Defines a list of errors that may be encountered accessing a REST resource.


WSThrows = "{ code | code:description | code:@variable } [,...]"
WSThrows has a comma-separated list of status codes and/or error descriptions where:
  1. code is an HTTP status code in the range 400 to 599
  2. description is text describing the error
  3. @variable is a reference to a variable defined to handle error descriptions. The variable must be defined with a WSError attribute. It is returned in the response message body.
  • There is no space before or after the colon (:) between code and description.
  • If you use the code option on its own without a description, the default fault description defined in RFC 2616 is returned to the client.

WSThrows is an optional attribute.


You use this attribute to manage application level errors, such as a database record not found. If your function can potentially return one or more errors, you use WSThrows to declare those so that they can be generated in the OpenAPI documentation for that resource.

For instance, HTTP status code 404 means resource not found, but using the WSThrows attribute you can respond to the client with 404:user id not found in your function. To return a description of the status code like this, you must use WSThrows with the "code:@variable" option of the attribute, and reference a variable with the WSError attribute.

If you simply need to return an error code without a description, use WSThrows with code, or with a description use code:description.

For example, these are valid uses of WSThrows:

You must use valid HTTP status codes. Codes between 400 to 599 are valid, but use of codes between 200 to 399 representing successful HTTP status, result in error-9117.

WSThrows = "404, 402"
In this example, there are no descriptions of the error, just standard HTTP error messages ( see RFC 2616 ) are returned and displayed on the client side.
WSThrows= "404:not found error, 402:hello world"
In this example, the content after the colon (:) is the description of the error displayed on the client side.
WSThrows= "404:@error1, 402:@error2"
Here error descriptions are provided in the WSError attributed variables referenced in @error1 and @error2.

If you need to ensure an error description other than the standard protocol message is returned to the client, you must use WSThrows with the "code:@variable" option. Otherwise the web server may replace your description with the standard HTTP error message.

Example function using WSThrows

In this sample REST function a user resource is updated. The function's thisUser parameter of type profileType contains the values to update. The thisUser data is passed in the message body in either JSON or XML format.

The WSThrows attribute is set to handle errors that may be encountered. It has options to respond to three HTTP errors:
  • Error 404 when the resource is not found
  • Error 412 when the server can not respond to the request
  • Error 406 when the server throws an internal error and can not respond to the request
In the TRY/CATCH block, the sqlca record is checked after the execution of the SQL query. Depending on the error thrown, error descriptions are provided in the WSError attributed variables referenced in @userError or @fatalError. A call to SetRestError() returns the message defined in WSThrows for the error.
IMPORT com  

TYPE profileType RECORD
     id INTEGER,
     name VARCHAR(100),
     email VARCHAR(255)
     # ...

PUBLIC DEFINE fatalError INTEGER ATTRIBUTES(WSError="fatal error")

  message STRING

PUBLIC FUNCTION updateUser( thisUser profileType )
              WSPath ="/users/update",
              WSDescription ="Update user details",
              WSThrows ="404:@userError,
                         406:should not happen" )
      UPDATE users SET 
         name =, 
         email = 
         WHERE id =
         IF sqlca.sqlerrd[3] = 1 THEN  # sqlerrd[3] = processed rows
           LET ret = SFMT("Updated user with ID: %1",
           LET userError.message = SFMT("No user with ID: %1",
           CALL com.WebServiceEngine.SetRestError(404,userError)
         END IF
         WHEN sqlca.sqlcode < 0 
            LET fatalError = sqlca.sqlcode
            CALL com.WebServiceEngine.SetRestError(412,fatalError)
            CALL com.WebServiceEngine.SetRestError(406,NULL)
      END CASE
    RETURN ret