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Using the eZ Publish REST API v2 with cURL

Friday 19 April 2013 2:28:42 pm

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Lately, I've been testing and fixing several issues with the eZ Publish REST API v2. To manually test it, I use cURL (man curl) because it's widely available, well documented, and like any other command line tool, you can use it together with others text processing tools (grep, xmllint, xsltproc, ...). I'm writing this post as a memo for me but I'm sure some people will find it useful as well.

The whole REST API v2 is specified in the ezpublish-kernel git repository. Yes, that's a huge document, because the REST API is huge :-) A shorter introduction/documentation is also available in the eZ Publish documentation.

Note: to keep this post short and readable, the command results are not in the post itself but the whole command line session is available on this page

Basic GET requests

Let's start with a simple GET request on the root of the API:

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/
  • -u "admin:ezpublish" allows to authenticate on the website with the Basic Auth which is the default authentication method.
  • -i tells the cURL to display the HTTP response headers

By default, the response is formatted in XML. If you prefer to get the result as JSON, you have to specify it by setting the Accept header with the -H parameter:

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i -H "Accept: application/json" \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/

Of course, it's possible to retrieve more useful data with the REST API, for instance to read the metadata of the /Media folder (id 41):

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i \
-H "Accept: application/vnd.ez.api.ContentInfo+json" \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/content/objects/41

If you want to get the whole Content with its attributes:

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i \
-H "Accept: application/vnd.ez.api.Content+json" \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/content/objects/41

The only difference between the last two calls is the Accept header which allows to tell to the system what data I want.

The GET requests allow to read pretty much everything in the content repository. That's cool but we can do cooler tasks provided we enrich our HTTP vocabulary :-)

Publish an image

To publish a content, we have to first create a draft and then to actually publish it.

Create the image draft

The creation of the draft is done with a POST request on /api/ezp/v2/content/objects with a body containing the required and structured data. As for the response, it's possible to use either JSON or XML in input. In the following examples, I use the JSON way:

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i -H "Accept: application/json" \
-H "Content-Type: application/vnd.ez.api.ContentCreate+json" \
-H "Expect:" -X POST -d @createimage.json \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/content/objects
  • -X POST tells cURL to do a POST request
  • -d @createimage.json tells cURL to put the content of the file createimage.json in the request body. Without the @, the value right after the -d switch is put in the request body.
  • -H "Content-Type: application/vnd.ez.api.ContentCreate+json" indicates that the body of the request is a content create struct in JSON.

The -H "Expect:" might sound a bit weird. Actually, this is to prevent cURL from automatically filling this header in a request with a body which is not really useful in the context of a REST API. If you want to learn more on this header, take a look at the RFC 2616 which defines HTTP 1.1

Publish the draft

Our draft is now created, we just have to publish it, this is done by issuing a PUBLISH request on the resources corresponding to the newly created draft (The content id is taken from the response of the draft creation request).

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i -X PUBLISH \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/content/objects/135/versions/1

PUBLISH is a custom HTTP verb, depending on various configuration details, this kind of request may not be accepted. In such case, it's possible to emulate it with a POST request having the custom header X-HTTP-Method-Override set to PUBLISH:

curl -u "admin:ezpublish" -i -X POST \
-H "X-HTTP-Method-Override: PUBLISH" \
http://ezpublish5.loc/api/ezp/v2/content/objects/135/versions/1

Both requests do exactly the same. After one of these commands, you should see a new image under the /Media/Images/ called eZ Systems logo created with the REST API.

And then ?

Going over all available operations would be a tad long and useless. In any case, the basics remain the same: with an HTTP request on a given resource eventually with a structured body, you can do all operations on the content repository. That's just awesome!

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