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API Changes in ArangoDB 3.7

This document summarizes the HTTP API changes and other API changes in ArangoDB 3.7. The target audience for this document are developers who maintain drivers and integrations for ArangoDB 3.7.

UTF-8 validation

The ArangoDB server will now perform more strict UTF-8 string validation for incoming JSON and VelocyPack data. Attribute names or string attribute values with incorrectly encoded UTF-8 sequences will be rejected by default, and incoming requests containing such invalid data will be responded to with errors by default.

In case an ArangoDB deployment already contains UTF-8 data from previous versions, this will be a breaking change. For this case, there is the startup option --server.validate-utf8-strings which can be set to false in order to ensure operability until any invalid UTF-8 string data has been fixed.

Metrics

The following existing metrics for monitoring that are exposed via the HTTP REST endpoint /_admin/metrics have been renamed in ArangoDB 3.7:

  • agency_agent_read_no_leader
  • agency_agent_read_ok
  • agency_agent_write_hist
  • agency_agent_write_no_leader
  • agency_agent_write_ok

The new names are:

  • arangodb_agency_agent_read_no_leader
  • arangodb_agency_agent_read_ok
  • arangodb_agency_agent_write_hist
  • arangodb_agency_agent_write_no_leader
  • arangodb_agency_agent_write_ok

This change was made to put the metrics into the “arangodb” namespace, so that metrics from different systems can unambiguously combined into a single monitoring system.

The REST endpoint /_admin/metrics also returns additional metrics in 3.7, compared to the list of metrics that it returned in 3.6.

HTTP RESTful API

Privilege changes

The access privileges for the REST API endpoint at /_admin/cluster/numberOfServers can now be controlled via the --server.harden startup option. The behavior is as follows:

  • for HTTP GET requests, all authenticated users can access the API if --server.harden is false (which is the default).
  • for HTTP GET requests, only admin users can access the API if --server.harden is true. This is a change compared to previous versions.
  • for HTTP PUT requests, only admin users can access the API, regardless of the value of --server.harden.

Endpoints API return value changes

The REST API endpoint at /_api/cluster/endpoints will now return HTTP 501 (Not implemented) on single server instead of HTTP 403 (Forbidden), which it returned previously.

When invoked via the PUT HTTP verb with an empty JSON object, the REST API endpoint at /_admin/cluster/numberOfServers will now return with the following response body:

{"error":false,"code":200}

In previous releases, calling that endpoint with an empty JSON object as the request body returned a JSON response that was just true.

Precondition failed error message changes

The REST API endpoints for updating, replacing and removing documents using a revision ID guard value now may return a different error message string in case the document exists on the server with a revision ID value other than the specified one. The API still returns HTTP 412, and ArangoDB error code 1200 as previously, but the error message string in the errorMessage return value attribute may change from “precondition failed” to “conflict”, “write-write conflict” or other values.

REST endpoints added

The following REST API endpoints have been added in 3.7:

  • HTTP POST /_admin/server/tls: this endpoint can be used to change the TLS keyfile (secret key as well as public certificates) at run time. The API basically makes the arangod server reload the keyfile from disk.
  • HTTP POST /_admin/server/jwt: can be used to reload the JWT secrets of a local arangod process without having to restart it (hot-reload). This may be used to roll out new JWT secrets throughout an ArangoDB cluster. This endpoint is available only in the Enterprise Edition.
  • HTTP POST /_admin/server/encryption can be used to reload the user-supplied key(s) used for encryption at rest, after they have been changed on disk. This endpoint is available only in the Enterprise Edition.

Using these endpoints requires superuser privileges.

REST endpoints augmented

The REST API endpoint for inserting documents at POST /_api/document/<collection> will now handle the URL parameter overwriteMode.

This URL parameter supports the following values:

  • "ignore": if a document with the specified _key value exists already, nothing will be done and no write operation will be carried out. The insert operation will return success in this case. This mode does not support returning the old document version using the returnOld attribute. returnNew will only set the new attribute in the response if a new document was inserted.
  • "replace": if a document with the specified _key value exists already, it will be overwritten with the specified document value. This mode will also be used when no overwrite mode is specified but the overwrite flag is set to true.
  • "update": if a document with the specified _key value exists already, it will be patched (partially updated) with the specified document value.
  • "conflict": if a document with the specified _key value exists already, return a unique constraint violation error so that the insert operation fails. This is also the default behavior in case the overwrite mode is not set, and the overwrite flag is false or not set either.

If overwriteMode is not set, the behavior is as follows:

  • if the overwrite URL parameter is not set, the insert will implicitly use the "conflict" overwrite mode, i.e. the insert will fail in case of a primary key unique constraint violation.
  • if the overwrite URL parameter is set to true, the insert will implicitly use the "replace" overwrite mode, i.e. the insert will replace the existing document in case a primary key unique constraint violation occurs.

The main use case of inserting documents with overwrite mode "ignore" is to make sure that certain documents exist in the cheapest possible way. In case the target document already exists, the "ignore" mode is most efficient, as it will not retrieve the existing document from storage and not write any updates to it.

Note that operations with overwrite or overwriteMode parameter require a _key attribute in the request payload, therefore they can only be performed on collections sharded by _key.

The REST API endpoints for creating collections at POST /_api/collection as well as listing and changing collection properties at PUT/GET /_api/collection/<collection>/properties will now make use of the additional attribute schema. The attribute can be used so specify document schema validation at collection level. See Schema Validation.

The REST API endpoint for creating a graph at POST /_api/gharial is now able to accept the string value "satellite" as an option parameter for the attribute replicationFactor. Only numeric values were allowed before. Setting the replicationFactor to "satellite" will lead to a SatelliteGraph being created. SatelliteGraph creation will ignore the option parameters numberOfShards, minReplicationFactor and writeConcern, as all of them will be set automatically. Additionally, the REST API endpoint for reading the graph definitions of all graphs at GET GET /_api/gharial or a graph definition of a single graph at /_api/gharial/{graph} will include an additional boolean attribute called isSatellite.

The REST API endpoint for creating a graph at POST /_api/gharial accepts a new boolean parameter isDisjoint. In combination with smartGraphAttribute it allows to create the newly introduced graph type Disjoint SmartGraph. isDisjoint defaults to false, which will create a regular SmartGraph. Additionally, the REST API endpoint for reading the graph definitions of all graphs at GET /_api/gharial or a graph definition of a single graph at GET /_api/gharial/{graph} will include an additional boolean attribute called isDisjoint in case of Disjoint SmartGraphs.

The REST endpoint /_admin/metrics also returns additional metrics in 3.7, compared to the list of metrics that it returned in 3.6.

REST endpoints moved

The following existing REST APIs have moved in ArangoDB 3.7 to improve API naming consistency:

  • the endpoint at /_admin/clusterNodeVersion is now merely redirecting requests to the /_admin/cluster/nodeVersion endpoint. The new endpoint will handle incoming requests in the same way the old endpoint did.
  • the endpoint at /_admin/clusterNodeEngine is now merely redirecting requests to the endpoint /_admin/cluster/nodeEngine. The new endpoint will handle incoming requests in the same way the old endpoint did.
  • the endpoint at /_admin/clusterNodeStats is now merely redirecting requests to the endpoint /_admin/cluster/nodeStatistics. The new endpoint will handle incoming requests in the same way the old endpoint did.
  • the endpoint at /_admin/clusterStatistics is now merely redirecting requests to the endpoint /_admin/cluster/statistics. The new endpoint will handle incoming requests in the same way the old endpoint did.

The above endpoints are part of ArangoDB’s exposed REST API, however, they are not supposed to be called directly by drivers or client

REST endpoints removed

The REST API endpoint at /_admin/aql/reload has been removed in ArangoDB 3.7. There is no necessity to call this endpoint from a driver or a client application directly.

The REST API endpoint at /_api/collection/<collection>/rotate has been removed in ArangoDB 3.7. This endpoint was previously only available for the MMFiles storage engine, but not for the RocksDB storage engine.

JavaScript API

Functions removed

The rotate function has been removed on the ArangoCollection object. This means the following JavaScript code will not work in ArangoDB 3.7, neither in the ArangoShell nor in arangod (when using Foxx):

db.<collection>.rotate();

The rotate function was previously only supported for the MMFiles storage engine, but not for the RocksDB storage engine.

ArangoDB Server Environment Variables

Variables added

The following ArangoDB Server environment variables have been added:

  • ARANGODB_OVERRIDE_DETECTED_TOTAL_MEMORY can be used to override the automatic detection of the total amount of RAM present on the system.
  • ARANGODB_OVERRIDE_DETECTED_NUMBER_OF_CORES can be used to override the automatic detection of the number of CPU cores present on the system.
  • ARANGODB_OVERRIDE_CRASH_HANDLER can be used to toggle the presence of the built-in crash handler on Linux deployments.