Introduction

Zendesk is a customer support platform that supports more than 50,000 businesses and over 300 million end users in 140 countries around the globe. Many of these businesses use the Zendesk API (the "API") to automate and enhance their customer support with Zendesk.

The API

This is the documentation for the Zendesk v2 API. The Help Center API documentation supplements it.

Read the contents of this page carefully, including the Restrictions and Responsibilities, to understand how to be a good API citizen.

Your use and access to the API is expressly conditioned on your compliance with the policies, restrictions, and other provisions related to the API set forth in our API Restrictions and Responsibilities and the other documentation we provide you. You must also comply with the restrictions set forth in the Zendesk Terms of Service and the Zendesk Privacy Policy, in all uses of the API. If Zendesk believes that you have or attempted to violate any term, condition, or the spirit of these policies or agreements, your right to access and use the API may be temporarily or permanently revoked.

When documenting a resource, we use curly braces, {}, for identifiers. Example: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/users/me.json.

Change Policy

Zendesk may modify the attributes and resources available to the API and our policies related to access and use of the API from time to time without advance notice. Zendesk will use commercially reasonable efforts to notify you of any modifications to the API or policies through notifications or posts on the Zendesk Developer Website. Zendesk also tracks deprecation of attributes of the API on its Changes Roadmap. Modification of the API may have an adverse effect on Zendesk Applications, including but not limited to changing the manner in which Zendesk Applications communicate with the API and display or transmit Your Data. Zendesk will not be liable to you or any third party for such modifications or any adverse effects resulting from such modifications.

Security and Authentication

This is an SSL-only API, regardless of how you may have your account configured. You must be a verified user to make API requests. You can authorize against the API using either basic authentication with your username and password, or with a username and API token. OAuth authentication is also supported. Learn more.

If an agent or admin has enabled 2-factor authentication in their user profile, they won't be able to use basic authentication. Alternatives include using an API token or implementing an OAuth flow. Learn more.

API tokens are managed in the Zendesk Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. The page lets you view, add, or delete tokens. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

If using an API token, use the following authentication format:

{email_address}/token:{api_token}

Using curl
curl -u {email_address}/token:{api_token} https://{yourdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/...
Example:
curl -u jdoe@example.com/token:6wiIBWbGkBMo1mRDMuVwkw1EPsNkeUj95PIz2akv https://obscura.zendesk.com/api/v2/users.json

With HTTP authentication, the slash character in {email_address}/token must be URL-encoded as %2F.

Rate Limiting

This API is rate limited. We only allow a certain number of requests per minute. We reserve the right to adjust the rate limit for given endpoints to provide a high quality of service for all clients. As an API consumer, you should expect to be able to make at least 200 requests per minute.

If the rate limit is exceeded, Zendesk responds with a HTTP 429 Too Many Requests response code and a body that details the reason for the rate limiter kicking in. The response has a Retry-After header that tells you for how many seconds to wait before retrying. You should anticipate this in your API client for the smoothest possible ride. See Best practices for avoiding rate limiting.

Headers

This is a JSON-only API. You must supply a Content-Type: application/json header on PUT and POST operations. You must set an Accept: application/json header on all requests. You may get a text/plain response in case of error such as a bad request. You should treat this as an error you need to fix.

Requests

Zendesk responds to successful requests with HTTP status codes in the 200 or 300 range. When you create or update a resource, Zendesk renders the resulting JSON representation in the response body and set a Location header pointing to the resource. Example:

Status: 201 Created
Location: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/items/123.json

{
  "item": {
    "id": 123,
    "url": "https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com/api/v2/items/123.json"
    "name": "Wibble",
    ...
    "created_at": "2012-04-04T09:14:57Z"
  }
}

Time stamps use UTC time and their format is ISO 8601.

Zendesk responds to unsuccessful requests with HTTP status codes in the 400 range. The content type of the response may be text/plain for API-level error messages, such as when trying to call the API without SSL. The content type is application/json for business-level error messages because the response includes a JSON object with information about the error:

{
  "details": {
    "value": [
      {
        "type": "blank",
        "description": "can't be blank"
      },
      {
        "type": "invalid",
        "description": " is not properly formatted"
      }
    ]
  },
  "description": "RecordValidation errors",
  "error": "RecordInvalid"
}

If you see a response from a known endpoint that looks like plain text, you probably made a syntax error in your request. This is a common response if you try to make a request to a nonexistent Zendesk instance.

If you experience responses with status codes in the 500 range, Zendesk may be experiencing internal issues or undergoing scheduled maintenance, during which we send a 503 Service Unavailable status code. In such cases, check @zendeskops and our status page for any known issues.

When building an API client, we recommend treating any 500 status codes as a warning or temporary state. However, if the status persists and we don't have a publicly announced maintenance or service disruption, contact us at support@zendesk.com.

Pagination

By default, most list endpoints return a maximum of 100 records per page. You can change the number of records on a per-request basis by passing a per_page parameter in the request URL parameters. Example: per_page=50. However, you can't exceed 100 records per page on most endpoints.

When the response exceeds the per-page maximum, you can paginate through the records by incrementing the page parameter. Example: page=3. List results include next_page and previous_page URLs in the response body for easier navigation:

{
  "users": [ ... ],
  "count": 1234,
  "next_page": "https://account.zendesk.com/api/v2/users.json?page=2",
  "previous_page": null
}

Stop paging when the next_page attribute is null. For more information, see Adding pagination to your code.

Inaccuracies may be introduced in pages because of the limitations of API pagination. For more information and options, see Limitations of API pagination.

Some lists can be ordered by transmitting a sort_order=desc or sort_order=asc parameter to the end point. Whether a specific list can be ordered is specified in the documentation for that specific resource.