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Introduction: Using API V1


DSP-API V1 is a RESTful API that allows for reading and adding of resources from and to Knora and changing their values using HTTP requests. The actual data is submitted as JSON (request and response format). The diverse HTTP methods are applied according to the widespread practice of RESTful APIs: GET for reading, POST for adding, PUT for changing resources and values, and DELETE to delete resources or values (see Using HTTP Methods for RESTful Services).

Knora IRIs

Every resource that is created or hosted by Knora is identified by a unique id, a so called Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI). The IRI is required for every API operation to identify the resource in question. A Knora IRI has itself the format of a URL. For some API operations, the IRI has to be URL-encoded (HTTP GET requests).

Unlike DSP-API v2, DSP-API v1 uses internal IRIs, i.e. the actual IRIs that are stored in the triplestore (see Knora IRIs).

V1 Path Segment

Every request to API V1 includes v1 as a path segment, e.g. http://host/v1/resources/ Accordingly, requests to another version of the API will require another path segment.

DSP-API Response Format

In case an API request could be handled successfully, Knora responds with a 200 HTTP status code. The actual answer from Knora (the representation of the requested resource or information about the executed API operation) is sent in the HTTP body, encoded as JSON (using UTF-8). In this JSON, an API specific status code is sent (member status).

The JSON formats are formally defined as TypeScript interfaces (located in salsah/src/typescript_interfaces). Build the HTML documentation of these interfaces by executing make jsonformat (see docs/ for further instructions).

Placeholder host in sample URLs

Please note that all the sample URLs used in this documentation contain host as a placeholder. The placeholder host has to be replaced by the actual hostname (and port) of the server the Knora instance is running on.


For all API operations that target at changing resources or values, the client has to provide credentials (username and password) so that the API server can authenticate the user making the request. When using the SALSAH web interface, after logging in a session is established (cookie based). When using the API with another client application, credentials can be sent as a part of the HTTP header or as parts of the URL (see Authentication in Knora).

Also when reading resources authentication my be needed as resources and their values may have restricted view permissions.

Last update: 2023-06-01