepended with 'z'. Java keywords that appear in identifiers may also be replaced.


This project is intentionally provided without all of the service code. Normal Maven install and package commands work properly and will regenerate the client. To specifically regenerate the Java service-related files, run:

mvn generate-sources



Logging the requests and response to stdout can be enabled by invoking withLoggingEnabled on the RestApiClient. In order to log elsewhere, simply make your own implementation of RestApiClient with logRequest and logResponse overridden.

HTTP Client

The default HTTP client that is used is the JVM's native HttpUrlConnection. In order to create your own, alternative implementation you must implement com.softlayer.api.http.HttpClientFactory. Once implemented, this can be explicitly set on the RestApiClient by calling setHttpClientFactory. Instead of setting the factory manually, you can also leverage Java's ServiceLoader mechanism to have it used by default. This involves adding the fully qualified class name of your implementation on a single line in a file in the JAR at META-INF/com.softlayer.api.http.HttpClientFactory.

JSON Marshalling

The default JSON marshaller that is used is Gson. In order to create your own, alternative implementation you must implement com.softlayer.api.json.JsonMarshallerFactory. Once implemented, this can be explicitly set on the RestApiClient by calling setJsonMarshallerFactory. Instead of setting the factory manually, you can also leverage Java's ServiceLoader mechanism to have it used by default. This involves adding the fully qualified class name of your implementation on a single line in a file in the JAR at META-INF/com.softlayer.api.json.JsonMarshallerFactory.


This software is Copyright (c) 2021 The SoftLayer Developer Network. See the bundled LICENSE file for more information.