Fast and easy C++ RESTful WebServices framework
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ngrest is a simple C++ REST framework. It has small footprint, fast and very easy in use.

ngrest allow you to deploy C++ RESTful webservices under Apache2, Nginx or under simple ngrest http server.

ngrest is written on C++11 and uses CMake for build.

Documentation and how-to's are available from Wiki.

Quick tour

Hello world

No coding needed to make Hello world service working!

ngrest create HelloWorld
cd helloworld

That's all! Now you can browse service operations and try HelloWorld service using ngrest service tester: http://localhost:9098/ngrest/service/HelloWorld.

Upon creation the test echo resource added to every service and by the address http://localhost:9098/helloworld/echo?text=YOUR_TEXT this service will respond:

{"result": "Hi, YOUR_TEXT"}

Handling simple data types:

ngrest supports simple C++ data types:

class Calculator: public ngrest::Service {
    int add(int a, int b) {
        return a + b;

    int sub(int a, int b) {
        return a - b;

To the request http://localhost:9098/Calculator/add?a=2&b=3 this service will respond:


Handling complex data types

ngrest supports complex C++ data types such as structures, enums, typedefs and STL containers:

struct Pet {
    enum class Species {

    Species species;
    std::string name;
    std::string birthday;

class Pets: public ngrest::Service {
    std::list<Pet> getPets() {
        return std::list<Pet>({{
            "Jan 1, 2010"
            "July 4, 2014"

To the request http://localhost:9098/Pets/getPets this service will respond:

{"result":[{"species":"canine","name":"spot","birthday":"Jan 1, 2010"},{"species":"feline","name":"puff","birthday":"July 4, 2014"}]}

Setting up HTTP method and location

To set HTTP method and location special comments are used:

// *location: /notes
class Notes: public ngrest::Service {
    //! adds a new note
    // *method: POST
    // *location: /new
    std::string add(const std::string& text);

    //! gets all notes
    // *location: /all
    std::map<std::string, std::string> getAll();

    //! get a note by id
    // *location: /{id}
    std::string get(const std::string& id);

    //! deletes a note by id
    // *method: DELETE
    // *location: /{id}
    std::string remove(const std::string& id);

Please note, default method is GET and default location is equals to the name.

This will create a REST service on root path /notes. Also this will add four resources:

Operation Method URL Request Response
add POST http://localhost:9098/notes/new {"text":"Example text of the note"} {"result":"d90638e1"}
getAll GET http://localhost:9098/notes/all {"result":[{"d90638e1":"Example text of the note"}]}
get GET http://localhost:9098/notes/d90638e1 {"result":"Example text of the note"}
remove DELETE http://localhost:9098/notes/d90638e1


Supported OS are: Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. If you need support for another OS, please create new issue.

Under Linux installation process is simple. To install ngrest, just open terminal and copy-paste:

wget -qO- | bash

Installation guide with screenshots for Linux

Installation guide with screenshots for Windows

Installation guide with screenshots for Mac OS X


  1. If you don't have one of dependencies required, installer will ask you to enter your password to install it automatically. If you don't want this, press Ctrl+C and start this command: "sudo apt-get install git cmake g++". After apt-get finished, start the line above again.

  2. By default script installs ngrest wrapper into best location available. If you have ~/bin directory in your search path ngrest wrapper will be installed into it. Else it will try to install into /usr/local/bin/ and you will be prompted for your password to install. To override this behavior and forcibly install ngrest wrapper into ~/bin please create ~/bin directory and re-login. After re-login it should be added into $PATH automatically. If this does not happen, please add into your ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile a line: export PATH=$PATH:$USER/bin. Also you can export USERINST environment variable to something non-empty, install ngrest and re-login.

Create a new project

How to create and start project with screenshots

To create a new project please open new terminal and enter:

ngrest create <project_name>

Or if you prefer to do not split the service to interface (.h) and implementation (.cpp) and develop the whole service within single .hpp file, add -d hpp option and ngrest will create hpp-style service(s) for you:

ngrest create -d hpp <project_name>

Where <project_name> is a name of your project and a service name.

Example 1. Create project 'calculator' and a service 'Calculator':

ngrest create Calculator

Optionally you can set up additional services and define it's namespaces.

Example 2. Create project 'calc' and two services - 'org.example.Calculator' and 'org.example.DivService':

ngrest create calc org.example.Calculator org.example.DivService

Start the project

When a project is generated, an echo operation is added into each service. It's only provided as fast example and can be safely removed when you write your own operations.

You can start your project right after it's created:

cd calc

ngrest wrapper will build your project and will start the server on default port.

After server is started you can try your service operations: open a link located below the To test your services try ngrest service tester: message in your browser, click "echo" link, enter something into "text" field and press "Submit".

Implementing the service

Service's sources are located in <servicename>/src/<ServiceName>.h/cpp/hpp files. To implement your service you must edit those files (QtCreator is a very good tool for that: open CMakeLists.txt from project's dir in QtCreator).

While you change source code, you can leave project started. ngrest will detect any changes in source code and will try to build and to apply changes. In case of successful build ngrest will restart the server.

If you faced with crash ngrest will try to trace the error using gdb and display the place of crash and program stack. To restart the server just modify your source code.

Example. Add "add" operation into Calculator service:

  1. if you use hpp-style service insert these lines into Calculator.hpp before end of class:
int add(int a, int b)
    return a + b;

to make your service class appear like this:

class Calculator: public ngrest::Service
    // ...
    std::string echo(const std::string& text)
        return "Hi, " + text;

    int add(int a, int b)
        return a + b;
  1. If you use h/cpp-style service, insert this line into Calculator.h before end of class:
int add(int a, int b);

to make your service class appear like this:

class Calculator: public ngrest::Service
    // ...
    std::string echo(const std::string& text);

    int add(int a, int b);

and add implementation - append these lines into Calculator.cpp:

int Calculator::add(int a, int b)
    return a + b;

After that, click on the service name in service tester to see and test new add operation.

Upgrade ngrest

To upgrade ngrest to the latest changeset from master branch type:

ngrest upgrade

If you want to downgrade to specific commit, add commit hash as last argument, for example:

ngrest upgrade 3b78eee

If there are any running projects it will be automatically rebuild and restarted.


Here is a list of packages to extend ngrest functinality:

Package Repo URL Description
loentar/ngrest-db Simple access to relational databases.


  • support complex types in services tester
  • support of sessions/cookies
  • WADL support?


Feel free to ask ngrest related questions here on the Google groups.

There also a chat on: