How To Version a REST API?

Representational State Transfer Application Programming Interface commonly known as REST API web service. REST API is a accessing web services in a simple and flexible way without having any processing. The REST API version number forms part of the base URL for REST requests.

REST technology is more robust Simple Object Access Protocol technology It uses less bandwidth, simple and flexible making it more suitable for internet usage. It’s used to fetch or give some information from a web service. All communication done via REST API uses only HTTP request. 

When to Version API?

APIs only need to be up-versioned when there are chances that any new change may complicate or break the existing system. There are two types of changes – breaking change & non-breaking change.

Breaking Change –

Breaking changes includes in the format of the response data for one or more calls and change in the request or response type. Breaking changes such as removing any part of the API.

Non-breaking changes –

Non-breaking changes such as adding new endpoints or new response parameters, do not require a change to the major version number.

What Is API Versioning?

API versioning is the process of iterating different versions of your API. It is a part of API design. API versioning often accommodates API consumption changes, structural API shifts, and modifications to the underlying software or program which the API has been built upon. API versioning is required because it ensures stability and reliability.

How To Version a REST API?

The greatest challenges to surrounding exposing services is handling updates to the API contract. Clients may not be want to update their applications when the API changes, so a versioning strategy becomes vitally essential. Different companies can version their API’s using distinct approaches. There are different methods to version a REST API.

1. URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) versioning

The URI versioning technique is the simplest way to version APIs. It involves the inclusion of the version number in the URL path. The most commonly used versioning is in which we can add a version to the API base URL.



2. Query Parameter Versioning

Query parameter versioning  including the version number as one of the query parameters. This is a straightforward way of versioning an API from an implementation point of view.



3. Custom Headers Versioning

Define a new header that contains the version number in the request as part of the request header itself.


  • GET
  • Accept-Version: v1
  • Accept-Version: v2

4. Content Negotiation Versioning

This approach allows us to version a single resource representation instead of versioning the entire API, which gives us more granular control over versioning.  It also creates a smaller footprint in the code base.


  • Accept: application/vnd.example.v1+json
  • Accept: application/vnd.example+json;version=1.0


An API(Application Programming Interface) is a set of rules that define how applications or devices can connect to and communicate with each other.  It is a software architectural style that defines the constraints to create web services. The web services that follows the REST architectural style is called RESTful Web Services. It differentiates between the computer system and web services. 

Why You Need a REST API?

1. Simplifies Development

2. Provides an Abstraction for Technical Details

3. Most Popular API Architecture

4. Technical Benefits

Benefits of REST APIs

1. Lightweight

Main benefits of REST APIs is that they rely on the HTTP standard, which means it’s format-agonistic. a you can use XML, JSON, HTML, etc. This makes REST APIs fast, and lightweight, which is necessary for mobile app projects, internet of things devices, and more. 

2. Scalable and flexible

REST API is scalability and flexibility . REST APIs can be scaled quickly primarily due to the separation between the client and the server. Additionally, developers can also easily integrate REST APIs without much added work. 

3. Independent

REST APIs is the client and server are independent. The REST protocol separates the data storage and the UI from the server. This means that developers can work on different areas of a project independently and try out multiple developer environments as needed. 

4. Simplicity

Because REST APIs incorporate web technologies that are already implemented, they are simple to create and use. 

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