Problem Detail

The application/problem+json (Problem Detail) MUST be used to communicate details about an error.

Problem Detail is intended for use with the HTTP status codes 4xx and 5xx. Problem Detail MUST NOT be used with 2xx status code responses.

At the minimum, any Problem Detail response MUST have the title and detail fields.

Example

{
  "title": "Authentication required",
  "detail": "Missing authentication credentials for the Greeting resource."
}

Optional Fields

It SHOULD has the type field with the identifier of the error, besides it MAY have the instance field with the URI of the resource in question. If the Problem Detail response has the status field it MUST have the same value as HTTP Status code from of the response.

{
  "type": "https://adidas-group.com/problems/scv/unauthorized",
  "title": "Authentication required",
  "detail": "Missing authentication credentials for the Greeting resource.",
  "instance": "/greeting",
  "status": 401
}

NOTE: The type field is an identifier, and as such it MAY be used to denote additional error codes. Keep in mind that the identifier should be a URI.

Additional Fields

If needed, the Problem Detail MAY include additional fields, refer to RFC7807 for details.

Validation Errors

When necessary, a Problem Detail response MAY include additional error details about the problems that have occurred.

These additional errors MUST be under the errors and MUST follow the Problem Detail structure.

Example

Request:

POST /my-resource HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/json

{
  "age": -32,
  "color": "cyan"
}

Response:

HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Content-Type: application/problem+json
Content-Language: en

{
  "type": "https://example.net/validation_error",
  "title": "Your request parameters didn't validate.",
  "instance": "/my-resource",
  "status": 400,

  "errors": [
    {
      "type": "https://example.net/invalid_params",
      "instance": "/age",
      "title": "Invalid Parameter",
      "detail": "age must be a positive integer"
    },
    {
      "type": "https://example.net/invalid_params",
      "instance": "/color",
      "title": "Invalid Parameter",
      "detail": "color must be 'green', 'red' or 'blue'"
    }
  ]
}

Problem Detail and Content Negotiation

Example

A request is made to retrieve a resource representation:

GET /greeting HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/hal+json

However, in order to make this request, the client needs to be authorized. Since the request is made without the authorization credentials the 401 Unauthorized response is returned together with details using the application/problem+json media type:

HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Content-Type: application/problem+json
Content-Language: en

{
  "type": "https://adidas-group.com/problems/scv/unauthorized",
  "title": "Authentication required",
  "detail": "Missing authentication credentials for the Greeting resource.",
  "instance": "/greeting",
  "status": 401
}

No Stack Traces or Server Logs

Problem details are not a debugging tool for the underlying implementation; rather, they are a way to expose greater detail about the HTTP interface itself.

RFC7807

A Problem Detail response MUST NOT contain a program stack trace or server log for debugging purposes. Instead, provide a logref field with reference to the particular server log.

Working with Problem Detail

There are a whole plethora of libraries working with Problem Detail, for example, see Zalando / Problem (Java).

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