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The Rackspace Email Rest API provides most of the functions of the Control Panel through a REST-based web API. Whether it is adding a new customer account, adding mailboxes, or any other of the supported features the API allows your application to administer the changes regardless of your application's language or nature. For more information on RESTful web services refer to the following sites:

Paul James's Homepage: A RESTful Web service, an example

Wikipedia: Representational State Transfer - External Links

The API is accessible to all with access to Control Panel, including resellers, business customers, enterprise customers, and indirect customers. However, not all operations are available to non-resellers. See the Operations section for more details.

The Rackspace Email Soap API Homepage has been moved to here.


The following pages detail the operations that the API supports. The operations are grouped into sections based on the entity/object types that each operation interacts with. Non-resellers do not have access to all functions.

Resource Example URI Business User Access
Customer /customers/123456789 Create Login Tokens
Admin /customers/123456789/admins/my_admin All
Domain /customers/123456789/domains/ Index, Show, Split Domain Routing, Archiving SSO Login URL, Domain Public Folders, Email Everyone , Catch-All Address
Domain Spam Settings /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Domain Webmail Settings /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Rackspace Email Mailbox /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Rackspace Email Mailbox Spam Settings /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Rackspace Storage Notification Settings /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Rackspace Email Alias /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Mailbox /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Mailbox Spam Settings /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Contact /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Distribution List /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Resource Mailbox /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Skype For Business /customers/123456789/domains/ All
Exchange Public Folders /customers/123456789/domains/ All
SharePoint /customers/123456789/sharepoint/settings Show

The examples shown in the operation pages are written in Ruby and extensively use the helper functions shown in the Ruby Examples below.

Quick Start

What you need:

  • A Rackspace Email and Apps Control Panel admin account
  • A HTTP class library that supports TLS 1.2 or greater, and the HTTP methods: GET, POST, PUT, DELETE.

Making your first API call, an Show Customer request:

  1. Obtain your API keys
    • Login to Control Panel
    • Click the drop down in the top right next to your admin id/account number.
    • Click Admins & Contacts
    • Click API Keys
  2. Set up your client's HTTP request
    • Set up your client to make calls to a URL beginning with
    • Populate the Accept, User-Agent and X-Api-Signature HTTP request headers correctly. This is explained in detail here.
  3. Make a GET request to /customers/me.
    • The complete URI will be Use your HTTP library to retrieve the HTTP response code, 'x-error-message' HTTP response header and HTTP response body so that they may be displayed to help debug and determine success.

From here:

  • Learn about the operations you'll be implementing at the subpages here.

Accessing the API

Your application should need to make HTTP requests over TLS 1.2 or greater (HTTPS) to our API servers. Most programming languages have this functionality built into their core libraries. In addition to the common GET and POST HTTP methods, the library used will also need to support PUT and DELETE.

For some language's libraries, simply using an URL that starts with https:// will cause the library to use TLS. In some other libraries however some options specific to the library may have to be configured to utilize TLS.

All API calls should be directed to a URL in the following format:



Supported Versions URL Version Documentation
v1 (current)

The API version number is a component of the URL that is used to access the API. For example, to access the root of the API, the URL is Bug fixes and minor non-breaking changes will be made without changing the version number. When major features or breaking changes are introduced, the version number will be incremented. It is not yet determined how many versions are going to be supported at any one time.

Using the discontinued v0 API?

  • If your client consumes v0 of the Admin REST API for Exchange Distribution Lists or Exchange Resource Mailboxes routes, the client must be updated to consume the new behavior in v1.
  • If your client does not consume the v0 Admin REST API for Exchange Distribution Lists and Exchange Resource Mailboxes, you simply need to update the base URL (i.e.…) from v0 to v1. There were no changes to the behavior of the other entities in the API, only their location changed.
Non-breaking Changes Breaking Changes
Adding new fields or attributes to form fields sent Changing or deleting any fields in form fields sent
Adding fields in returned data Changing or removing fields in returned data
Changing the URI of any resource


To gain access to the API, your request must include a properly constructed X-Api-Signature HTTP header. Details on what to put in the header are below. To construct the header, you must have the following keys that are generated from the API Keys page.

Key Name Description Example
User Key A public key that corresponds to your admin id eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1Pi
Secret Key A shared secret key QHOvchm/40czXhJ1OxfxK7jDHr3t

An unsuccessful authentication will result in a 403 HTTP code.

X-Api-Signature Header

Format is as follows: <User Key>:<Timestamp>:<SHA1 Hash>
Example: eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1Pi:20010317143725:46VIwd66mOFGG8IkbgnLlXnfnkU=

Remember to include the colons between the data strings!

User Key:
This is the public key issued by the Control Panel browser interface.

The format is YYYYMMDDHHmmss. All values besides year are zero-padded to two spaces. For example, March 08th 2001 at 2:37.25pm would be 20010308143725.

YYYY Four-digit year
MM Month
DD Day
HH Hour in 24h format
mm Minute
ss Second

SHA1 Hash:

A SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm) hash must be applied to a string with the following information:

<User Key><User Agent><Timestamp><Secret Key>

Note that the 'User Agent' must be the exact same as what is specified in the User-Agent HTTP header. Using the above example data, the string before hashing is:
eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1PiRackspace Management Interface20010308143725QHOvchm/40czXhJ1OxfxK7jDHr3t

Resulting base-64 SHA1 Hash:

Be sure to encode the binary hash, not the hex hash, into base-64. The resulting string should be 28 characters long.

Using the API


HTTP requests should be sent to the server with the correct URL, HTTP method, HTTP headers and form data (if needed). The URL specifies the resource, the HTTP method specifies what operation is done on the resource, and form data is used to specify the details of the resource when the resource is added or edited.

The URLs, corresponding HTTP methods, and necessary form data for the desired operations are detailed in the operation pages.

If you're getting the HTTP status code 417 see Handling HTTP code 417: Expectation failed


The URLs are specifies the resource or resource collection. Objects are organized in a tree collection, starting with customers at the top, then domains, then domain objects next (such as mailboxes, contacts, and distribution lists) and so on. The URLs of the resources and collections accessible are found on the operation pages.

HTTP Method

It is the HTTP method that specifies what operation will be done on the resource. For example, to get the details of a mailbox a HTTP GET will be done on /customers/12345678/domains/ If the mailbox does not exist, a HTTP POST to the same URL with the necessary form data will add the mailbox. Then, a HTTP PUT to the same URL will edit mailbox. And to delete the mailbox, an HTTP DELETE would be used.

The types of operations a certain method performs is outlined below.

HTTP Method Operations Response
GET Index - returns a list of the resources XML or JSON formatted data
Show - returns the details of the resource
POST Add - adds a new resource Response code and error message (if applicable) only
PUT Edit - changes the details of the resource
DELETE Delete - deletes the resource

HTTP Headers

All requests to the API must then include HTTP headers with the following information:

Header Name Description Example Header Value
Accept The requested content type (required for Index and Show actions). Fill this with either 'text/xml' or 'application/json'. See Response Formats text/xml
User-Agent An identifier you choose for your client software Rackspace Management Interface
X-Api-Signature An authentication string explained in detail here eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1Pi:20010317143725:HKUn0aajpSDx7qqGK3vqzn3FglI=

Form Data

When using Add and Edit operations, the details of the resource are sent to the API server via HTTP form data. Your HTTP library should include methods for sending form data along with an HTTP request. The library should by default send the data in the HTTP request body using the 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded' data format.

Index Filter/Search

The results of Index actions can be filtered/searched. The index URLs can take either one of the query strings: "?startswith=xx" or "?contains=xx," where "xx" is the key word. If the request specifies more than one of these two query strings, a 400 HTTP error will be returned. Different fields will be searched depending on the resource type, see below.

Note that "0-9" is a reserved key word for query string "startswith." It represents any result starting with numbers.

Index Actions Where the key word will be searched
Customer Customer name, account number, reference number
Domain Domain name
Mailbox Mailbox name, mailbox display name, custom ID field
Contact Contact display name, external email
Group Group name, group display name
Mobile Service Associated mailbox name, mailbox display name
Lync Users Mailbox name (NOTE: Does not support the startsWith search parameter)


The server limits the number of requests allowed per user in a certain period of time. The number of requests made are logged per minute. Calls that were made correctly with a user's API key, but not completed for any reason, including those exceeding the throttle limit, are included in this count.

If a user is over the throttling limit then a 403 HTTP code will be returned with an "Exceeded request limits" message.

Operation Category Request Limit
GET 120 per minute
PUT, POST, DELETE 90 per minute
POST, PUT, DELETE on a domain 2 per minute
POST, DELETE on alternate domains 2 per minute
Enabling public folders for a domain 1 per 5 minutes


Index of Exchange Mailboxes:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol
    GET /v1/customers/12345678/domains/ HTTP/1.1
    User-Agent: Rackspace Management Interface
    X-Api-Signature: eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1Pi:20010317143725:HKUn0aajpSDx7qqGK3vqzn3FglI=
    Accept: text/xml

Adding New Exchange Mailbox:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol
    POST /v1/customers/12345678/domains/ HTTP/1.1
    User-Agent: Rackspace Management Interface
    X-Api-Signature: eGbq9/2hcZsRlr1JV1Pi:20010317143725:HKUn0aajpSDx7qqGK3vqzn3FglI=
    Content-Length: 53
        [Content length: 53]
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Line-based text data: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


HTTP Status Code

On a successfully executed request, a 200 HTTP Code is returned. If the request was unsuccessful however, an HTTP error code in the 400s or 500s will be returned.

HTTP Response Body

If the request is an Index or Show request, the request data will be returned in the format specified in the HTTP Body.


Requests for data (index and show requests) are returned with XML or JSON data based on what your application populates the HTTP Accept headers with.

For XML, populate the header with 'text/xml' (ex: Headers!["Accept"] = "text/xml"). The XML document returned will conform to a published XSD (XML Schema Document). There are many ways to parse the data in an XML document, but we have found that the XPath tree-style traversal has served our purposes. In any case, your application will likely need to use a class library for your chosen method.

For JSON, populate the header with 'application/json' (ex: Headers!["Accept"] = "application/json"). As with XML, a library will likely be needed to parse the data.

HTTP Headers

The only data returned in the header is the error message (if any).

Header Name Description Example Header Value
x-error-message The error message. See Errors. Missing required field: name


See Errors.


The results of Index actions are split into pages to lessen potentially high resource usage. The index URLs have a query string with parameters in the format "?size=xx&offset=xx." If a query parameter is omitted, the default value is used.

Query Parameter Default Maximum Notes
size 50 250 This is the number of elements per page.
offset 0 N/A This is the number of items to offset away from the first item in the list.

A PHP Example of paging can be found here.


HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Cache-Control: private
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:08:11 GMT
Content-Length: 430

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<domainList xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns="urn:xml:domainList">
HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Cache-Control: private
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
x-error-message: Customer Not Found
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:13:59 GMT
Content-Length: 0
HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Cache-Control: private
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
x-error-message: Missing required field: type
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:17:29 GMT
Content-Length: 0



This examples is written in Ruby. To make the examples shorter, helper methods have been written. These methods are part of a NetMethods module. The contents of the NetMethods module is listed below.

require  'server.rb'

server =

response = server.get  '/customers', server.xml_format

#fields = Hash['serviceType' =>  'exchange', 'exchangeMaxNumMailboxes' => '4']
#response = '/customers/me/domains/', fields

puts response.code
puts response['x-error-message']
puts response.body
require 'test/unit/assertions'
require 'net/http'
require 'date'
require 'date/format'
require 'digest/sha1'
require 'base64'
require 'time'

class Server
  include Test::Unit::Assertions
  def initialize(server='', version_prefix='/v1', user_key='xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', secret_hash='xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx')
    @server = server
    @version_prefix = version_prefix
    @user_key = user_key
    @secret_hash = secret_hash
# Response Type Enums

  def xml_format
  def json_format

# HTTP Request Verbs
  def get(url_string, format)
    uri = full_uri(url_string)
    headers = prepared_headers
    headers['Accept'] = format
    request =, headers)
    http_response = make_request request, uri
  def delete(url_string)
    uri = full_uri(url_string)
    request =, prepared_headers)
    http_response = make_request request, uri
  def put(url_string, fields_hash)
    uri = full_uri(url_string)
    request =, prepared_headers)
    http_response = make_request request, uri
  def post(url_string, fields_hash)
    uri = full_uri(url_string)
    request =, prepared_headers)
    http_response = make_request request, uri
# HTTP Request Helpers
  def make_request request, uri
    response = Net::HTTP::start(, uri.port)  do |http|
      http.request request
  def full_uri url_string
    URI.parse('http://' + @server + @version_prefix + url_string)
  def request_uri uri
    request = uri.path
    if ! uri.query.nil?
      request = request + '?' + uri.query
  def prepared_headers
    headers =
    headers.merge! headers_auth_creds(@user_key, @secret_hash)
    headers['Accept'] = xml_format
  def headers_auth_creds apiKey, secretKey
    userAgent = 'Ruby Test Client'
    timestamp ='%Y%m%d%H%M%S')
    data_to_sign = apiKey + userAgent + timestamp + secretKey
    hash = Base64.encode64(Digest::SHA1.digest(data_to_sign))
    signature = apiKey + ":" + timestamp + ":" + hash
    headers = Hash['User-Agent' => userAgent, 'X-Api-Signature' => signature]


This examples is written in C#.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Net;
using System.Security.Cryptography;
using System.Text;

namespace RestApiClient
    public class RestApiClient
        private HttpWebRequest request;
        private HttpWebResponse response;
        private string baseUrl;
        private string apiKey;
        private string secretKey;

        public RestApiClient(string baseUrl, string apiKey, string secretKey)
            this.baseUrl = baseUrl;
            this.apiKey = apiKey;
            this.secretKey = secretKey;

        public HttpWebResponse Get(string url, string format)
            this.request = (System.Net.HttpWebRequest)HttpWebRequest.Create(this.baseUrl + url);
            request.Method = "GET";
            return GetResponseContent();

        public HttpWebResponse Post(string url, string data, string format)
            this.request = (System.Net.HttpWebRequest)HttpWebRequest.Create(this.baseUrl + url);
            request.Method = "POST";
            return GetResponseContent();

        public HttpWebResponse Put(string url, string data, string format)
            this.request = (System.Net.HttpWebRequest)HttpWebRequest.Create(this.baseUrl + url);
            request.Method = "PUT";
            return GetResponseContent();

        public HttpWebResponse Delete(string url, string format)
            this.request = (System.Net.HttpWebRequest)HttpWebRequest.Create(this.baseUrl + url);
            request.Method = "DELETE";
            return GetResponseContent();

        private void SendFormData(string data)
            UTF8Encoding encoding = new UTF8Encoding();
            byte[] byteData = encoding.GetBytes(data);
            this.request.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded";
            request.ContentLength = byteData.Length;
            Stream requestStream = request.GetRequestStream();
            requestStream.Write(byteData, 0, byteData.Length);

        private HttpWebResponse GetResponseContent()
                return (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
            catch (WebException e)
                return (HttpWebResponse)e.Response;


        private void SignMessage()
            var userAgent = "C# Client Library";
            this.request.UserAgent = userAgent;
            var dateTime = DateTime.UtcNow.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss");
            var dataToSign = apiKey + userAgent + dateTime + secretKey;
            var hash = SHA1.Create();
            var signedBytes = hash.ComputeHash(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(dataToSign));
            var signature = Convert.ToBase64String(signedBytes);

            request.Headers["X-Api-Signature"] = apiKey + ":" + dateTime + ":" + signature;

        private void AssignFormat(string format)
            this.request.Accept = format;


The PHP Example can be found here.