API Design Guide


API Lifecycle

Updates and Versioning

How to handle API updates and versioning

Collection Resources


What is a collection (set) of resources


How to retrieve a range of resources in a collection


How to select some resources in a collection


Data format

which data format use

Date and Time

How to deal with date and time data

  • 3.3 Representations
    3.3.8 Date and time fields MUST be represented as strings and formatted according to RFC-3339

Null data

How to deal with null data

Error handling

Error format

How to provide information about errors

HTTP Methods

HTTP methods

General information about HTTP methods usage


The GET method requests a representation of the specified resource. Requests using GET should only retrieve data and should have no other effect.


The POST method requests that the server accept the entity enclosed in the request as a new subordinate of the web resource identified by the URI. The data POSTed might be, for example, an annotation for existing resources; a message for a bulletin board, newsgroup, mailing list, or comment thread; a block of data that is the result of submitting a web form to a data-handling process; or an item to add to a database.


The PUT method requests that the enclosed entity be stored under the supplied URI. If the URI refers to an already existing resource, it is modified; if the URI does not point to an existing resource, then the server can create the resource with that URI.


The DELETE method deletes the specified resource.


The PATCH method applies partial modifications to a resource.


The HEAD method asks for a response identical to that of a GET request, but without the response body. This is useful for retrieving meta-information written in response headers, without having to transport the entire content.


The OPTIONS method returns the HTTP methods that the server supports for the specified URL. This can be used to check the functionality of a web server by requesting ‘*’ instead of a specific resource.

Forbidden methods alternatives

What to do when only possible HTTP methods are POST and GET

HTTP Protocol


How to use and provide relevant caching informations

Content negociation and media types

How to describe your API data format and/or propose different formats (like json, yaml, xml atom, …)

HTTP Headers

How to use standard or custom HTTP headers

HTTP Statuses

General information about HTTP statuses usage



How to use hypermedia

  • 3.3 Representations
    3.3.3 A resource identifier labeled "url" MUST be present in all RESTful API resource representations

Hypermedia (read)

How to use hypermedia to read data

  • 3.3 Representations
    3.3.3 A resource identifier labeled "url" MUST be present in all RESTful API resource representations


API chaining

How to chain API call in internal systems


How to produce and/or propose API documentation


How to undo things

  • 3.6 HTTP Verbs
    * *The POST verb MAY be used to reverse the soft-delete of a resource, using an undelete parameter



How to name things

  • 3.3 Representations
    3.3.11 With regard to JSON representation property names, and URL query parameters, services SHOULD...


Which case (lowercase, camelCase, …) to use and when



General informations about resources

URL format

How to design URLs

ID with semantic

Using meaningful ids (like me)

Retrieve resource

How to retrieve a resource

Retrieve resource partially

How to retrieve partially a resource

Dereference Relationships

How to load a resource and its linked resources in one call

  • 3.6.3 GET
    If a service supports the fields parameter, then a value of @reference, @narrow, or @wide SHOULD...

Create resource

How to create resources

Create resource with a specific ID

How to create resource with a provided id

Replace resource

How to replace (or update fully) a resource

Update resource

How to update a resource

Update resource partially

How to udate partially a resource

Delete resource

How to delete resources

Batch Bulk

How to handle batch/bulk processing/creation/update/… (e.g. handle multiple resources at conce)

Action resource

How to use action resource (e.g. resources like /cancel or /approve)



Security concerns