Use the REST Endpoint for Web Resources

[Applies to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011]

The REST endpoint for web resources provides an alternative interface to work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 data. You can use the REST endpoint to execute HTTP requests by using a service that is based on a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). The REST endpoint is only available for use by JScript and Silverlight web resources.

In This Topic

What Is REST?

REST represents Representational State Transfer. REST is an architectural style in which every resource is addressed by using a unique URI. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a resource can be an entity collection or a record.

REST works the way the Internet works. You interact with resources by using HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, MERGE, and DELETE. Various libraries can be used to process the HTTP requests and responses. REST provides a standard interface that you can use with any programming language. REST allows for either synchronous or asynchronous processing of operations. The capability to perform asynchronous operations makes REST well suited for AJAX and Silverlight clients.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Implementation of REST

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 uses the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Data Services framework to provide an Open Data Protocol (OData) endpoint that is a REST-based data service. This endpoint is called the Organization Data Service. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the service root URI is:

[Your Organization Root URL]/xrmservices/2011/organizationdata.svc

OData sends and receives data by using either ATOM or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). ATOM is an XML-based format usually used for RSS feeds. JSON is a text format that allows for serialization of JavaScript objects.

To provide a consistent set of URIs that corresponds to the entities used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an Entity Data Model (EDM) organizes the data in the form of records of "entity types" and the associations between them.

OData Entity Data Model (EDM)

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM EDM is described in an OData Service Metadata document available at the following path:

[Your Organization Root URL]/xrmservices/2011/organizationdata.svc/$metadata

This XML document uses conceptual schema definition language (CSDL) to describe available data. You will download this document and use it to generate typed classes when you use managed code with Silverlight or as a reference for available objects when you use JScript.


The REST endpoint provides an alternative to the WCF SOAP endpoint, but there are currently some limitations.

Only Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete actions can be performed on entity records.
  • Messages that require the Execute method cannot be performed.

  • Associate and disassociate actions can be performed by using navigation properties.

Authentication is only possible within the application.
Use of the REST endpoint is limited to JScript libraries or Silverlight web resources.

The OData protocol is not fully implemented. Some system query options are not available.
For more information, see OData System Query Options Using the REST Endpoint.

You cannot use late binding with managed code with Silverlight.
You will typically use WCF Data Services Client Data Service classes while programming by using managed code for the REST endpoint with Silverlight. These classes allow for early binding so that you get strongly typed classes at design time. The only entities available to you are those defined in the system when the classes were generated. This means that you cannot use late binding to work with custom entities that were not included in the WCF Data Services Client Data Service classes when they were generated.

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
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