Network Working Group J. Schuetze
Internet-Draft August 27, 2016
Intended status: Informational
Expires: February 28, 2017



This document proposes a media type for representing JSON resources and relations with hypermedia controls.

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Table of Contents


2. Introduction

JSON Hypermedia Controls (JSON-HC) is a standard which establishes conventions for expressing hypermedia controls in JSON [RFC4627].

The Hypermedia Controls of JSON-HC provide a way to figure out which Actions are possible with a Resource Object, what is the self URL of the Object and of which profile is the Resource Object.

3. Requirements

The key words "MUST" "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

4. JSON-HC Documents

A JSON-HC Document uses the format described in [RFC4627] and has the media type "application/hc+json".

Its root object MUST be a Resource Object.

For example:

GET /orders/523 HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/hc+json

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/hc+json

  "self": "/orders/523",
  "profile": "",
  "": "/warehouse/56",
  "": "/invoices/873",
  "currency": "USD",
  "status": "shipped",
  "total": 10.20

Here, we have a JSON-HC document representing an order resource with the URI "/orders/523" and the profile as in [RFC6906] defined as "". It has "warehouse" and "invoice" links, and its own state in the form of "currency", "status", and "total" properties.

5. Resource Objects

A Resource Objects represents a resource.

It has no reserved properties.

A Resource Object MAY contain Hypermedia Controls with either a Target URL or an Embedded Resource Object as a value.

6. Hypermedia Controls

Resource Objects MAY contain Hypermedia Controls.

A Hypermedia Control is a property name, which is either:

The value of this Hypermedia Control must be an URL to the linked resource or an Embedded Resource Object.

If the value is an URL, the Resource Object needs to be fetched ondemand with an additional request.

7. Embedded Resource Object

If the value of an Hypermedia Control is a JSON object, there is no additional request necessary to fetch the Resource Object for this Hypermedia Control.

8. Refresh a Resource Object

If the Resource Object has a "self" Hypermedia Control, the value MUST be an URL. A request to the URL will provide the Resource Object.

9. Target URL

The target URL of an Hypermedia Control is either:

If the Target URL is not an absolute URL, it must start with a "/" and any request to this Target URL will be preceded with the base path of the initially requested Document.

10. Performing Actions

The Target URL of an Hypermedia Control can be used as target for HTTP requests.

11. Retrieve available HTTP methods

JSON-HC does not provide an own way to define, which HTTP methods a JSON-HC Target URL may accept.

If a server needs to list the possible HTTP methods available for a resource, it SHOULD provide an Allow Header [RFC7231].

OPTIONS /cancelation/123 HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

If the resource was requested with an unsupported method, the server should reply with 405 Method not Allowed HTTP Status Code.

12. Profile of a Resource Object

If the Resource Object has a profile Hypermedia Control, a client can use this to figure out of which kind the Resource Object is.

13. Examples

The following order resource has a self Hypermedia Control as defined by IANA Link Relations and a custom cancel Hypermedia Control.

GET /orders/523 HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/hc+json

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/hc+json

  "self": "/orders/523",
  "profile": "",
  "": "/cancelation/873",
  "currency": "USD",
  "status": "created",
  "total": 10.20

If the client wants to cancel the order, it does a POST HTTP Request to the cancel Hypermedia Control.

POST /cancelation/123 HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

If POST would be not available, the server responds with:

HTTP/1.1 405 Method Not Allowed

A client might decide to use DELETE method instead of the hard coded POST method instead.

14. Informative References

[RFC4627] Crockford, D., "The application/json Media Type for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)", RFC 4627, DOI 10.17487/RFC4627, July 2006.
[RFC6906] Wilde, E., "The 'profile' Link Relation Type", RFC 6906, DOI 10.17487/RFC6906, March 2013.
[RFC7231] Fielding, R. and J. Reschke, "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content", RFC 7231, DOI 10.17487/RFC7231, June 2014.

Author's Address

J. Schuetze EMail: