Permalink
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
138 lines (69 sloc) 6.88 KB

What is this?

This is a summary of common REST API design constraints and conventions intended as a guide for developers when introducing new or modifying existing REST API endpoints.  It is derived from the RESTful API Design Guidelines but distilled down to the most essential points such that it can be read in just a few minutes and easily referenced.

REST API Design Principles

REST Methods

M1. The GET response body is a representation of the resource identified by the request URL.

M2. The GET method does not change the state of the resource identified by the request URL.

M3. The POST request creates a new resource as a leaf under the request URL path.

M4. The POST response body is either empty (status 204) or a representation of the resource created (status 201).

M5. The PUT request to a URL at which no resource yet exists may create a new resource at that URL.

M6. The PUT request to a URL at which a resource already exists overwrites the state of that resource with the representation provided in the request body.

M7. The PUT response body is a representation of the resource identified by the URL as it exists following any changes made as a result of the request.

M8. The DELETE request to a URL at which a resource exists is a request to remove the resource identified by that URL.

M9. The DELETE response body is either empty (204) or a representation of the resource deleted (200).

M10. The PATCH request to a URL partially updates the state of the resource at that URL using a provided json-patch (RFC-6902) body.

M11. The PATCH response returns a representation of the resource identified by the URL as it exists following any changes made as a result of the request.

URL Paths

P1. The URL path represents a resource, or a collection of resources.

P2. The URL path root is of the form: /{service}/{apiclass}/v{version}.

P3. The last path segment of a collection URL is a plural noun, describing the type of resources it contains.

P4. The parent of the last path segment of a resource URL is a plural noun and represents a resource collection.

P5. The last path segment of a resource URL is a unique identifier of the resource within it's container.

P6. The URL path segments are alphanumeric and follow camelCase convention (first character is lowercase).

P7. The URL path segments are intuitive, unambiguous, and succinct.

URL Query Parts

Q1. URL query parameters representing date/time are in RFC-3339 "iso-date-time" format.

Q2. URL query parameters representing duration are in RFC-3339 "duration" format.

Q3. URL query parameters representing temporal intervals are in RFC-3339 "period" format.

Q4. URL query parameters semantically equivalent to those found elsewhere in the API have matching names.

Q5. URL query parameters not semantically equivalent to those found elsewhere in the API have different names.

Q6. URL query parameters for selectively retrieving specific fields of a resource conform to the partial retrieval template § 3.6.3.6 .

Q7. URL query parameters pertaining to paginated retrieval of resource representations conform to the paginated query form § 3.6.3.3.

Q8. URL query parameter names are alphanumeric and follow camelCase convention (first character is lowercase).

Q9. URL query parameter names are intuitive, unambiguous, and succinct.

Resource Representations

R1. A resource representation is encoded as application/json except where standard media-type representations are available (e.g. png, vcard, etc.).

R2. A collection representation is encoded as application/json with an array attribute containing representations of resources in the collection.

R3. When a collection supports pagination, a representation of that collection conforms to the paginated collection template § 3.6.3.4.

R4. A resource representation as provided in a server response includes a "url" field that is the absolute and canonical URL of the resource itself.

R5. A resource representation does not contain data for which another REST service is the "source of truth".

R6. A response body does not include status of the operation so as to override or otherwise alter the semantics of the HTTP response status code.

R7. When returning an HTTP status code of 4xx or 5xx, response entity data conforms to the error response template § 3.9.2.

JSON Attributes

J1. Attribute names are intuitive, unambiguous, and succinct.

J2. Attribute names are alphanumeric and follow camelCase convention (first character is lowercase).

J3. Attributes representing date/time are in RFC-3339 {{iso-date-time}} format and with a UTC offset.

J4. Attributes representing duration are in RFC-3339 {{duration}} format.

J5. Attributes representing temporal intervals are in RFC-3339 {{period}} format.

J6. Attributes representing binary values are encoded using the JSON native boolean type.

J7. Attributes representing arrays are named as plural nouns.

J8. Attributes representing non-arrays are named as singular nouns.

J9. Attributes representing links to other resources are provided as absolute and canonical URLs.

J10. Attributes representing data semantically equivalent to that found elsewhere have matching field names.

J11. Attributes representing data not semantically equivalent to that found elsewhere have different field names.

J12. Attributes representing enumerated types have well defined legal values and semantics.

J13. No semantic distinction is drawn between the absence of a JSON attribute and it's explicit assignment as null.

Security

S1. A REST request uses a Common Identity OAuth2 flow for authentication, authorization.

S2. A REST request has a clear policy regarding the authorization scope required for access.

S3. A REST request containing personally identifiable information (PII) must be authenticated.

S4. A REST request does not allow unintentional content or PII leaks between users.

S5. A REST request that is authenticated must be made over a secure channel (HTTPS).

S6. A REST request does not contain authentication, authorization, or PII material in the URL.

API Documentation

D1. API documentation is auto-generated from source and supplemental text files.

D2. The auto-generated documentation provides sufficient description of the resource and methods supported.

D3. The auto-generated documentation provides sufficient description of the policy for authorized access and invocation.

D4. The auto-generated documentation provides sufficient description of the URL path and query parameters.

D5. The auto-generated documentation provides sufficient description of all JSON attributes of the resource representation.

D6. The auto-generated documentation provides sufficient description of all anticipated error conditions.