# Friday, 28 May 2010
A true REST interface with full support for HTTP Verbs, status codes, and URIs is currently not available on the Salesforce.com platform. However, a simple REST-like interface for getting objects can be developed using Salesforce Sites, Visualforce, and Apex.

This example uses a free Developer Edition with a Site named 'api' that uses only 2 Visualforce pages named 'rest' and 'error'. The rest page accepts a single parameter named 'soql', executes the SOQL query, and returns a JSON formatted response.

The error page is also used to generically handle all 40x and 50x errors.

The body of the error page returns a simple JSON message that the api is unavailable.
<apex:page contenttype="application/x-JavaScript; charset=utf-8" 
showheader="false" standardstylesheets="false" sidebar="false">
{"status": 500, "error": "api currently not available"}

The rest Visualforce page (full source at bottom of this post) accepts a SOQL parameter and returns JSON results. To get a list of all Leads with their First and Last names, you'd use the SOQL

select Id, FirstName, LastName from Lead
and pass this query to the REST interface in a GET format such as (example here)

Note that the rest page is defined as the default handler for the site named 'api', so it's not required in the URL.
This simple interface supports any flavor of SOQL, including the WHERE and LIMIT keywords, so you can pass queries like

select Id, FirstName, LastName from Lead where LastName='Smith' limit 20
REST interfaces often assume the unique ID of an object is the last portion of the URL request. This can similarly be achieved with a query like (example here)
select Id, FirstName, LastName from Lead where Id='00QA00000019xkpMAA' limit 1

All of these example queries will only return the Id field by default. To fix this, update the Sites Public Access Settings and grant Read access to the Lead object.

The new URL rewriting feature in Summer 10 provides some additional options the necessary means to implementing a RESTful interface with full support for object URIs and linking.

Visualforce Source Code for rest.page
<apex:page controller="RESTController" action="{!processRequest}" 
contentType="application/x-JavaScript; charset=utf-8" showHeader="false" 
standardStylesheets="false" sidebar="false">
Apex Source Code for RESTController.cls
public with sharing class RESTController {
	public void processRequest(){
    	if( HasError )
    	//Add support for other types of verbs here
    static final string ERROR_MISSING_SOQL_PARAM = 'Bad Request. Missing soql parameter';
    static final string ERROR_SOBJECT_MISSING	 = 'Bad Request. Could not parse SObject name from SOQL';
    static final string ERROR_FROM_MISSING		 = 'Bad request. SOQL missing FROM keyword';
    public void validateRequest(){
    	if(Query == null){
    		errorResponse(400, ERROR_MISSING_SOQL_PARAM);
    	else if(sObjectName == null){
    		//Force a get of object name property.
    		//Detailed error response should already be logged by sObjectName parser
    public boolean HasError = False;
    private void errorResponse(integer errorCode, string errorMessage){
    	JSONResponse.putOpt('status', new JSONObject.value(errorCode));
    	JSONResponse.putOpt('error', new JSONObject.value(errorMessage));
    	HasError = True;
    public void processGetQuery(){
    	Map<String, Schema.SObjectField> fieldMap = Schema.getGlobalDescribe().get(SObjectName).getDescribe().fields.getMap();
    	List<JSONObject.value> objectValues = new List<JSONObject.value>();
    	List<sObject> resultList = Database.query(Query);
    	for(sObject obj : resultList){
    		JSONObject json = new JSONObject();
    		json.putOpt('id', new JSONObject.value( obj.Id ));
    		for(SObjectField field : fieldMap.values() ){
    				string f = field.getDescribe().getName();
    				string v = String.valueOf( obj.get(field) );
    				json.putOpt(f, new JSONObject.value( v ));
    			catch(Exception ex){
    				//Ignore. Field not included in query
			objectValues.add(new JSONObject.value(json));
    	JSONResponse.putOpt('status', new JSONObject.value(200));
    	JSONResponse.putOpt('records', new JSONObject.value(objectValues));
    private string m_query = null;
    public string Query{
    		if(m_query == null && ApexPages.currentPage().getParameters().get('soql') != null){
    			m_query = ApexPages.currentPage().getParameters().get('soql');
    		return m_query;

	static final string SOQL_FROM_TOKEN = 'from ';    
    private string m_sObject = null;
    public string sObjectName{
    		if(m_sObject == null && Query != null){
    			string soql = Query.toLowerCase();
    			integer sObjectStartToken = soql.indexOf(SOQL_FROM_TOKEN);
    			if(sObjectStartToken == -1){
    				errorResponse(400, ERROR_FROM_MISSING);
    				return null;
    			sObjectStartToken += SOQL_FROM_TOKEN.length(); 
    			integer sObjectEndToken = soql.indexOf(' ', sObjectStartToken);
    			if(sObjectEndToken == -1)
    				sObjectEndToken = soql.length();
    			m_sObject = Query.substring(sObjectStartToken, sObjectEndToken);
    			m_sObject = m_sObject.trim();
    			system.debug('m_sObject = ' + m_sObject);
    		return m_sObject;
    private JsonObject m_jsonResponse = null;
    public JSONObject JSONResponse{
    		if(m_jsonResponse == null)
    			m_jsonResponse = new JSONObject();
    		return m_jsonResponse;
		set{ m_jsonResponse = value;}
	public String getJSONResult() {
    	return JSONResponse.valueToString();
	public static testMethod void unitTests(){
		RESTController controller = new RESTController();
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.HasError);
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.JSONResponse.has('status'));
		system.assertEquals(400, controller.JSONResponse.getValue('status').num);
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.JSONResponse.has('error'));
		system.assertEquals(ERROR_MISSING_SOQL_PARAM, controller.JSONResponse.getValue('error').str);
		controller = new RESTController();
		ApexPages.currentPage().getParameters().put('soql', 'select Id fro Lead');
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.HasError);
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.JSONResponse.has('status'));
		system.assertEquals(400, controller.JSONResponse.getValue('status').num);
		system.assertEquals(ERROR_FROM_MISSING, controller.JSONResponse.getValue('error').str);
		controller = new RESTController();
		ApexPages.currentPage().getParameters().put('soql', 'select Id from Lead');
		system.assertEquals(False, controller.HasError);
		system.assertEquals('Lead', controller.sObjectName);
		Lead testLead = new Lead(FirstName = 'test', LastName = 'lead', Company='Bedrock', Email='fred@flintstone.com');
        insert testLead;
        controller = new RESTController();
		ApexPages.currentPage().getParameters().put('soql', 'select Id from Lead where email=\'fred@flintstone.com\'');
		system.assertEquals(False, controller.HasError);
		system.assertEquals('Lead', controller.sObjectName);
		system.assertEquals(True, controller.JSONResponse.has('records'));
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 11:39:44 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Mike: we should compare notes. I've done some similar work to do RESTful querying, creating, updates and deletes. This might be a great thing to turn into a Google Code project - anyone with a Force.com Site could install a package to enable a REST API.
Tom Patros
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 11:42:18 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Tom - Definitely count me in as a contributor to an open source REST interface for Salesforce. Lot's of ideas flowing now.
Mike Leach
Monday, 28 June 2010 00:02:08 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
Very glad to see you in this article
Thursday, 19 August 2010 11:56:44 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)

I came across this post while googling for a REST API for Salesforce and I was surprised to see that there was none (at least none I could find).

I work for JackBe and wanted to share how I created a REST (like) API using JackBe's Presto Mashup Server. Here is my blog post related to this - http://www.jackbe.com/enterprise-mashup/blog/simplify-salesforcecom-api-using-presto.
Thursday, 02 December 2010 00:23:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011 05:54:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Excellent! Thanks for doing this…it’s really nice to know that I’m not alone on a lot of these things.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 08:48:59 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Maybe I am blind and missed it but where is the JsonObject class. Are you using this package, http://developer.force.com/codeshare/apex/ProjectPage?id=a0630000002ahp4AAA ?
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 10:16:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hey Jason - Yep. JSONObject is from the code share at http://code.google.com/p/apex-library/source/browse/trunk/JSONObject/src/classes/JSONObject.cls
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Hey Jason - Yep. JSONObject is from the code share at http://code.google.com/p/apex-library/source/browse/trunk/JSONObject/src/classes/JSONObject.cls
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