Adding a Method to the OpenStack API

The interface is a mostly RESTful API. REST stands for Representational State Transfer and provides an architecture “style” for distributed systems using HTTP for transport. Figure out a way to express your request and response in terms of resources that are being created, modified, read, or destroyed.


To map URLs to controllers+actions, OpenStack uses the Routes package, a clone of Rails routes for Python implementations. See for more information.

URLs are mapped to “action” methods on “controller” classes in nova/api/openstack/__init__/ApiRouter.__init__ .

See for all syntax, but you’ll probably just need these two:
  • mapper.connect() lets you map a single URL to a single action on a controller.
  • mapper.resource() connects many standard URLs to actions on a controller.

Controllers and actions

Controllers live in nova/api/openstack, and inherit from nova.wsgi.Controller.

See nova/api/openstack/compute/ for an example.

Action methods take parameters that are sucked out of the URL by mapper.connect() or .resource(). The first two parameters are self and the WebOb request, from which you can get the req.environ, req.body, req.headers, etc.


Actions return a dictionary, and wsgi.Controller serializes that to JSON.


If you need to return a non-200, you should return faults.Fault(webob.exc.HTTPNotFound()) replacing the exception as appropriate.