**** This entire article now available as a white paper for download here >>  ****

The REST API in ServiceDesk Plus is a very powerful integration tool. However, the information available about how to use the API interface can be a little confusing for non programmers. Hopefully the following will help the uninitiated amongst us.

Some terminology first … REST stands for Representational State Transfer. (It is sometimes spelled “ReST”.) It relies on a stateless, client-server, cacheable communications protocol and, importantly for us, in virtually all cases uses the HTTP protocol. Basically we can make HTTP calls via a URL and ‘talk’ to ServiceDesk and get it to do things!
ServiceDesk Plus has a very useful interactive documentation tool in the Admin tab that provides a starting point for understanding and testing the REST API interface:


Clicking on the Documentation button takes you to a list of functions that are available for the various modules in ServiceDesk Plus. In the example below we’ve chosen to ‘View Request details’ and the interactive documentation is expecting a valid Request ID to process the REST API request:


By entering a valid Request ID of a current request in your ServiceDesk Plus and pressing the ‘Try Now’ button you should see details of the Request URL used and information in the Response Body on the right of the screen:


The data in the Response Body is basically being returned, in this utility, as a JSON string. JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation and is a lightweight data-exchange format. In practical terms we have a formatted data response that we can use and interpret with a script or programme. As you can see the output is relatively easy to read and understand even as the JSON output. 
It’s worth noting that we can also use JSON to send a collection of data to the REST API. If you look at the option to ‘Add new request’ you will see an example of this (yes this will create a new request in ServiceDesk Plus) :
For completeness there are various operations that can be performed by a REST API interface. In our example, and for most API operations, a POST HTTP Request Method is used. However, you will find examples of GET, PUT and DELETE operations as well. We just need to make sure we identify the operation being performed in any script or programme calling the REST API in ServiceDesk Plus.
Hopefully the documentation will give you an insight into potentially how powerful the REST API really is. In Part 2 we’ll look at the mechanics and configuration required to actually do this for real.

This article is relevant to:
Service Desk

You may be interested in these other recent articles

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus On-Premise Build Release Information

28 June 2022

Summary details of the current Build Release information for ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus. To safely upgrade your current instance of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus please refer to…

Read more

ManageEngine Endpoint Central (formerly Desktop Central) On-Premise Build Release Information

27 June 2022

Summary details of the current Build Release information for ManageEngine Endpoint Central. Note: Desktop Central changing its name to Endpoint Central will not affect the…

Read more

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Cloud Build Release Information

Summary details of the current Build Release information for ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Cloud Edition. All upgrades are performed by the Zoho Cloud team. Should you…

Read more

Get to building your business apps with the new AppCreator

9 June 2022

ManageEngine’s new low-code application development tool Creating an application, building one and deploying it can be expensive and time consuming as you have to make…

Read more

Endpoint Central’s Endpoint Security

31 May 2022

Endpoint Central (formerly Desktop Central) not only got a name change but has also introduced Endpoint Security to help organisations keep their endpoints secured. According…

Read more