Changing the default AJAX requests


I am having trouble with a specific case using Ember-Data.

Typically Ember expects a model class, the route, the ajax request, and the returned JSON, to all follow a similar pattern.

The RESTAdapter tries to automatically build a URL to send to the server, which is ok for some situations, but I need full control over some of my request URLs particularly when it comes to appending additional parameters, or matching an API to a route that has a completely different URL structure.

Ember sadly, has no guides for this, though I did find something about the buildURL method

I am not comfortable enough rooting through the source code to find out what happens under the hood though I do not want to break ember just to fix a few use cases.

  • I have set my RESTAdapter’s namespace to “api/rest”
  • The model and resource I want to populate is “view-debtors”
  • The specific service I want to reach is at “debtor/list”
  • I also need to pass extra parameters for pagination “?page_size=10&page_number=1”, for example.

I am completely lost how to do this. I cannot change the API structure… there are too many services depending on them.


Have you taken a look at DS.Adapter? You can provide your own adapter at the application and/or the model level which you can use to change how and where data gets loaded from.


That’s exactly what I did on the project I’m currently working on. We have to adapt to an existing backend API which doesn’t play well with Ember Data conventions. I ended up creating a custom Adapter (extending from DS.Adapter) & a custom Serializer (extending from DS.JSONSerializer). Creating an adapter was quite straightforward. The serializer took much more effort though. For example, when creating a record our backend simply responds with {success:true}. This means there is no record data returned. In such case DS.JSONSerializer.extractCreateRecord should return null. This is not documented. Had to dig through the code to find this.


Thanks for the replies! As of now I have used DS.RESTAdapter to change how the adapter is working.

the specific endpoint I am reaching is api/rest/debtor/list

the resource I want to use the model with is at portal/placements/view-debtors

I used ember-data’s default behavior to my advantage in this case:

I created a model called list, changed its specific adapter’s namespace to api/rest/debtor

Now I can just use the route for view-debtors and pass a model hook with'list', {page_size=10, page_number=1}

This is not a very elegant solution, because I will need to do this for almost every endpoint an a case-by-case basis. I have been told on Stack Overflow that this method will get even more hariy when I want to start doing POST, PUT, DELETE methods

Is there a better method to use? Are there other ember model libraries that are more adaptable? I am looking for some guidance. Thanks!


I am finding that out too, that the serializer is a bit more tricky to work with. I will need to find the best way to normalize and parse my payloads. I also have a distinct hurdle, I am actually learning javascript on the fly parallel to Ember, so it is taking a little longer for everything to sink in. I would be interested to know some your input of the API methods I would need to learn about when it comes to normalization and parsing.


I recently wrote a serializer/adapter to work with the Code for America API, at Hopefully it helps to see some example code?