How to add operations to an API in Azure API Management

Before an API in API Management can be used, operations must be added. This guide shows how to add and configure different types of operations to an API in API Management.

Add an operation

Operations are added and configured to an API in the publisher portal. To access the publisher portal, click Publisher portal in the Azure Portal for your API Management service.

Publisher portal

If you have not yet created an API Management service instance, see Create an API Management service instance in the Get started with Azure API Management tutorial.

Select the desired API in the publisher portal and then select the Operations tab.


Click Add Operation to add a new operation. The New operation will be displayed and the Signature tab will be selected by default.

Add operation

Specify the HTTP verb by choosing from the drop-down list.

HTTP method

Define the URL template by typing in a URL fragment consisting of one or more URL path segments and zero or more query string parameters. The URL template, appended to the base URL of the API, identifies a single HTTP operation. It may contain one or more named variable parts that are identified by curly braces. These variable parts are called template parameters and are dynamically assigned values extracted from the request's URL when the request is being processed by the API Management platform.

The URL template can include wildcard patterns. For example, specifying /* will forward all requests for that HTTP method to the back end service.

URL template

If desired, specify the Rewrite URL template. This allows you to use the standard URL template for processing incoming requests on the front-end, while calling the back-end via a converted URL according to the rewrite template. Template parameters from the URL template should be used in the rewrite template. The following example shows how content type encoded as path segment in the web service from the previous example can be provided as a query parameter in the API published via the API Management platform using the URL templates.

URL template rewrite

Callers to the operation will use the format /customers?customerid=ALFKI and this will be mapped to /Customers('ALFKI') when the back-end service is invoked.

Display name and Description provide a description of the operation and are used to provide documentation to the developers using this API in the developer portal.


The operation description can be specified as plain text or HTML in the Description text box.

Operation caching

Response caching reduces latency perceived by the API consumers, lowers bandwidth consumption and decreases the load on the HTTP web service implementing the API.

To easily and quickly enable caching for the operation, select the Caching tab and check the Enable checkbox.


Duration specifies the time period during which the operation response remains in the cache. The default value is 3600 seconds or 1 hour.

Cache keys are used to differentiate between responses so that the response corresponding to each different cache key will get its own separate cached value. Optionally, enter specific query string parameters and/or HTTP headers to be used in computing cache key values in the Vary by query string parameters and Vary by headers text boxes respectively. When none are specified, full request URL and the following HTTP header values are used in cache key generation: Accept and Accept-Charset.

For more information on caching and caching policies, see How to cache operation results in Azure API Management.

Request parameters

Operation parameters are managed on the Parameters tab. Parameters specified in the URL Template on the Signature tab are added automatically and can be changed only by editing the URL template. Additional parameters can be entered manually.

To add a new query parameter, click Add Query Parameter and enter the following information:

  • Name - parameter name.
  • Description - a brief description of the parameter (optional).
  • Type - parameter type, selected in the drop down.
  • Values - values that can be assigned to this parameter. One of the values can be marked as default (optional).
  • Required - make the parameter mandatory by checking the checkbox.

Request parameters

Request body

If the operation allows (e.g. PUT, POST) and requires a body you may provide an example of it in all of the supported representation formats (e.g. json, XML).

The request body is used for documentation purposes only and is not validated.

To enter a request body, switch to the Body tab.

Click Add Representation, start typing desired content type name (e.g. application/json), select it in the drop-down, and paste the desired request body example in the selected format into the text box.

Request body

In additional to representations, you can also specify an optional text description in the Description text box.


It is a good practice to provide examples of responses for all status codes that the operation may produce. Each status code may have more than one response body example, one for each of the supported content types.

To add a response, click Add and start typing the desired status code. In this example the status code is 200 OK. Once the code is displayed in the drop-down, select it, and the response code is created and added to your operation.

Response code

Click Add Representation, start typing the desired content type name (e.g. application/json) and then select it in the drop down.

Body content type

Paste the response body example in the selected format into the text box.

Response body

If desired, add an optional description into the Description text box.

Once the operation is configured, click Save.

Next steps

Once the operations are added to an API, the next step is to associate the API with a product and publish it so that developers can call its operations.