What Major Obstacles you will need to Overcome
This is what I found lacking when I did research on how to achieve the stated objectives above. Most of the examples just told you to either “..type this” or “create a dictionary object to to that…”, and some just omitted major steps that you will get tripped up in and no way to circumvent it. So, taking this by the numbers, lets first assume that you want to get back some List data from SharePoint 2013, we will do this first On-Prem then In-Cloud (Office 365).
- You will need to construct a Uri representing your target list such as : //_api/lists/getListByTitle(‘’)/items">http://<site>/<web>/_api/lists/getListByTitle(‘<listNameHere>’)/items in a browser (preferably Chrome) or Fiddler
- You will need to set some Headers, specifically the (a) Accept and (b) Content-Type Headers to accept ‘application/json;odata=verbose’ inorder to work with the return items in JSON format which if you are using this in SPD, you MUST do in order to use the Dictionary Object, or if you want to read the data in some logical hierarchy.
- If you are ON Prem, and using Fiddler inside “Composer” under Options, i usually set the Automatically Authenticate Flag like so, you will see me talk about Decrypting HTTPS Traffic later on in the Cloud or HTTPS targets later on. In doing so your Cookie header will be automatically set.
- Next ensure your Verb is set to GET and fire away.
In Da Cloud
- Well steps one (1) and two (2) are the same from the above, however step three (3) is a bit different.
- You will need to pass your Cookie Token for the Office 365 Site here, and simply put you will log into the Target Office 365 Site and using using Fiddler you set it to “Capture Traffic” after you log in. If/when you click on a List or Library as an example, inspect your Headers returned (assuming you have already gone under Tools / Fiddler Options and selected to Decrypt HTTPS Traffic) like so
- Once you do and inspect the Headers you will find cookies for FedAuth and rtFa under the “Cookie” header. Go ahead and copy and paste that in the Request Headers section of Fiddler
- Next ensure your Verb is set to GET and fire away.
What if i want to POST (Add) Data to my SharePoint List?
Well, if you do, you have to do a few more things before you can actually POST that data.
- You will need to get the X-RequestDigest Header to send along with your POST, notice this is “not” a GET anymore. Now referencing the post again above by Kirk Evans if you look almost 3/4’s away down on the page or just Cntrl-F to find the word “contextinfo” you will find a description on how to get that Header Information in the d:FormDigestValue node.
- Essentially you will need to change your Fiddler VERB from a GET to a POST and send along an empty Request Body, you may need to set a “Content-Length” Request Header as well, and i usually do 104 for that length.
- You will get back the information that you will need to add to your Fiddler statement.
- In addition you will need to construct a Key/Value Pair (hence working in JSON) to pass along in the Request Content that you want to Add
- Now there is one more obscure piece of information that ususally trips people up that you will also need to do, and this information will form a part of your Request Content that holds your Data you are trying to add.
- When you did your GET for the site, there was a Node called (underscore undescore metadata) __metadata. You will need to take that value and pass it first ahead of any data you are trying to add. You will see this example below
- Once you do all the above, you ensure that your Verb is set to POST and fire away.
Lets look at a few Examples
So taking this from the beginning we will use a use case of a List i have called “AndyTaskListOnPrem” and we will first do some Gets, then a Post and then finally verify our work. Here is an example of the list before the exercise.
Next lets look at how you need to construct the GET to look at the data in JSON format in Fiddler
And our Outcome. Pay attention to the Metadata Node and the type = SP.Data.AndyTAskListOnPremListItem value. you will need this later on for the Adding of List Item.
Next lets look at how to get the ContextData information.
Create a POST with the URI of /_api/contextinfo">http://<site>/_api/contextinfo as i have below
Ensure the Response Content is blank and execute that, your results should look like mine below. You will need to capture the “FormDigestValue” information for later on in your POST.
Next lets Create a List Item
Armed with that information we have enough to create a List Item in this SharePoint List using the
REST API and Fiddler and using the same information plug this into Dictionary Objects in SharePoint Designer along with the Make a HTTP Call to do the same, here’s how…
Paying attention to the POST Verb, the X-RequestDigest “Request Headers” and the __Metadata and Addition in the “Request Body” after execution the above you should get
a HTTP/1.1 201 Created response. and if we inspect the list we should expect to see
To round things off, lets assume our Target was Office 365 SharePoint Online, then we would expect to see our Headers contain our Auth Tokens. I will take this to a next level by using an example someone just asked me about. I will Create a List in Office 365 “not list ITEM, an actual LIST” using the same methods described above. the KEY takeaway here is I need to Pass my Auth Tokens and ofcourse I am using a different REST API Call
Lets Create a SharePoint List using REST and Fiddler
So, in the spirit of openness, here is the REST call to get my Auth Token… well some of the token, I wasnt born yesterday 🙂
Here is the Context Info, key here is remember its not HTTPS and you need pass the Token as well.
Finally here is me creating A NEW LIST in the Web
and with all the confidence in the world [well this is O365 so we also cross our fingers] we expect to get a 201 Create Response back from HTTP Header
and visually in the browser we should expect to see
So, in this exercise we accomplished the following
- Understanding of some of the SharePoint 2013 REST API
- Usages of that API in Fiddler and the Browser
- How to Add a SharePoint List Item using the REST API
- How to create a new LIST using the REST API
This should translate VERY easily into SharePoint Designer 2013 and Visual Studio 2012, that is the point of the exercise. Thats why I am NOT showing how to do it there, I have other post that talk about the Dictionary Object and how to create Headers, just use what I have here and apply it to one of those post and you should be golden. This is me teaching to fish.. 🙂 Cheers.