0

Say I have a User resource which must always be attached to another type of resource, a Business.

When creating a new User, is it OK to have the POST endpoint use a query parameter to specify the Business to use?

For example:

POST /users?business=123
{"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"}
  • Why not POST /users { "user": {"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"}, "business": 123 } ? – Dan Pichelman Sep 1 '16 at 15:02
  • 1
    You haven't specified an API paradigm (e.g. REST) you're trying to follow, so yes, it's okay if it follows HTTP (which it does). – Evan Sep 1 '16 at 15:56
1

Yes, you can; there is nothing about HTTP that imposes a particular API structure. However, I would suggest you give the subject some thought.

API modelling is all about understanding your domain model; it depends on the relationship between business and user and the relative significance of these entities.

Here are my thoughts as to your main options; I cannot answer this question for you, but this will hopefully help you approach the problem in the right way.

One-to-Many

  • A business may contain many users
  • A user may only be linked to one business

If the users are treated as properties or components of a business, then make the users a child-object of the business.

POST /businesses/123/users
{"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"}

If the users are viewed as distinct entities that are only linked to a business, then simply link the user to the business.

POST /users 
{ "user": {"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"}, "business": 123 } 

Many-to-Many

  • A business may contain many users
  • A user may be linked to many businesses

You could make the link to businesses a property of the user.

POST /users 
{ "user": {"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"}, "businesses": [123, 789] } 

Or, if the link to a business has substantial significance to your domain model, you could make a whole new entity that represents employment.

POST /users 
{ "user": {"firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith"} } 

POST /employment
{ "user": 345, "business": 123, "commenced": "2016-09-01", "terminated": false } 

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.