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External API v1-2

The News app 1.2 offers a RESTful API

API stability contract

The API level will change if the following occurs:

  • A field of an object is removed
  • A field of an object has a different datatype
  • The meaning of an API call changes

The API level will not change if:

  • The app version is changed (e.g. 4.0.1.2 instead of 4.0 or 4.001)
  • A new attribute is added (e.g. each item gets a new field "something": 1)
  • The order of the JSON attributes is changed on any level (e.g. "id":3 is not the first field anymore, but the last)

You have to design your app with these things in mind!:

  • Don't depend on the order of object attributes. In JSON it does not matter where the object attribute is since you access the value by name, not by index
  • Don't limit your app to the currently available attributes. New ones might be added. If you don't handle them, ignore them
  • Use a library to compare versions, ideally one that uses semantic versioning

Authentication & Basics

Because REST is stateless you have to send user and password each time you access the API. Therefore running Nextcloud with SSL is highly recommended otherwise everyone in your network can log your credentials.

The base URL for all calls is:

https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api/v1-2/

All defined routes in the Specification are appended to this url. To access all feeds for instance use this url:

https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api/v1-2/feeds

Credentials need to be passed as an HTTP header using HTTP basic auth:

Authorization: Basic $CREDENTIALS

where $CREDENTIALS is:

base64(USER:PASSWORD)

How To Sync

This is a small overview over how you should sync your articles with the Nextcloud News app. For more fine-grained details about the API see further down.

All routes are given relative to the base API url (e.g.: https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api/v1-2)

Initial Sync

The intial sync happens, when a user adds a Nextcloud account in your app. In that case you should fetch all feeds, folders and unread or starred articles from the News app. Do not fetch all articles, not only because it syncs faster, but also because the user is primarily interested in unread articles. To fetch all unread and starred articles, you must call 4 routes:

  • unread articles: GET /items?type=3&getRead=false&batchSize=-1
  • starred articles: GET /items?type=2&getRead=true&batchSize=-1
  • folders: GET /folders
  • feeds: GET /feeds

The JSON response structures can be viewed further down.

Syncing

When syncing, you want to push read/unread and starred/unstarred items to the server and receive new and updated items, feeds and folders. To do that, call the following routes:

  • Notify the News app of unread articles: PUT /items/unread/multiple {"items": [1, 3, 5] }
  • Notify the News app of read articles: PUT /items/read/multiple {"items": [1, 3, 5]}
  • Notify the News app of starred articles: PUT /items/starred/multiple {"items": [{"feedId": 3, "guidHash": "adadafasdasd1231"}, ...]}
  • Notify the News app of unstarred articles: PUT /items/unstarred/multiple {"items": [{"feedId": 3, "guidHash": "adadafasdasd1231"}, ...]}
  • Get new folders: GET /folders
  • Get new feeds: GET /feeds
  • Get new items and modified items: GET /items/updated?lastModified=12123123123&type=3

Accessing API from a web application

News 1.401 implements CORS which allows web applications to access the API. To access the API in a webapp you need to send the correct authorization header instead of simply putting auth data into the URL!. An example request in jQuery would look like this:

$.ajax({
    type: 'GET',
    url: 'https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api/v1-2/version',
    contentType: 'application/json',
    success: function (response) {
        // handle success
    },
    error: function () {
        // handle errors
    },
    beforeSend: function (xhr) {
        var username = 'john';
        var password = 'doe';
        var auth = btoa(username + ':' + password);
        xhr.setRequestHeader('Authorization', 'Basic ' + auth);
    }
});

An example with AngularJS would look like this:

angular.module('YourApp', [])
    .config(['$httpProvider', '$provide', function ($httpProvider, $provide) {
        $provide.factory('AuthInterceptor', ['Credentials', '$q', function (Credentials, $q) {
            return {
                request: function (config) {
                    // only set auth headers if url matches the api url
                    if(config.url.indexOf(Credentials.url) === 0) {
                        auth = btoa(Credentials.userName + ':' + Credentials.password);
                        config.headers['Authorization'] = 'Basic ' + auth;
                    }
                    return config || $q.when(config);
                }
            };
        }]);
        $httpProvider.interceptors.push('AuthInterceptor');
    }])
    .factory('Credentials', function () {
        return {
            userName: 'user',
            password: 'password',
            url: 'https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api'
        };
    })
    .run(['$http', function($http) {
        $http({
            method: 'GET',
            url: 'https://yournextcloud.com/index.php/apps/news/api/v1-2/version'
        }).success(function (data, status, header, config) {
            // handle success
        }).error(function (data, status, header, config) {
            // handle error
        });
    }]);

Input

In general the input parameters can be in the URL or request body, the App Framework doesnt differentiate between them.

So JSON in the request body like:

{
  "id": 3
}

will be treated the same as

/?id=3

It is recommended though that you use the following convention:

  • GET: parameters in the URL
  • POST: parameters as JSON in the request body
  • PUT: parameters as JSON in the request body
  • DELETE: parameters as JSON in the request body

Output

The output is JSON.

Folders

Get all folders

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /folders
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "folders": [
    {
      "id": 4,
      "name": "Media"
    }, // etc
  ]
}

Create a folder

Creates a new folder and returns a new folder object

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: POST
  • Route: /folders
  • Parameters:
{
  "name": "folder name"
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 409: If the folder exists already
  • HTTP 422: If the folder name is invalid (for instance empty)
  • Returns:
{
  "folders": [
    {
      "id": 4,
      "name": "Media"
    }
  ]
}

Delete a folder

Deletes a folder with the id folderId and all the feeds it contains

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: DELETE
  • Route: /folders/{folderId}
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the folder does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Rename a folder

Only the name can be updated

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /folders/{folderId}
  • Parameters:
{
  "name": "folder name"
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 409: If the folder name does already exist
  • HTTP 404: If the folder does not exist
  • HTTP 422: If the folder name is invalid (for instance empty)
  • Returns: nothing

Mark items of a folder as read

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /folders/{folderId}/read
  • Parameters:
{
    // mark all items read lower than equal that id
    // this is mean to prevent marking items as read which the client/user does not yet know of
    "newestItemId": 10
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Feeds

Sanitation

The following attributes are not sanitized meaning: including them in your web application can lead to XSS:

  • title
  • link

Get all feeds

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /feeds
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "feeds": [
    {
      "id": 39,
      "url": "http://feeds.feedburner.com/oatmealfeed",
      "title": "The Oatmeal - Comics, Quizzes, & Stories",
      "faviconLink": "http://theoatmeal.com/favicon.ico",
      "added": 1367063790,
      "folderId": 4,
      "unreadCount": 9,
      "ordering": 0, // 0 means no special ordering, 1 means oldest first, 2 newest first, new in 5.1.0
      "link": "http://theoatmeal.com/",
      "pinned": true // if a feed should be sorted before other feeds, added in 6.0.3,
      "updateErrorCount": 0, // added in 8.6.0, 0 if no errors occured during the last update,
                             // otherwise is incremented for each failed update.
                             // Once it reaches a threshold, a message should be displayed to the user
                             // indicating that the feed has failed to update that many times.
                             // The webapp displays the message after 50 failed updates
      "lastUpdateError": "error message here"  // added in 8.6.0, empty string or null if no update
                                               // error happened, otherwise contains the last update error message
    }, // etc
  ],
  "starredCount": 2,
  "newestItemId": 3443  // only sent if there are items
}

Create a feed

Creates a new feed and returns the feed

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: POST
  • Route: /feeds
  • Parameters:
{
  "url": "http:\/\/www.cyanogenmod.org\/wp-content\/themes\/cyanogenmod\/images\/favicon.ico",
  "folderId": 81 //  id of the parent folder, null for root
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 409: If the feed exists already
  • HTTP 422: If the feed cant be read (most likely contains errors)
  • Returns:
{
  "feeds": [
    {
      "id": 39,
      "url": "http://feeds.feedburner.com/oatmealfeed",
      "title": "The Oatmeal - Comics, Quizzes, & Stories",
      "faviconLink": "http://theoatmeal.com/favicon.ico",
      "added": 1367063790,
      "folderId": 4,
      "unreadCount": 9,
      "ordering": 0, // 0 means no special ordering, 1 means oldest first, 2 newest first, new in 5.1.0
      "link": "http://theoatmeal.com/",
      "pinned": true // if a feed should be sorted before other feeds, added in 6.0.3
    }
  ],
  "newestItemId": 23 // only sent if there are items
}

Delete a feed

Deletes a feed with the id feedId and all of its items

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: DELETE
  • Route: /feeds/{feedId}
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Move a feed to a different folder

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /feeds/{feedId}/move
  • Parameters:
{
  "folderId": null //  id of the parent folder, null for root
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Rename a feed

  • Status: Implemented in 1.807
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /feeds/{feedId}/rename
  • Parameters:
{
  "feedTitle": "New Title"
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Mark items of a feed as read

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /feeds/{feedId}/read
  • Parameters:
{
  // mark all items read lower than equal that id
  // this is mean to prevent marking items as read which the client/user does not yet know of
  "newestItemId": 10
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Items

Sanitation

The following attributes are not sanitized meaning: including them in your web application can lead to XSS:

  • title
  • author
  • url
  • enclosureMime
  • enclosureLink
  • mediaThumbnail
  • mediaDescription

Get items

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /items
  • Parameters:
{
  "batchSize": 10, //  the number of items that should be returned, defaults to -1, new in 5.2.3: -1 returns all items
  "offset": 30, // only return older (lower than equal that id) items than the one with id 30
  "type": 1, // the type of the query (Feed: 0, Folder: 1, Starred: 2, All: 3)
  "id": 12, // the id of the folder or feed, Use 0 for Starred and All
  "getRead": true, // if true it returns all items, false returns only unread items
  "oldestFirst": false  // implemented in 3.002, if true it reverse the sort order
}
  • Returns:
{
  "items": [
    {
      "id": 3443,
      "guid": "http://grulja.wordpress.com/?p=76",
      "guidHash": "3059047a572cd9cd5d0bf645faffd077",
      "url": "http://grulja.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/plasma-nm-after-the-solid-sprint/",
      "title": "Plasma-nm after the solid sprint",
      "author": "Jan Grulich (grulja)",
      "pubDate": 1367270544,
      "body": "<p>At first I have to say...</p>",
      "enclosureMime": null,
      "enclosureLink": null,
      "mediaThumbnail": null, // new in 14.1.4-rc1
      "mediaDescription": null, // new in 14.1.4-rc1
      "feedId": 67,
      "unread": true,
      "starred": false,
      "rtl": false, // new in 6.0.2
      "lastModified": 1367273003,
      "fingerprint": "aeaae2123"  // new in 8.4.0 hash over title, enclosures, body and url. Same fingerprint means same item and it's advised to locally mark the other one read as well and filter out duplicates in folder and all articles view
    }, // etc
  ]
}

Example

Autopaging would work like this:

  • Get the first 20 items from a feed with id 12

GET /items:

{
  "batchSize": 20,
  "offset": 0,
  "type": 1,
  "id": 12,
  "getRead": false
}

The item with the lowest item id is 43.

  • Get the next 20 items: GET /items:
{
  "batchSize": 20,
  "offset": 43,
  "type": 1,
  "id": 12,
  "getRead": false
}

Get updated items

This is used to stay up to date.

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /items/updated
  • Parameters:
{
  "lastModified": 123231, // returns only items with a lastModified timestamp >= than this one
                          // this may also return already existing items whose read or starred status
                          // has been changed
  "type": 1, // the type of the query (Feed: 0, Folder: 1, Starred: 2, All: 3)
  "id": 12 // the id of the folder or feed, Use 0 for Starred and All
}
  • Returns:
{
  "items": [
    {
      "id": 3443,
      "guid": "http://grulja.wordpress.com/?p=76",
      "guidHash": "3059047a572cd9cd5d0bf645faffd077",
      "url": "http://grulja.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/plasma-nm-after-the-solid-sprint/",
      "title": "Plasma-nm after the solid sprint",
      "author": "Jan Grulich (grulja)",
      "pubDate": 1367270544,
      "body": "<p>At first I have to say...</p>",
      "enclosureMime": null,
      "enclosureLink": null,
      "feedId": 67,
      "unread": true,
      "starred": false,
      "lastModified": 1367273003,
      "fingerprint": "aeaae2123"  // new in 8.4.0 hash over title, enclosures, body and url. Same fingerprint means same item and it's advised to locally mark the other one read as well and filter out duplicates in folder and all articles view
    }, // etc
  ]
}

Mark an item as read

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/{itemId}/read
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the item does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Mark multiple items as read

  • Status: Implemented in 1.2
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/read/multiple
  • Parameters:
{
  "items": [2, 3] // ids of the items
}
  • Returns: nothing

Mark an item as unread

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/{itemId}/unread
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the item does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Mark multiple items as unread

  • Status: Implemented in 1.2
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/unread/multiple
  • Parameters:
{
  "items": [2, 3] // ids of the items
}
  • Returns: nothing

Mark an item as starred

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/{feedId}/{guidHash}/star
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the item does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Mark multiple items as starred

  • Status: Implemented in 1.2
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/star/multiple
  • Parameters:
{
  "items": [
    {
      "feedId": 3,
      "guidHash": "sdf"
    }, // etc
  ]
}
  • Returns: nothing

Mark an item as unstarred

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/{feedId}/{guidHash}/unstar
  • Parameters: none
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the item does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Mark multiple items as unstarred

  • Status: Implemented in 1.2
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/unstar/multiple
  • Parameters:
{
  "items": [
    {
      "feedId": 3,
      "guidHash": "sdf"
    }, // etc
  ]
}
  • Returns: nothing

Mark all items as read

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: PUT
  • Route: /items/read
  • Parameters:
{
    // mark all items read lower than equal that id
    // this is mean to prevent marking items as read which the client/user does not yet know of
    "newestItemId": 10
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: nothing

Updater

To enable people to write their own update scripts instead of relying on the sequential built in web and system cron, API routes and console commands have been created.

Updating should be done in the following fashion:

  • Run the cleanup before the update
  • Get all feeds and user ids
  • For each feed and user id, run the update command
  • Run the cleanup after the update.

This implementation in Python should give you a good idea how to design and run it.

Trigger cleanup before update

This is used to clean up the database. It deletes folders and feeds that are marked for deletion

  • Status: Implemented in 1.601
  • Authentication: Requires admin user
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /cleanup/before-update
  • Returns: Nothing

New in 8.1.0: The console command for achieving the same result is:

php -f nextcloud/occ news:updater:before-update

Get feed ids and usernames for all feeds

  • Status: Implemented in 1.203
  • Authentication: Requires admin user
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /feeds/all
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "feeds": [
    {
      "id": 39,
      "userId": "john",
    }, // etc
  ]
}

New in 8.1.0, Removed in 16.0.0: The console command for achieving the same result is:

php -f nextcloud/occ news:updater:all-feeds

Trigger a feed update

  • Status: Implemented in 1.601
  • Authentication: Requires admin user
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /feeds/update
  • Parameters:
{
  "userId": "john",
  "feedId": 3
}
  • Return codes:
  • HTTP 404: If the feed does not exist
  • Returns: Nothing

New in 8.1.0: The console command for achieving the same result is:

php -f nextcloud/occ news:updater:update-feed 3 john

Trigger cleanup after update

This is used to clean up the database. It removes old read articles which are not starred

  • Status: Implemented in 1.601
  • Authentication: Requires admin user
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /cleanup/after-update
  • Returns: Nothing

New in 8.1.0: The console command for achieving the same result is:

php -f nextcloud/occ news:updater:after-update

Version

Get the version

  • Status: Implemented
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /version
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "version": "5.2.3"
}

Status

This API can be used to display warnings and errors in your client if the web app is improperly configured or not working. It is a good idea to call this route on like every 10th update and after the server connection parameters have been changed since it's likely that the user set up a new instance and configured the app improperly.

Get the status

  • Status: Implemented in 5.2.4
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /status
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "version": "5.2.4",
  "warnings": {
    "improperlyConfiguredCron": false,  // if true the webapp will fail to update the feeds correctly
    "incorrectDbCharset": false
  }
}

If improperlyConfiguredCron is true you should display a warning that the app will not receive updates properly.

This is due to the fact that the installation runs the cron in ajax mode to update the feeds. This is the default if you don't change anything and means that the app will only receive feed updates if the webinterface is accessed which will lead to lost updates.

You should show the following warning and the link should be clickable:

The News App updater is improperly configured and you will lose updates.
See http://hisdomain.com/index.php/apps/news for instructions on how to fix it.

If incorrectDbCharset is true you should display a warning that database charset is set up incorrectly and updates with unicode characters might fail

User

This API can be used to retrieve metadata about the current user.

DEPRECATED: This API is deprecated, use the Nextcloud APIs instead. - https://docs.nextcloud.com/server/latest/developer_manual/client_apis/OCS/ocs-api-overview.html#user-metadata for user data - https://nc.url/avatar/{userid}/{size}?v={1|2} for the avatar

Get the status

  • Status: Implemented in 6.0.5
  • Method: GET
  • Route: /user
  • Parameters: none
  • Returns:
{
  "userId": "john",
  "displayName": "John Doe",
  "lastLoginTimestamp": 1241231233,  // unix timestamp
  "avatar": { // if no avatar exists, this is null
    "data": "asdiufadfasdfjlkjlkjljdfdf",  // base64 encoded image
    "mime": "image/jpeg"
  }
}