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REST API

dotCMS provides a large set of REST (Representational state transfer or “RESTful“) web services which provide access to dotCMS content and functionality separately from the dotCMS back-end. dotCMS exposes these web services thru the APIs listed in the documentation below. Many of the documents below provide detailed information about the most commonly used REST services such as saving content using REST. For a full list of dotCMS REST endpoints, please see the REST API Endpoints documentation.

Note that there is no official “standard” for how RESTful services perform, since REST is not an actual protocol, but is instead a style of service which uses and is intended to conform with other official standards (such as HTTP, URI, and JSON).

Permissions

All REST API endpoints are fully integrated with dotCMS permissions. This means that users may only access content through the REST API that they would have access to if they tried to perform the same actions on the content via the dotCMS back-end.

  • If a user calls a REST API endpoint to retrieve content from dotCMS, the endpoint will only return content that user has permissions to view.
    • If an unauthenticated user attempts to access content via the REST API, that user will have the permissions assigned to the CMS Anonymous user.
    • Additional restrictions may apply for individual REST endpoints, or for the entire dotCMS system. Please see the REST API Authentication documentation for more information.
  • If a user submits a content query that matches dotCMS content, but the user or application doesn't have permissions to view any of the matching content, the REST call will succeed (code 200), but an empty list will be returned.

Authentication

It is important that users and applications using and REST API are authenticated. This is necessary because:

  • For the REST API to respect permissions, users must be authenticated.
  • Many REST endpoints do not allow access by unauthenticated users.
  • dotCMS can be configured to prevent access to the REST API by any unauthenticated users.

There are a number of different authentication methods you can use with the REST API, which vary in their ease-of-use and security. Therefore, before working with any REST API endpoints, it is recommended that you read the REST API Authentication documentation.

Endpoints

There are over 100 different REST API endpoints, allowing you to save and retrieve both raw and fully rendered content (including files, pages, sites, and all other types of content), publish and unpublish content, manage push publishing bundles, change configuration information, and more.

The REST API Endpoints documentation contains a full list of REST endpoints. In addition, the documentation listed below contains more detailed explanations of many of the most common endpoints and endpoints with specific requirements.