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What does the Magento API Error "failed to load external entity" mean?

Full error:

SOAP-ERROR: Parsing WSDL:
Couldn't load from 'https://www.[magento store domain].com/index.php/api/v2_soap/index/?wsdl=1' :
failed to load external entity "https://www.[magento store domain].com/index.php/api/v2_soap/index/?wsdl=1"

System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHeaderException: SOAP-ERROR: Parsing WSDL: Couldn't load from
'https://www.[magento store domain].com/index.php/api/v2_soap/index/?wsdl=1' :
failed to load external entity "https://www.[magento store domain].com/index.php/api/v2_soap/index/?wsdl=1"

Diagnosis:

Make sure the magento system can resolve itself. Here is a test:

On the console of the Magento web server, see if it can hit the url:
https://www.[magento store domain].com/index.php/api/v2_soap/index/?wsdl=1

(You can use curl or wget for this if the server console is character based.)

You should get a 200 response, and a big block of xml (not html!). The xml should
begin with:

Resolution:

If you do not get the desired response, engage a system administrator to assist
in resolving this issue. The problem can be caused by DNS config on the
Magento web server, router configuration, or other issues.

This stackoverflow article has some more suggestions: <a href="This%20stackoverflow article has some solutions: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6454644/unable-to-connect-to-magento-soap-api-v2-due-to-failed-to-load-external-entity?rq=1">http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6454644/unable-to-connect-to-magento-soap-api-v2-due-to-failed-to-load-external-entity?rq=1</a>

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