Command Endpoints

Updated: March 18, 2024

The Automation HTTP / REST Service

The Nuxeo Automation Server module provides a REST API to execute operations on a Nuxeo server.

About Automation

To learn more about Content Automation, see the Automation documentation. This section only deals with REST exposition of operations and automatio chains.

To use the Automation REST service you need the URL where the service is exposed, and the different formats used by the service to exchange information. All other URLs that appear in content exchanged between the client and server are relative paths to the Automation service URL.

Operations context and parameters as well as response objects (documents) are formatted as JSON objects. To transport blobs, HTTP multipart requests should be used to attach blob binary data along with the JSON objects describing the operation request.

The REST service is bound to the http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation path. To get the service description you should do a GET on the service URL using an Accept type of application/json+nxautomation. You will get the service description as a response in the form of a JSON document. This document will contain the list of available operations and automation chains, as well as the URLs for other optional services provided (like login or document type service).

By default, all the chains and operations that are not UI related are accessible through REST. You can filter the set of exposed operations and chains or protect them using security rules. For more details on this see Filtering Exposed Operations.

You do not need to be logged in to be able to get the Automation service description.

Executing Operations

The operations registry (loaded by performing a GET on the Automation service URL) contains all the information you need to execute operations.

To execute an operation, build an operation request descriptor and POST it on the operation URL. When sending an operation request you must use the application/json+nxrequest content type (application/json from 5.9.5 is allowed as well). You need to authenticate your request using basic authentication since most of the operations are accessing the Nuxeo repository.

An operation request is a JSON document with the following format:

    input: "the_operation_input_object_reference",
    params: {key1: "value1", key: "value2", ...},
    context: {key1: "val1", ... }

These three request parameters are optional and depend on the executed operation.

  • If the operation has no input (a void operation), the input parameter can be omitted.
  • If the operation has no parameters, params can be omitted.
  • If the operation does not push specific properties to the operation execution context then context can be omitted.

The input parameter is a string that acts as a reference to the real object to be used as the input. There are four types of supported inputs: void, document, document list, blob, blob list.

Request Input

  • To reference a document, use the document absolute path or document UID preceded by the string doc:. For example:

    doc:/default-domain/workspaces/myworkspace or doc:96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801

  • To reference a document list use a comma-separated list of absolute document paths or UIDs preceded by the string docs:. For example:

    docs:/default-domain/workspaces/myworkspace, 96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801

  • A blob cannot be referenced by a string locator as it is usually on the client file system or as raw binary data. You must therefore use a multipart/related request that encapsulates your JSON request as the root part as application/json+nxrequest content and the blob binary content in a related part.
  • For a blob list, simply add one additional content part for each blob in the list.

    The only limitation for both blobs and blob lists is that the request content part should be the first part in the multipart document. The order of the blob parts will be preserved and blobs will be processed in the same order. The expects assumes the request part to be the first part of the multipart document (Content-Ids are not used by the server to identify the request part).

Example of a JSON input body parameter:

    input: "doc:96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801"

Request Parameter Types

The operation parameters in the params property of the request are strings. Operation parameters are typed, so on the server side the operation will know how to decode parameters in real Java classes. The supported parameter types are: string, long (integer number), double (floating point number), date, properties, document, documents, EL expression, EL template.

Here are some rules on how to encode operation parameters:

  • string: Let it as is.
  • long: Just use a string representation of the number (in Java Long.toString()).
  • double: Just use a string representation of the number (in Java Double.toString()).
  • date: Use the W3C format (UTC timezone preferred).
  • boolean: "true" or "false".
  • document: Use the document UID or the absolute document path.
  • documents: Use a comma separated list of document references.
  • EL expression: Put the expr: string before your EL expression. (expr: Document.path).
  • EL template: Put the expr: string before your template. (expr: SELECT * FROM Document WHERE dc:title=@{my_var})

    Note that in EL expressions you must also specify relative paths (relative to the context document) using expr: ./my/doc.

All these encoding rules are the same as those used when defining operation chains in Nuxeo XML extensions.

Operation Execution Response

An operation can have one of the following outputs:

Output Type HTTP Response
void The operation has no output Returns HTTP 204. No content and no Content-Type is returned.
document A repository document Returns a JSON object describing the document. Content-Type is application/json
document list A list of documents Returns a JSON object describing the list of documents. Content-Type is application/json
blob Binary content usually attached to a document Returns the blob raw content. Content-Type is the same as the blob mime-type.
blob list A list of blobs Returns a Multipart/Mixed content. Each part is a blob from the list (order is preserved) and uses the same Content-Type as the blob mime-type.
exception Returns HTTP 400. The content is the server exception encoded as a JSON object. The used Content-Type is application/json. When an exception occurs, the server tries to return a meaningful status code. If no suitable status code is found, a generic 500 code (server error) is used.


Each time returned objects are encoded as JSON objects, the application/json Content-Type is used. Only document, documents and exception objects are encoded as JSON.

A JSON document entity contains the minimum required information about the document as top level entries.

These entries are always set on any document and use the following keys:

uid Document UID
path Document path in the repository
type Document type
state Current lifecycle state
title Document title
lastModified Last modified timestamp

All the other document properties are contained within a "properties" map using the property XPath as the key for the top level entries.

Complex properties are represented as embedded JSON objects and list properties as embedded JSON arrays.

All application/json JSON entities always contains a required top level property: entity-type. This property is used to identify which type of object is described:

  • document
  • documents
  • exception

Example of a JSON document entry:

  "entity-type": "document",
  "uid": "96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801",
  "path": "/default-domain/workspaces/myws/file",
  "type": "File",
  "state": "project",
  "title": "file",
  "lastModified": "2010-05-24T15:07:08Z",
  "properties":   {
    "uid:uid": null,
    "uid:minor_version": "0",
    "uid:major_version": "1",
    "dc:creator": "Administrator",
    "dc:contributors": ["Administrator"],
    "dc:source": null,
    "dc:created": "2010-05-22T08:42:56Z",
    "dc:description": "",
    "dc:rights": null,
    "dc:subjects": [],
    "dc:valid": null,
    "dc:format": null,
    "dc:issued": null,
    "dc:modified": "2010-05-24T15:07:08Z",
    "dc:coverage": null,
    "dc:language": null,
    "dc:expired": null,
    "dc:title": "file",
    "files:files": [],
    "common:icon": null,
    "common:icon-expanded": null,
    "common:size": null,
    "file:content":     {
      "name": "test.jpg",
      "mime-type": "image/jpeg",
      "encoding": null,
      "digest": null,
      "length": "290096",
      "data": "files/96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801?path=%2Fcontent"
    "file:filename": null

The top level properties title and lastModified have the same value as the corresponding embedded properties dc:title and dc:modified.

Blob data, instead of containing raw data, contain a relative URL that can be used to retrieve the real data of the blob (using a GET request on that URL).


The documents JSON entity is a list of JSON document entities and has the entity type documents. The documents in the list contain only the required top level properties.


  entity-type: "documents"
  entries: [
     "entity-type": "document",
     "uid": "96bfb9cb-a13d-48a2-9bbd-9341fcf24801",
     "path": "/default-domain/workspaces/myws/file",
     "type": "File",
     "state": "project",
     "title": "file",
     "lastModified": "2010-05-24T15:07:08Z",


The exception JSON entities have an exception entity type and contain information about the exception including the server stack trace if the extended mode is activated, see Error Handling


  "entity-type": "exception",
  "status": 500,
  "message": "Failed to execute operation: Blob.Attach",
  "stack": "org.nuxeo.ecm.automation.OperationException: Failed to invoke operation Blob.Attach\n\tat org.nuxeo.ecm.automation.core.impl.InvokableMethod.invoke(\n\t ..."

Document Property Types

Property values can be of one of these types:

  • string
  • long: Encoded as a string representation of the number (in Java: Long.toString())
  • double: Encoded as a string representation of the number (in Java: Double.toString())
  • date: Encoded as a W3C format (UTC timezone preferred)
  • boolean: "true" or "false"

    For null values the JSON null keyword is used.

Of further note on the JSON document entity format:

  • A document entity uses string values for any scalar property value.
  • Dates are encoded as W3C dates (in UTC timezone).
  • Apart from strings, you may have null values for properties that are not set (but are defined by the schema), JSON objects (maps) for complex properties, and JSON arrays for array or list properties.
  • Blob data is encoded as a relative URL (relative to Automation service URL) from where you can download the raw data of the blob (using a GET request on that URL).

Operation vs. Transactions

The server runs an operation or operation chain in a single transaction. A rollback is done if the operation execution results in an exception.

The transaction is committed when the operation (or operation chain) has successfully terminated.

Operations can be executed in two different contexts: either in the context of a stateful repository session or one session per operation.

By default, operations reuse the same session if your client supports cookies (even in basic authentication).

To enable stateless sessions, you need to modify some Nuxeo configuration. In stateless mode the session is closed at the end of the request.

Note that Automation service uses Nuxeo WebEngine for HTTP request management.

Operation Security

Some operations can only be executed by some users or groups. This is defined on the server side through Nuxeo XML extensions.

See Filtering Exposed Operations for more details.


Getting the Automation Service

Request for service description:

GET http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation
Accept: application/json+nxautomation


HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json+nxautomation

  "paths": {"login" : "login"},
  "operations": [
      "id" : "Blob.Attach",
      "label": "Attach File",
      "category": "Files",
      "description": "Attach the input file to the document given as a parameter. If the xpath points to a blob list then the blob is appended to the list, otherwise the xpath should point to a blob property. If the save parameter is set the document modification will be automatically saved. Return the blob.",
      "url": "Blob.Attach",
      "signature": [ "blob", "blob" ],
      "params": [
           "name": "document",
            "type": "document",
            "required": true,
            "values": []
           "name": "save",
           "type": "boolean",
           "required": false,
           "values": ["true"]
           "name": "xpath",
           "type": "string",
           "required": false,
           "values": ["file:content"]
  // ... other operations follow here
  "chains" : [
    // a list of operation chains (definition is identical to regular operations)

You can see the automation service is returning the registry of operations and chains available on the server.

Each operation and chain signature is fully described in order to permit operation validation client-side. Additional information is provided which can be used in a UI (operation label, full description, operation category, etc.).

The url property of an operation or automation chain is the relative path to use to execute the operation. For the service URL http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation and the Blob.Attach operation with the url Blob.Attach, the complete URL for the operation would be: http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation/Blob.Attach.

The paths property is used to specify various relative paths (relative to the automation service) of services exposed by the automation server. In the above example you can see that the login service is using the relative path login.

This service can be used to sign in and check if the username/password is valid. To use this service you should do a POST to the login URL (http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation/login) using basic authentication. If authentication fails you will receive a 401 HTTP response. Otherwise the 200 code is returned.

The login service can be used to log in and validate a user login.

Note that WWW-Authenticate server response is not yet implemented so you need to send the basic authentication header in each call if you are not using cookies. You only need to authenticate once if you're using cookies - for example using the login service.

Invoking A Simple Operation

POST http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation/Document.Fetch HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, */*
Content-Type: application/json+nxrequest; charset=UTF-8
Authorization: Basic QWRtaW5pc3RyYXRvcjpBZG1pbmlzdHJhdG9y
Host: localhost:8080

Taking a Blob as Input

Here is an example invoking the Blob.Attach operation on a document given by its path (/default-domain/workspaces/myws/file in our example).

POST http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/site/automation/Blob.Attach HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, */*
Content-Type: multipart/related;
    boundary="----=_Part_0_130438955.1274713628403"; type="application/json+nxrequest"; start="request"
Authorization: Basic QWRtaW5pc3RyYXRvcjpBZG1pbmlzdHJhdG9y
Host: localhost:8080

Content-Type: application/json+nxrequest; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Content-ID: request
Content-Length: 75


Content-Type: image/jpeg
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=test.jpg
Content-ID: input

[binary data comes here]


In both examples you can see that the following Accept header is used: Accept: application/json, **/**.

This header is necessary because it specifies that the client accept as a response either a JSON encoded entity or a blob that may have any type. The application/json is the first content type to help the server choose the format of the response when returning an encoded object.


This operation will return the document content specified by the value parameter.

Learn More

  • Test these endpoints on your local instance with Nuxeo API Playground (see documentation to configure your local instance).
  • Checkout the Nuxeo REST API explorer of your instance at http://NUXEO_SERVER/nuxeo/api/v1/doc.