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InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog REST API: Tips, tricks, and time-savers

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This document contains various tips and helpful information to use with IBM® InfoSphere® Information Governance Catalog REST API.


REST API is a programmable interface to query, create, delete, and update catalog content. Its functionality is similar to the InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog web application. The structure or syntax is json and it utilizes HTTP to execute its web service calls.

Execution of the REST API command to access the catalog can be done by using any programming application language or script that supports HTTP. Alternatively, you can use the InfoSphere DataStage Hierarchical Stage in a parallel job to execute REST calls, and then parse the result sets and act on them. You can use the Information Governance Catalog REST Explorer to develop and test your REST API calls to the catalog to ensure that the program code is correct.

Each REST “interchange” is composed of a “client” Request and a “server” Response.


The Request can be a URL, or HTTP header parameters and a parameter string in the body of the Request. The parameter string constrains the query, or provides property values to create new catalog metadata assets or to modify existing ones.
The REST API Request types are the HTTP standards: GET, PUT, and POST.

The Response can either be a Response code to indicate the success or failure of the REST call (200 OK, 500 Internal Error, etc.), or a result set from a simple or complex query (along with the Response code).
For example, when creating, deleting or modifying one or more assets, there is no result set that is returned. Therefore, the only feedback from the REST call is the Response code. However, when the REST API is used to query the catalog, the Response will be a code, but also a result set listing all the assets/properties that match REST query criteria.

REST terminology

RID: Reference ID (identifier), referred to as “id” or “_id”. Each individual asset in the catalog has a unique identifier, called a RID. The RID never changes even though properties such as the asset's name or “container” (parent category, host name, etc.) may change. Note that when workflow is enabled, a term in Glossary Development has a different RID from the same term in the published catalog.The RID is the main method to identify an asset in a REST call, for modifying one or more properties of the asset or marking the asset for deletion. When using a REST call to update properties containing other assets (such as assigned Terms, parent Category, assigned assets, stewards, etc.), the values of these properties to be modified are the RIDs of the referenced assets and not the actual names of the assets.

Type: Refers to the “type” of asset, such as parent_category, term, data_file, database_table, ds_job, etc. Many REST queries are based on retrieving a list of all assets of a particular type that fit the specified constraints or criteria. Therefore, the asset type must be specified in the URL or in the Request Body of the REST call. In the REST Explorer, there is a specific category of queries (/types/) that are designed to display the list of all valid asset types, or all instances of a specific asset type (/types/{id}), where {id} refers to the specific asset type you want listed.

REST API: Tips, tricks, and time-savers PDF:


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Document Information

Modified date:
15 October 2018