Expansions in the REST API

The examples on this page use curl, and the responses are piped into python -mjson.tool.

To limit the number of calls to the API, and the size of the responses, Confluence REST API supports the expansion of certain elements. If your GET returns a list of results and you don't choose to expand anything, the response is short, displaying only a basic representation of the resource.

The response contains a list under the _expandable property; you can specify any of its values separated by commas. For instance, expand=body,version,history.

If you GET a specific piece of content – like a page by page ID (for example, http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/12345, where 12345 is the page ID) – Confluence expands some properties by default. For a specific page, it will expand the space, history, and version information, but you can explicitly request expansion of different properties in your call.

In this example, we send a GET to return a list of pages in the space with the space key 'TEST':

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curl -u admin:admin -X GET "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content?type=page&spaceKey=TEST"  | python -mjson.tool

Notice that only id, status, title, and type are expanded, but the \_expandable block contains the properties that can be expanded.

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{
    "_links": {
        "base": "http://localhost:8080/confluence",
        "context": "",
        "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content"
    },
    "limit": 25,
    "results": [
        {
            "_expandable": {
                "ancestors": "",
                "body": "",
                "children": "/rest/api/content/589828/child",
                "container": "",
                "descendants": "/rest/api/content/589828/descendant",
                "history": "/rest/api/content/589828/history",
                "metadata": "",
                "space": "/rest/api/space/TEST",
                "version": ""
            },
            "_links": {
                "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828",
                "tinyui": "/x/BAAJ",
                "webui": "/display/TEST/Test+Space+Home"
            },
            "id": "589828",
            "status": "current",
            "title": "Test Space Home",
            "type": "page"
        }
    ],
    "size": 1,
    "start": 0
}

In the previous example, even though there's only one piece of content returned, nothing is expanded by default because we didn't request a specific piece of content. However, we get a list of expandable items.

Expand one or more items

As you know from the previous example, you can use the expand parameter to explicitly expand any or all of the following items relating to the returned content item(s):

  • history
  • body
  • container
  • ancestors
  • children
  • descendants
  • space
  • version
  • metadata.

Rather than creating multiple calls to return the information you need, you can make one call and expand only the items you need.

If you need to expand more than one item, you can add them as a comma-separated list in the expand parameter. For example, if you need the history and version information for the resource(s), you can do the following:

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curl -u admin:admin -X GET "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content?type=page&spaceKey=TEST&expand=history,version" | python -mjson.tool

Notice that version and history are expanded because we specify expand=history,version as a query parameter in the request.

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{
    "_links": {
        "base": "http://localhost:8080/confluence",
        "context": "",
        "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content"
    },
    "limit": 25,
    "results": [
        {
            "_expandable": {
                "ancestors": "",
                "body": "",
                "children": "/rest/api/content/589828/child",
                "container": "",
                "descendants": "/rest/api/content/589828/descendant",
                "metadata": "",
                "space": "/rest/api/space/TEST"
            },
            "_links": {
                "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828",
                "tinyui": "/x/BAAJ",
                "webui": "/display/TEST/Test+Space+Home"
            },
            "history": {
                "_expandable": {
                    "lastUpdated": "",
                    "nextVersion": "",
                    "previousVersion": ""
                },
                "_links": {
                    "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828/history"
                },
                "createdBy": {
                    "displayName": "Gil Admin",
                    "profilePicture": {
                        "height": 48,
                        "isDefault": true,
                        "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                        "width": 48
                    },
                    "type": "known",
                    "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
                    "username": "admin"
                },
                "createdDate": "2014-10-27T11:57:01.915+1100",
                "latest": true
            },
            "id": "589828",
            "status": "current",
            "title": "Test Space Home",
            "type": "page",
            "version": {
                "by": {
                    "displayName": "Gil Admin",
                    "profilePicture": {
                        "height": 48,
                        "isDefault": true,
                        "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                        "width": 48
                    },
                    "type": "known",
                    "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
                    "username": "admin"
                },
                "minorEdit": false,
                "number": 3,
                "when": "2014-10-27T14:17:30.558+1100"
            }
        }
    ],
    "size": 1,
    "start": 0
}

The response provides an expanded view of the page history and version information. Notice that the expanded items can also contain nested items that can be further expanded. The history element also contains:  nextVersionpreviousVersion, and lastUpdated, which can all be expanded in the response.

Expand nested items

Apart from using a comma-separated list for expanding multiple elements, you can use dot-separated notation to expand nested elements.

For example, if you need only the history expanded, but you want to expand lastUpdated, call the following:

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curl -u admin:admin -X GET "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content?type=page&spaceKey=TEST&expand=history.lastUpdated" | python -mjson.tool

Notice that the history object now includes the expanded lastUpdated object.

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{
    "_links": {
        "base": "http://localhost:8080/confluence",
        "context": "",
        "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content"
    },
    "limit": 25,
    "results": [
        {
            "_expandable": {
                "ancestors": "",
                "body": "",
                "children": "/rest/api/content/589828/child",
                "container": "",
                "descendants": "/rest/api/content/589828/descendant",
                "metadata": "",
                "space": "/rest/api/space/TEST",
                "version": ""
            },
            "_links": {
                "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828",
                "tinyui": "/x/BAAJ",
                "webui": "/display/TEST/Test+Space+Home"
            },
            "history": {
                "_expandable": {
                    "nextVersion": "",
                    "previousVersion": ""
                },
                "_links": {
                    "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828/history"
                },
                "createdBy": {
                    "displayName": "Gil Admin",
                    "profilePicture": {
                        "height": 48,
                        "isDefault": true,
                        "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                        "width": 48
                    },
                    "type": "known",
                    "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
                    "username": "admin"
                },
                "createdDate": "2014-10-27T11:57:01.915+1100",
                "lastUpdated": {
                    "by": {
                        "displayName": "Gil Admin",
                        "profilePicture": {
                            "height": 48,
                            "isDefault": true,
                            "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                            "width": 48
                        },
                        "type": "known",
                        "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
                        "username": "admin"
                    },
                    "minorEdit": false,
                    "number": 3,
                    "when": "2014-10-27T14:17:30.558+1100"
                },
                "latest": true
            },
            "id": "589828",
            "status": "current",
            "title": "Test Space Home",
            "type": "page"
        }
    ],
    "size": 1,
    "start": 0
}

Modify expanded elements

Another example is to expand the body of returned content in Confluence storage format (XHTML). If you GET the body in storage format, you can then PUT changes to that information to update the content.

We'll also expand the version in this call because we'll need to increment the version number when we PUT our changes.

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curl -u admin:admin -X GET "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content?type=page&spaceKey=TEST&expand=body.storage,version" | python -mjson.tool
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{
    "_links": {
        "base": "http://localhost:8080/confluence",
        "context": "",
        "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content"
    },
    "limit": 20,
    "results": [
        {
            "_expandable": {
                "ancestors": "",
                "children": "/rest/api/content/589828/child",
                "container": "",
                "descendants": "/rest/api/content/589828/descendant",
                "history": "/rest/api/content/589828/history",
                "metadata": "",
                "space": "/rest/api/space/TEST"
            },
            "_links": {
                "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828",
                "tinyui": "/x/BAAJ",
                "webui": "/display/TEST/Test+Space+Home"
            },
            "body": {
                "_expandable": {
                    "anonymous_export_view": "",
                    "editor": "",
                    "export_view": "",
                    "view": ""
                },
                "storage": {
                    "_expandable": {
                        "content": "/rest/api/content/589828"
                    },
                    "representation": "storage",
                    "value": "<ac:layout><ac:layout-section ac:type=\"single\"><ac:layout-cell>\n<ac:structured-macro ac:name=\"tip\"><ac:parameter ac:name=\"title\">Welcome to my new space!</ac:parameter><ac:rich-text-body>\n                    <p>Confluence spaces are great for sharing content and news with your team. This is your home page. Right now it shows recent space activity, but you can customize this page in anyway you like.</p>\n                </ac:rich-text-body></ac:structured-macro><h2>Complete these tasks to get started</h2><ac:task-list>\n<ac:task>\n<ac:task-id>1</ac:task-id>\n<ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>\n<ac:task-body>\n                        <strong>Edit this home page</strong> - Click <em>Edit</em> in the top right of this screen to customize your Space home page\n                    </ac:task-body>\n</ac:task>\n<ac:task>\n<ac:task-id>2</ac:task-id>\n<ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>\n<ac:task-body>\n                        <strong>Create your first page</strong> - Click the <em>Create</em> button in the header to get started\n                    </ac:task-body>\n</ac:task>\n<ac:task>\n<ac:task-id>3</ac:task-id>\n<ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>\n<ac:task-body>\n                        <strong>Brand your Space</strong> - Click <em>Configure Sidebar</em> in the left panel to update space details and logo\n                    </ac:task-body>\n</ac:task>\n<ac:task>\n<ac:task-id>4</ac:task-id>\n<ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>\n<ac:task-body>\n                        <strong>Set permissions</strong> - Click <em>Space Tools</em> in the left sidebar to update permissions and give others access\n                    </ac:task-body>\n</ac:task>\n</ac:task-list>\n\n<p> </p></ac:layout-cell></ac:layout-section><ac:layout-section ac:type=\"two_equal\"><ac:layout-cell>\n<h2>Recent space activity</h2><p>\n                    <ac:structured-macro ac:name=\"recently-updated\"><ac:parameter ac:name=\"hideHeading\">true</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"max\">5</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"theme\">social</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"types\">page, comment, blogpost</ac:parameter></ac:structured-macro>\n                </p></ac:layout-cell><ac:layout-cell>\n<h2>Space contributors</h2><p>\n                    <ac:structured-macro ac:name=\"contributors\"><ac:parameter ac:name=\"limit\">5</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"scope\">descendants</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"order\">update</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"showLastTime\">true</ac:parameter><ac:parameter ac:name=\"mode\">list</ac:parameter></ac:structured-macro>\n                </p></ac:layout-cell></ac:layout-section><ac:layout-section ac:type=\"single\"><ac:layout-cell>\n<p> </p></ac:layout-cell></ac:layout-section></ac:layout>"
                }
            },
            "id": "589828",
            "status": "current",
            "title": "Test Space Home",
            "type": "page",
            "version": {
                "by": {
                    "displayName": "Gil Admin",
                    "profilePicture": {
                        "height": 48,
                        "isDefault": true,
                        "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                        "width": 48
                    },
                    "type": "known",
                    "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
                    "username": "admin"
                },
                "message": "",
                "minorEdit": false,
                "number": 4,
                "when": "2014-10-27T16:09:24.368+1100"
            }
        }
    ],
    "size": 1,
    "start": 0
}

You can then PUT your changes as follows:

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curl -u admin:admin -X PUT -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'{"id":"589828","type":"page","title":"Test Space Home","space":{"key":"TEST"},"body":{"storage":{"value":"<p>This is the newly updated text for my page</p>","representation":"storage"}},"version":{"number":5}}' http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828 | python -mjson.tool

Note that Confluence pages and blog posts are versioned, so you need to add the version number in your call.

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{
    "_expandable": {
        "children": "/rest/api/content/589828/child",
        "descendants": "/rest/api/content/589828/descendant",
        "metadata": ""
    },
    "_links": {
        "base": "http://localhost:8080/confluence",
        "collection": "/rest/api/content",
        "context": "",
        "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828",
        "tinyui": "/x/BAAJ",
        "webui": "/display/TEST/Test+Space+Home"
    },
    "ancestors": [],
    "body": {
        "_expandable": {
            "anonymous_export_view": "",
            "editor": "",
            "export_view": "",
            "view": ""
        },
        "storage": {
            "_expandable": {
                "content": "/rest/api/content/589828"
            },
            "representation": "storage",
            "value": "<p>This is the newly updated text for my page</p>"
        }
    },
    "container": {
        "_expandable": {
            "description": "",
            "homepage": "/rest/api/content/589828",
            "icon": ""
        },
        "_links": {
            "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/space/TEST"
        },
        "id": 753665,
        "key": "TEST",
        "name": "Test Space",
        "type": "global"
    },
    "history": {
        "_expandable": {
            "lastUpdated": "",
            "nextVersion": "",
            "previousVersion": ""
        },
        "_links": {
            "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/content/589828/history"
        },
        "createdBy": {
            "displayName": "Gil Admin",
            "profilePicture": {
                "height": 48,
                "isDefault": true,
                "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                "width": 48
            },
            "type": "known",
            "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
            "username": "admin"
        },
        "createdDate": "2014-10-27T11:57:01.915+1100",
        "latest": true
    },
    "id": "589828",
    "space": {
        "_expandable": {
            "description": "",
            "homepage": "/rest/api/content/589828",
            "icon": ""
        },
        "_links": {
            "self": "http://localhost:8080/confluence/rest/api/space/TEST"
        },
        "id": 753665,
        "key": "TEST",
        "name": "Test Space",
        "type": "global"
    },
    "status": "current",
    "title": "Test Space Home",
    "type": "page",
    "version": {
        "by": {
            "displayName": "Gil Admin",
            "profilePicture": {
                "height": 48,
                "isDefault": true,
                "path": "/s/en_GB/5723/dfa6f4056bde4993312ffa3cb0f626ca41e68821.1/_/images/icons/profilepics/default.png",
                "width": 48
            },
            "type": "known",
            "userKey": "2c968271494ecbb701494ecc80dd0002",
            "username": "admin"
        },
        "minorEdit": false,
        "number": 5,
        "when": "2014-10-27T16:09:24.368+1100"
    }
}