I am working on a new install of SDL Web 8, and would like to take advantage of the RESTful APIs that are now offered by the product. When I read the documentation, it seems like there is a Server Role which essentially exposes the various Micro Services to the light client DLLs that are in the actual web application which presents the web content.

The documentation suggests that "The API (RESTful) Server Role is typically installed on the staging or live Web site...", I find this rather confusing, and wonder what the point of using the REST approach is if you need to install the component which needs a licence on each website. Would it be wrong to install the Server Role on the same machine that hosts the Content and Discovery Services?

What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


The RESTful API role should be installed on the machine(s) where you want to use the API, so where your Web Application resides (referred to as Presentation Server in SDL Web docs).

Note that this is a thin client which does not do license checks; these are done in the CIS microservices.

It is not wrong to install your Web App and the RESTful API role on the same machine as where you host CIS. As a matter of fact, that will give you optimal performance (no network traffic between CIL and CIS). But installing it on (a) separate machine(s) opens up new scaling opportunities.

  • Thanks Rick, this is all becoming clearer. Could you take a quick look at the documentation link I included above, and validate that the "Installing a license for your Server Role" is not necessary. It also seems like the part referring 'cd_client_conf.xml' is incorrect (at least for .NET) as these values are all duplicated in the web.config file for .NET. I removed cd_client_conf.xml from my .NET app, and it all seems to work fine. Mar 30, 2016 at 13:23
  • Indeed, that's a documentation defect. No cd_licenses.xml is needed and CIL configuration goes into your Web.config (as app settings). See, for example github.com/sdl/dxa-web-application-dotnet/blob/master/Site/… Mar 30, 2016 at 14:53
  • Many thanks, will you let the documentation team know, or do I need to file a defect? Mar 30, 2016 at 14:55
  • Just leave (a) Comment(s) on the Documentation portal. Mar 30, 2016 at 15:01

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