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REST-server library API reference


Initialization init initialize the namespace

Registration register register an endpoint define a data item: input parameter or object member reg.header define a HTTP-header based input parameter reg.body define the expected POST body in the request reg.output define the output of the endpoint reg.object define an object for use as data element, body, or output reg.default get object populated with default values

Utilities util.throw throw an error util.response construct response util.httpResponse construct HTTP response

Request processing process process an incoming HTTP request

The examples on this page assume the following namespace alias has been created for convenience.



Initialize the library namespace

.com_kx_rest.init opts

Where called as a nullary, minimally initializes the namespace.

Where called as a unary with dictionary opts, initializes the namespace with further steps according to entries in opts:

autoBind   whether to automatically bind and .z.pp handlers (boolean)

When true (1b) an incoming request is delegated to the next handler (if present) if it cannot be matched to an endpoint.

Otherwise a request that does not match an endpoint is rejected with HTTP code 404.


.com_kx_rest.init enlist[`autoBind]!enlist[1b]


Process an incoming HTTP request



  • method is one of `GET`POST (symbol atom)
  • request is an HTTP request (list of strings)

processes the HTTP request according to its http-method custom header (if present), otherwise according to the value of method,

Example: set the REST processor as the kdb+ handlers for HTTP GET and POST calls:[`GET;][`POST;],


Define the input request body expected by the post-based endpoint



typ       name of object (defined using .com_kx_rest.reg.object) (symbol)
isReq     whether the body is required (bool)
dfv       default value, of a type compatible with the object (any)
dscr      human-readable description (string)

defines the input request body expected by the post-based endpoint.

Example: create a new customer object

.rest.reg.object[`customerObj;[`id;-6h;1b;0N;"Customer ID"],[`name;10h;1b;"";"Customer name"] ]

  "Creates one or more customers";
  {`customers upsert cols[customers]#x`data;count customers};
  .rest.reg.body[`customerObj;1b;::;"One or more customer object"] ]

Register a data item[nm;typ;isReq;dfv;dscr]


nm       name of parameter/item (symbol)
typ      q datatype, or object name (defined using
         .com_kx_rest.reg.object) (short|symbol)
isReq    whether parameter is required (boolean)
dfv      default value, which must be of typ (any)
dscr     human readable description (string)

defines a data item that can be used as one of

  • a path-parameter or query-string based input parameter (when invoked in the context of specifying params argument of .com_kx_rest.register function)
  • an element of an object (when invoked in the context of specifying items argument of .com_kx_rest.reg.object function)


Construct an object using the default values of its elements

.com_kx_rest.reg.default nm

Where nm (symbol) is the name of an object, constructs it using the default values of its elements.

This is useful as the default value of an input parameter object.

See .com_kx_rest.reg.object for an example.


Define a header-based input parameter



nm      name of parameter/item (symbol)
typ     q datatype, or object name
        defined using .com_kx_rest.reg.object (short|symbol)
isReq   whether parameter is required (boolean)
dfv     default value, which must be of a type that is compatible with `typ` (any)
dscr    human-readable description (string)

defines a header-based input parameter.


Register an object



nm      name of object, globally unique (symbol)
items   one or more data elements, defined by (table)

registers an object, which can then be a used as the datatype of an input parameter, request body, or output.

An example to define an object that contains another object, and an endpoint that takes the containing object as input, and returns the nested one:

.rest.reg.object[`nestedObj;[`prop1;6h;1b;0#0Ni;"property 1"],[`prop2;11h;1b;0#`;""],[`prop3;0h;0b;("v1";"v2");""],[`prop4;11h;0b;1#`a_value;""] ]

.rest.reg.object[`containerObj;[`id;-6h;0b;100;"id"],[`name;10h;0b;"xyz";"a name"],[`properties;`nestedObj;0b;.rest.reg.default`nestedObj;
    "A nested object"] ]

  "demonstrates nested object";
  {x[`data]`properties}; // Returns nested object
    "One or more container objects"],
  .rest.reg.output[`nestedObj;1b;"Resulting object"] ]


Define the output of an endpoint



typ      name of object, defined with .com_kx_rest.reg.object (symbol)
isReq    whether output is required (bool)
dscr     human-readable description (string)

defines the output of the endpoint.


Register an endpoint



op        REST operation, typically one of get, post, put, or delete (symbol atom)
path      path: supports variables using {var} syntax (e.g. "/users/{id}") (string)
dscr      human-readable description (string)
fn        handler function (fn) see below
params    one or more user input parameter definitions, or empty list
          if no parameters are defined, see (dict|table)

registers an endpoint

  "Returns one or more customers by their IDs";
  {[id] select from customers where uid in id};[`id;6h;1b;0;"One or more customer IDs"] ]

Handler function:

  • if the function is defined with arguments named as the keys or columns of params (or body if params has only a body key or column) then the function is variadically invoked with its arguments mapped from the request input
  • otherwise, the function is invoked as a unary on a dictionary:
op        operation of the endpoint (symbol)
path      path of the endpoint (string)
arg       input parameters (dict)
          as defined by params argument of .com_kx_rest.register
rawArg    input parameters as received in the request, without parsing (dict)
data      value of processed body, typically a dictionary
          if the body is of an object type, but can be of any type
          as specified in call to .com_kx_rest.reg.body
rawData   raw kdb+ form of the request body (if present) (any)
hdr       HTTP headers as received (dict)

and returns one of

  • a kdb+ data structure (typically a dictionary or a table), serialized to JSON by the framework
  • result of the .com_kx_rest.util.response function, which gives the handler control over the HTTP status code, and content type of the response (available with release 1.0.0)
  • result of the .com_kx_rest.util.httpResponse function, which gives the handler total control over the response

In the event of a problem (possibly with input) the handler must call .com_kx_rest.util.throw to signal an error.


Construct and return endpoint’s HTTP response



code        HTTP status code (string
headers     headers dictionary: keys and values are strings (dict)
cbt         Content body, encoded according to Content-Type set in headers (string)

returns endpoint’s HTTP response, allowing control over the HTTP headers.

When this function is used, the handler must set the proper Content-Type header and encode cnt accordingly.


Constructs and return endpoint’s HTTP response given HTTP status code



code      HTTP status code (e.g. "201") (string)
cnttype   content type (one of the keys of `.h.ty`) (symbol)
cnt       content body, already encoded according to cnttype (string)

returns the endpoint’s HTTP response.

Use this function when you need to control the HTTP status code, as well as the type of the content.

If the success status code is 200 and the content type is JSON, the endpoint handler can return its result directly (e.g. dict or table); the framework will encode this as JSON and return it along with 200 status code.


Signal an error



msg   error message (string)
subj  subject of the error,e.g. names of input parameters (string)

signals an error formatted as error-message|error-subject.

Use this function in an endpoint handler to signal an error in a format that distinguishes between the subject of the error, and the error message itself.