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package for building REST-style Web Services using Google Go

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REST asks developers to use HTTP methods explicitly and in a way that's consistent with the protocol definition. This basic REST design principle establishes a one-to-one mapping between create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) operations and HTTP methods. According to this mapping:

  • GET = Retrieve a representation of a resource
  • POST = Create if you are sending content to the server to create a subordinate of the specified resource collection, using some server-side algorithm.
  • PUT = Create if you are sending the full content of the specified resource (URI).
  • PUT = Update if you are updating the full content of the specified resource.
  • DELETE = Delete if you are requesting the server to delete the resource
  • PATCH = Update partial content of a resource
  • OPTIONS = Get information about the communication options for the request URI


Using Go Modules

As of version v3.0.0 (on the v3 branch), this package supports Go modules.

import (
	restful ""

Without Go Modules

All versions up to v2.*.* (on the master) are not supporting Go modules.

import (
	restful ""


ws := new(restful.WebService)
	Consumes(restful.MIME_XML, restful.MIME_JSON).
	Produces(restful.MIME_JSON, restful.MIME_XML)

	Doc("get a user").
	Param(ws.PathParameter("user-id", "identifier of the user").DataType("string")).
func (u UserResource) findUser(request *restful.Request, response *restful.Response) {
	id := request.PathParameter("user-id")

Full API of a UserResource


  • Routes for request → function mapping with path parameter (e.g. {id} but also prefix_{var} and {var}_suffix) support
  • Configurable router:
    • (default) Fast routing algorithm that allows static elements, google custom method, regular expressions and dynamic parameters in the URL path (e.g. /resource/name:customVerb, /meetings/{id} or /static/{subpath:*})
    • Routing algorithm after JSR311 that is implemented using (but does not accept) regular expressions
  • Request API for reading structs from JSON/XML and accesing parameters (path,query,header)
  • Response API for writing structs to JSON/XML and setting headers
  • Customizable encoding using EntityReaderWriter registration
  • Filters for intercepting the request → response flow on Service or Route level
  • Request-scoped variables using attributes
  • Containers for WebServices on different HTTP endpoints
  • Content encoding (gzip,deflate) of request and response payloads
  • Automatic responses on OPTIONS (using a filter)
  • Automatic CORS request handling (using a filter)
  • API declaration for Swagger UI (go-restful-openapi, see go-restful-swagger12)
  • Panic recovery to produce HTTP 500, customizable using RecoverHandler(...)
  • Route errors produce HTTP 404/405/406/415 errors, customizable using ServiceErrorHandler(...)
  • Configurable (trace) logging
  • Customizable gzip/deflate readers and writers using CompressorProvider registration

How to customize

There are several hooks to customize the behavior of the go-restful package.

  • Router algorithm
  • Panic recovery
  • JSON decoder
  • Trace logging
  • Compression
  • Encoders for other serializers
  • Use jsoniter by build this package using a tag, e.g. go build -tags=jsoniter .

TODO: write examples of these.


Type git shortlog -s for a full list of contributors.

© 2012 - 2020, MIT License. Contributions are welcome.

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