WHOIS REST API Migration Guide

Ed Shryane edited this page Jan 10, 2014 · 44 revisions


This guide is intended to assist Application Developers to migrate from the old beta REST API.

Generally, it is not good to change an API once it is fully in production. But the API was released as a beta service and this is the first full review since the original development. The new version will be a stable, full production service, based on experience from the beta service and feedback from users.

As there are some changes, the new implementation will be deployed and running in parallel to the old one, to allow time to verify your software against the new release. The old service is now deprecated and will be dropped in a future release.

The old (beta) REST API service remains available at: http://apps.db.ripe.net/whois/

The new service is accessible at:

  • http(s)://rest.db.ripe.net/ is the base URL for the live database for both queries and updates
  • http(s)://rest-test.db.ripe.net/ is the base URL for TEST DB for both queries and updates


  • The CRUD commands create, lookup, update, and delete always operate on the RIPE or TEST source, so they require a source parameter on the URI. For example:
Operation HTTP Method Example URL
Create POST https://rest.db.ripe.net/ripe?password=...
Lookup GET http://rest.db.ripe.net/ripe/mntner/RIPE-DBM-MNT
Update PUT https://rest.db.ripe.net/ripe/mntner/RIPE-DBM-MNT?password=...
Delete DELETE https://rest.db.ripe.net/ripe/person/PP1-RIPE?password=...
  • CRUD services (create, update, delete) are only available with https:// - using http:// will result in a 404 error code
  • /modify has been dropped, use update only

  • The search service /search defaults to RIPE or TEST source. For example:

  • /grs-search and /grs-lookup have been dropped; use /search and GET / instead, for example:
  • /search supports filtering by tags, for example
  • long query option flags are supported in /search, for example:
  • any unknown URL will return a 404 error code (previously, the response was a 301 redirect to www.ripe.net), for example:
  • JSON is handled in both response and request

    • A JSON response from a lookup can then be modified and used in an update or modify operation.
  • The whois-resources root element is no longer included in the JSON response. The new format is:

  "objects": {
    "object": [
      { ...
      } ]
  • The non-standard MIME types text/xml and text/json are no longer supported. Use application/xml or application/json.

  • The xlink element <whois-resources .../><link xlink:type="locator" xlink:href=... /> has been dropped in lookup response.

  • The abuse-finder service has been replaced by abuse-contact (which implements policy RIPE-563). Refer to the new documentation here.


Please use http://rest-test.db.ripe.net/ for testing. This server uses the TEST database, and is functionally identical to production. The TEST database is reset nightly.

Client Implementation Tests

Use the following examples for testing your client implementation. (These tests are intended to be run sequentially.)


  • Create a new object
    • Use the an example request on WHOIS-REST-API-create
    • Change the source attribute to TEST
    • Change the mntner attribute to TEST-DBM-MNT
    • POST HTTP method
    • Request URL: https://rest-test.db.ripe.net/test?password=emptypassword
    • Request header: "Content-Type: application/xml" for an XML response
    • Request header: "Content-Type: application/json" for a JSON response
    • Expect a 200 response status code and the full object as payload.


  • Update an existing object


  • View an existing object
    • Request URL https://rest-test.db.ripe.net/TEST/person/NIC-HDL. See documentation for more information.
    • GET HTTP method
    • Request header: "Content-Type: application/xml" for an XML response
    • Request header: "Content-Type: application/json" for a JSON response
    • Expect a 200 response status code and the full object as payload.



  • See when an object was created/updated


  • View a particular version of an object


Reference Documentation

The new REST API is documented on the project wiki at: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/whois/wiki/WHOIS-REST-API