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The Knowledge Base API

The Knowledge Base offers a REST API for easy integration with other services. Version 1 of this API exposes page content and labels. Some queries are open, others require authentication. Authentication is accomplished via bearer tokens in HTTP headers. If you are interested in obtaining a token for your application, please contact the KB Team.

Interacting with the API

To familiarize yourself, consider using the "curl" command-line utility on Linux or Mac OS X. It can be invoked like this:



  • [REQUEST] is the HTTP request type (e.g. GET)
  • [HEADER] and [VALUE] are the name of a header (e.g. Authorization) and the content of that header (e.g. bearer 12345678). If you need to specify multiple headers, you may pass as many -H options as you need. (e.g. curl -X GET -H 'Thing:One' -H 'Fish:Red' ...)
  • URL is as described below.

URI and prefix

The API is currently served from:

All endpoints (see below) in the API are preceeded by v1/ to indicate this is version 1 of the API.

For example, the API URL consists of the API location (, the version (v1/), and the articles endpoint, along with an argument to pass to it.


To authenticate to the API, present your token (see below to request a token) in an Authorization header. For example, if your token is 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef, you would construct the header as follows:

Authorization: bearer 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef

Experienced users will note that this is not in fact an OAuth bearer token – this is correct. OAuth support is planned in a future release, and the Authorization header was designed that way for future compatibility.

Using curl, you would type curl -H "Authorization: bearer 12345678-90ab-cdef-1234-567890abcdef". Using XMLHttpRequest, you would call request.setRequestHeader('Authorization', 'bearer ' + token). For other clients, consult your documentation.

You may pass a token even for endpoints which do not require authentication, however, any tokens you pass must be valid. That is, if you choose to pass a token for an non-authenticated endpoint, and the token is invalid, you will receive a 401 error.

Some endpoints have optional authentication. That is, you can retrieve some content anonymously, but may need to pass a token to retrieve other content. (You will receive a 401 error for the content in question if that's the case.)

Requesting Tokens

API tokens can be requested at (MIT authentication required), and will automatically be enabled for all public content. Anyone who requires access to protected content in the KB should contact to discuss their needs.

Content Type

The API returns JSON data, except where noted. Some endpoints are capable of returning HTML or JSON: To obtain HTML, you must set an Accept: header with text/html as the only value. If it includes any wildcards, you will be given JSON output. If you pass an Accept: header that is only capable of text/html to an endpoint only capable of generating JSON, you will receive a 406 error.

Return Codes

In the spirit of REST, this API makes full use of HTTP status codes. You are encouraged to make use of them. For example, to see if a resource exists, you may issue a HEAD request. If you receive a 404, the resource does not exist. Obviously, a 200 or a 201 will be returned upon success.

For all return codes, you will get a JSON object back, which contains some metadata about the error that occurred. Many objects may contain an html attribute, which includes an HTML version of the error suitable for displaying in a browser.

Known Issue: The HTML in error message contains escaped HTML tags, causing the resulting error to display inline HTML tags. Use the description attribute of the JSON object in the interim until this is fixed.

Code Meaning
201 Created (in response to PUT or POST)
400 Bad request. Some aspect of the request was not acceptable.
401 Authorization needed. You will get this if: a) a token is required and you do not pass one; b) your token has expired; c) you pass an invalid token.
403 Forbidden. You successfully authenticated, but your token does not allow access to the resource (either at all, or because you tried to write to read-only resource).
404 Not found. The resource does not exist.
405 Method not allowed. You tried to access an endpoint via a method it does not support. (e.g. POST instead of GET). The response body will contain a valid_methods key, indicating what methods will work.
406 Not acceptable. You specified an Accept: header that the API cannot honor. (For example, you request only HTML from an endpoint that can only generate JSON.)
500 Internal error. Something bad happened.
501 Not implemented. You found a feature we haven't advertised yet, but we're considering adding. Good for you!


Most objects returned include an attribute called rest_uri which is the REST URI of the object relative to the root of the API This may change.. For example, if you queried a label to see which articles it contains, each of the objects you received back would contain a rest_uri along the lines of /articles/12345



The root level of the API.


Method Path
GET /shortcode/<code>
Parameters Meaning
<code> An alphanumeric shortcode

Return a Shortcode object, with information about a shortcode. A shortcode is the series of characters (including any trailing slashes) after the in a short URL to a page.

Authenticated: no


Method Path Action
POST / Create a new article
GET /<id> Retrieve an Article object
GET /<id>/<format> Retrieve an article in the specified format
GET /<id>/<format>/excerpt Retrieve an excerpt of an article in the specified format
GET /<id>/labels Retrieve a list of Label objects for each label the article has
POST /<id>/labels Add a label to the article by passing 'name=value' in the postdata
GET /<id>/labels/<label_name> Get information about the label '<label_name>', if the article has that label
PUT /<id>/labels/<label_name> Add '<label_name>' to the article
Parameters Meaning
<id> The numeric id of the article
<format> One of 'object', 'html', 'div'. See below.
<label_name> The name of a label

Authentication: optional

Format and Excerpt

The default format is object, which returns JSON. The div and html formats are capable of returning text/html content, if requested by the Accept: header. When JSON is requested, the JSON will have a single attribute (html), which contains the HTML.

The html format generates the same HTML you'd see if you viewed the article in a browser, complete with references to the KB server. The div format generates the page content inside a <div> with the DOM id ConfluenceContent with minimal formatting.

/excerpt may be appended to a request for a formatted article, indicating you want the article's excerpt (enclosed in the Confluence {excerpt} tags), not its full content. If the article does not have an excerpt, the API will return 404. If object format is specified, the page object will have the excerpt attribute and will NOT have the content attribute.


Method Path Action
GET /labels/<name> Retrieve a Label object corresponding to the labe of that name.
GET /labels/<id>/articles Retrieve a list of ArticleSummary objects that have the label of that id number
GET /labels/<name>/articles Retrieve a list of ArticleSummary objects that have the label of that name
Parameters Meaning
<id> The numeric id of a label
<name> The name of a label

Authentication: optional



Fields Content
id Numeric id of label
name Name of label
rest_uri URI of Label object


Fields Content
id Numeric id of article referred to by shortcode
rest_uri URI of Article object


Fields Content
id The id number of the page
rest_uri URI of this Article object
url The URL to access the article in the KB
title The title of the article


And article contains all the fields of ArticleSummary, in addition to:

space The name of the space the page is in
contentStatus 'current'
created The creation timestamp
modified The last modified timestamp
short_url The short url to the article in the KB

And finally, an Article will contain one of the following, depending on how it was requested.

content The full body of the page
excerpt The excerpt of the page

Knowledge Base API Proof of Concept

Knowledge Base API Proof of Concept Drupal Module

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 14, 2016

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