Get to know the SharePoint REST service

Get the basics of using the SharePoint REST service to access and update SharePoint data, using the REST and OData web protocol standards.

Note The name "apps for SharePoint" is changing to "SharePoint Add-ins". During the transition, the documentation and the UI of some SharePoint products and Visual Studio tools might still use the term "apps for SharePoint". For details, see New name for apps for Office and SharePoint.

SharePoint introduces a Representational State Transfer (REST) service that is comparable to the existing SharePoint client object models. Now, developers can interact remotely with SharePoint data by using any technology that supports REST web requests. This means that developers can perform Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations from their SharePoint Add-ins, solutions, and client applications, using REST web technologies and standard Open Data Protocol (OData) syntax.

Prerequisites

This topic assumes you have a basic familiarity with REST and how to construct REST requests.

How the SharePoint REST service works

SharePoint adds the ability for you to remotely interact with SharePoint sites by using REST. Now, you can interact directly with SharePoint objects by using any technology that supports standard REST capabilities.

To access SharePoint resources using REST, construct a RESTful HTTP request, using the Open Data Protocol (OData) standard, which corresponds to the desired client object model API. For example:

Client object model method:

List.GetByTitle(listname)

REST endpoint:

http://server/site/_api/lists/getbytitle('listname')

The client.svc web service in SharePoint handles the HTTP request, and serves the appropriate response in either Atom or JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. Your client application must then parse that response. The figure below shows a high-level view of the SharePoint REST architecture.

SharePoint REST service architecture

SharePoint REST service architecture

Because of the functionality and ease of use that client object models provide, they remain the primary development option for communicating with SharePoint sites by using .NET Framework managed code, Silverlight, or JavaScript.

Use HTTP commands with the SharePoint REST service

To use the REST capabilities that are built into SharePoint, you construct a RESTful HTTP request, using the OData standard, which corresponds to the client object model API you want to use. The client.svc web service handles the HTTP request and serves the appropriate response in either Atom or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format. The client application must then parse that response.

The endpoints in the SharePoint REST service correspond to the types and members in the SharePoint client object models. By using HTTP requests, you can use these REST endpoints to perform typical CRUD operations against SharePoint entities, such as lists and sites.

In general:

If you want to do this to an endpoint Use this HTTP request Keep in mind
Read a resource GET
Create or update a resource POST Use POST to create entities such as lists and sites. The SharePoint REST service supports sending POST commands that include object definitions to endpoints that represent collections.For POST operations, any properties that are not required are set to their default values. If you attempt to set a read-only property as part of a POST operation, the service returns an exception.
Update or insert a resource PUT Use PUT and MERGE operations to update existing SharePoint objects. Any service endpoint that represents an object property set operation supports both PUT requests and MERGE requests. For MERGE requests, setting properties is optional; any properties that you do not explicitly set retain their current property. For PUT requests, if you do not specify all required properties in object updates, the REST service returns an exception. In addition, any optional properties you do not explicitly set are set to their default properties.
Delete a resource DELETE Use the HTTP DELETE command against the specific endpoint URL to delete the SharePoint object represented by that endpoint.In the case of recyclable objects, such as lists, files, and list items, this results in a Recycle operation.

Construct REST URLs to access SharePoint resources

Whenever possible, the URI for these REST endpoints closely mimics the API signature of the resource in the SharePoint client object model. The main entry points for the REST service represent the site collection and site of the specified context.

To access a specific site collection, use the following construction:

http://server/site/_api/site

To access a specific site, use the following construction:

http://server/site/_api/web

In each case, server represents the name of the server, and site represents the name of, or path to, the specific site.

From this starting point, you can then construct more specific REST URIs by ''walking" the object model, using the names of the APIs from the client object model separated by a forward slash (/).

This syntax doesn't apply to the SocialFeedManager or SocialFollowingManager REST APIs. See Social feed REST API reference for SharePoint and Following people and content REST API reference for SharePoint for more information.

See Determine SharePoint REST service endpoint URIs for more guidelines for determining SharePoint REST endpoint URIs from the signature of the corresponding client object model APIs.

SharePoint REST endpoint examples

The following table contains typical REST endpoint URL examples to get you started working with SharePoint data. Prepend http://server/site/_api/ to the URL fragments shown in the table to construct a fully qualified REST URL. Where necessary for POST commands, the table contains sample data you must pass in the HTTP request body to create the specified SharePoint item. Items in italics represent variables that you must replace with your values.

Description URL endpoint HTTP method Body content
Retrieves the title of a list web/title GET Not applicable
Retrieves all lists on a site lists GET Not applicable
Retrieves a single 'list's metadata lists/getbytitle('listname') GET Not applicable
Retrieves items within a list lists/getbytitle('listname')/items GET Not applicable
Retrieves a specific property of a document. (In this case, the document title.) lists/getbytitle('listname')?select=Title GET Not applicable
Creates a list lists POST  
{
  '_metadata':{'type':SP.List},
  'AllowContentTypes': true,
  'BaseTemplate': 104 ,
  'ContentTypesEnabled': true,
  'Description': 'My list description ',
  'Title': 'RestTest '
}
Adds an item to a list lists/getbytitle('listname')/items POST
{
  '_metadata':{'type':SP.listname ListItem},
  'Title': 'MyItem'
}

Batch job support

The SharePoint Online (and on-premise SharePoint 2016 or later) REST service supports combining multiple requests into a single call to the service by using the OData $batch query option. For details and links to code samples, see Make batch requests with the REST APIs. .

Additional Resources

Use the resources listed below to learn more about using the SharePoint REST service.

Title Description
Complete basic operations using SharePoint REST endpoints Learn how to perform basic create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations with the SharePoint REST interface.
Working with lists and list items with REST Learn how to perform basic create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on lists and list items with the SharePoint REST interface.
Working with folders and files with REST Learn how to perform basic create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on folders and files with the SharePoint REST interface.
Navigate the SharePoint data structure represented in the REST service Learn how to start from a REST endpoint for a given SharePoint item, and navigate to and access related items, such as parent sites or the library structure where that item resides.
Determine SharePoint REST service endpoint URIs Learn general guidelines for determining SharePoint REST endpoint URIs from the signature of the corresponding client object model APIs.
Use OData query operations in SharePoint REST requests Learn how to use a wide range of OData query string operators to select, filter, and order the data you request from the SharePoint REST service.
REST API reference and samples This page contains links to all of the REST resources that are available for SharePoint developers on MSDN.
SharePoint Search REST API overview Add search functionality to client and mobile applications using the Search REST service in SharePoint Server 2013 and any technology that supports REST web requests.
Social feed REST API reference for SharePoint Learn about SharePoint REST endpoints for feed-related tasks.
Following people and content REST API reference for SharePoint Learn about SharePoint REST endpoints for following people and content.
Make batch requests with the REST APIs Learn how to combine multiple requests into a single call to the REST service.
Synchronize SharePoint items using the REST service Learn how to synchronize items between SharePoint and your add-ins or services by using the GetListItemChangesSinceToken resource, part of the SharePoint REST service.
Use ETag values through the REST service to get document list item versioning Learn how to use HTML ETags with the SharePoint REST service for concurrency control of SharePoint lists and list items.

OData resources