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An API browser for the hal+json media type

Example Usage

Here is an example of a hal+json API using the browser:

About HAL

HAL is a format based on json that establishes conventions for representing links. For example:

    "_links": {
        "self": { "href": "/orders" },
        "next": { "href": "/orders?page=2" }

More detail about HAL can be found at

Customizing the POST form

By default, the HAL Browser can’t assume there is any metadata. When you click on the non-GET request button (to create a new resource), the user must enter the JSON document to submit. If your service includes metadata you can access, it’s possible to plugin a custom view that makes use of it.

  1. Define your custom view.

    Here is an example that leverages Spring Data REST’s JSON Schema metadata found at /{entity}/schema.

    var CustomPostForm = Backbone.View.extend({
    	initialize: function (opts) {
    		this.href = opts.href.split('{')[0];
    		this.vent = opts.vent;
    		_.bindAll(this, 'createNewResource');
    	events: {
    		'submit form': 'createNewResource'
    	className: 'modal fade',
    	createNewResource: function (e) {
    		var self = this;
    		var data = {}
    		Object.keys( {
    			if (!("format" in[property])) {
    				data[property] = self.$('input[name=' + property + ']').val();
    		var opts = {
    			url: this.$('.url').val(),
    			headers: HAL.parseHeaders(this.$('.headers').val()),
    			method: this.$('.method').val(),
    			data: JSON.stringify(data)
    		var request = HAL.client.request(opts);
    		request.done(function (response) {
    			self.vent.trigger('response', {resource: response, jqxhr: jqxhr});
    		}).fail(function (response) {
    			self.vent.trigger('fail-response', {jqxhr: jqxhr});
    		}).always(function () {
    			self.vent.trigger('response-headers', {jqxhr: jqxhr});
    			window.location.hash = 'NON-GET:' + opts.url;
    	render: function (opts) {
    		var headers = HAL.client.getHeaders();
    		var headersString = '';
    		_.each(headers, function (value, name) {
    			headersString += name + ': ' + value + '\n';
    		var request = HAL.client.request({
    			url: this.href + '/schema',
    			method: 'GET'
    		var self = this;
    		request.done(function (schema) {
    			self.schema = schema;
    			    href: self.href,
    			    schema: self.schema,
    			    user_defined_headers: headersString}));
    		return this;
    	template: _.template($('#dynamic-request-template').html())
  2. Register it by assigning to HAL.customPostForm

    HAL.customPostForm = CustomPostForm;
  3. Load your custom JavaScript component and define your custom HTML template.

    <script id="dynamic-request-template" type="text/template">
    <div class="modal-header">
      <button type="button" class="close" data-dismiss="modal" aria-hidden="true">&times;</button>
      <h3>Make a non-GET request</h3>
    <form class="non-safe" action="<%= href %>">
      <div class="modal-body">
        <p>Target URI</p>
        <input name="url" type="text" class="url" value="<%= href %>" />
        <input name="method" type="text" class="method" value="POST" />
        <textarea name="headers" class="headers" style="height: 100px">
        Content-Type: application/json
        <%= user_defined_headers %>
      <% _.each(, function(value, name) { %>
        <% if (!("format" in value)) { %>
          <input type="text" placeholder="<%= name %>" name="<%= name %>" />
        <% } %>
      <% }); %>
      <div class="modal-footer">
        <button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary">Make Request</button>
To load a custom JavaScript module AND a custom HTML template, you will probably need to create a customized version of browser.html.
The HAL Browser uses a global HAL object, so there is no need to deal with JavaScript packages.

Usage Instructions

All you should need to do is copy the files into your webroot. It is OK to put it in a subdirectory; it does not need to be in the root.

All the JS and CSS dependencies come included in the vendor directory.


  • Provide feedback to user when there are issues with response (missing self link, wrong media type identifier)

  • Give 'self' and 'curies' links special treatment