Introducing the RESTCONF Protocol

an HTTP-based protocol that provides a programmatic interface for accessing data defined in YANG, using the datastore concepts defined in the Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF).

RFC 8040

As powerful and great an improvement over SNMP that NETCONF is, there are many that desire a REST API interface for network devices. Rather than develop an entirely new protocol and data model, the IETF has extended NETCONF into RESTCONF.


  • RFC 8040 - January 2017
  • Uses HTTP(S) for transport
  • Tightly coupled to the YANG data model definitions
  • Provides JSON or XML data formats

So no more NETCONF then?

RESTCONF is NOT a replacement for NETCONF. RESTCONF provides an API that aligns with other Web Application APIs to provide an easy entry point for developers. Though the gaps maybe eventually be filled, today RESTCONF lacks complete feature parity with NETCONF.

More likely we will see both NETCONF and RESTCONF leveraged sumulataneiously by different clients.