what are the real differences between these two methods of creating a webservice :

  1. Routing + Controller (https://www.chapterthree.com/blog/custom-restful-api-drupal-8)
  2. REST plugin (https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/api/restful-web-services-api/custom-rest-resources)

advantages/disadvantages of both?

I think we can create a restfull API with one as with the other, isn't it?


2 Answers 2


actually to create a wbesrvice endpoitns in Drupal 8 we need to activate one of or both of this 2 modules :

  1. JSON:API module (best one):

after the activation of this module you can access to all Drupal entities (user , node , taxonomy ) throw a dynamic endpoints that have this structure http://{host}/json_api/{entity_type}/{bundle}?Parameters, with the ability to fitter the result + built in pagination + sorting ex of endpoints :

  • /jsonapi/node/article : get a json contains all node article.

  • /jsonapi/node/article,sort=-created : get a json contains all node article and order them with e created field in DESC order.article.

  • /jsonapi/taxojomy_term/article : get a json contains all taxnomy term category.

understand the Drupal entity type first will be better : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrSjwe8bh7I

then use the JSON:api using this videos : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--ZL3EAhnwc&list=PLZOQ_ZMpYrZsyO-3IstImK1okrpfAjuMZ

  1. RESTful Web Services

    • Exposing Views using the RESTful Web Services module( Do you need an easy configuration from backoffice to set up and endpoint ?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMvNwRVJSEQ.
    • Creating a Custom REST Resources to expose data that can’t be exposed by the previous solution - when to use this solution when none of the previous solution can expose this data (Does JSON:API and View exposing can't expose this type of data ?)

note : the methos in this url https://www.chapterthree.com/blog/custom-restful-api-drupal-8 never use it because we get out of the context of drupal, and you waon't be able to use a hiddne power of Rest module ex :l by default any custom rest endpoint will display i if rest ui (https://www.drupal.org/project/restui) module installed .

  • Thank you for your answer. Yes, I already know the existence of jsonapi for entities ^^. In fact, I never liked the default renderings like jsonapi nor views :p I always prefer to develop in custom :/ (it probably has disadvantages). But, so what I retained, the advantage of the REST Plugin is that we could benefit from restui quite simply. May 24, 2020 at 12:53
  • also the custom rest is a Drupal plugin , and Drupal plugin is just a solution for a recursive problem (design pattern) in this case problem : exposing an endpoint, so you gonna find a lot of methods inherited from the ResourceBase class in this case , that help you to solve problems that occurs a lot in Drupal , for exmaple you can easily set the authentication by installing a third module ex: drupal.org/project/simple_oauth ( aid mobarak :) ). May 24, 2020 at 13:13
  • unfortunately I never had the opportunity to call on RessourceBase (I don't even know its usefulness nor its existence :( ) with Custom Rest so I hope to delve more on the design pattern and plugin of drupal ;) Allah i barek fik May 24, 2020 at 13:23

Basically you can implement API REST using both methods, (Routing+Controller) or (Plugins).


  • Its an initial approach and it is not recommended to use it at these times for API REST.

(Plugins), Its recommended to use it, why?

  • Define a standard (for all developers) for creating Web services/endpoint in Drupal 8+.

  • Its in core to this purpose! Its like as a superior version of the classic (Routing+Controller) implementation with much others REST improvements.

  • It has integration with other modules and features like basic_auth, jsonapi, restui, etc (not the other method, Routing+Controller).

Among other things, basically I think is for that.

In other words, to not reinvent the wheel, use Plugins.

  • Precisely, why look far if the classic method could answer all these points. - standard method for all developers (because now there are developers following the other and others the other) - we can adapt the construction of the API according to RESTFull. Manage methods, header and rendering format etc ... - I agree for the restui ^^ In short, REST Plugin is the new fashionable method: p to create APIs. Better to use it to be up to date ;) Thank you for your reply May 24, 2020 at 13:08

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