OAS 3 This page applies to OpenAPI 3 – the latest version of the OpenAPI Specification.

Multipart Requests

Multipart requests combine one or more sets of data into a single body, separated by boundaries. You typically use these requests for file uploads and for transferring data of several types in a single request (for example, a file along with a JSON object). In OpenAPI 3, you describe a multipart request in the following way:
requestBody:
  content: 
    multipart/form-data: # Media type
      schema: # Request payload
        type: object
        properties: # Request parts
          id: # Part 1 (string value)
            type: string
            format: uuid
          address: # Part2 (object)
            type: object
            properties:
              street:
                type: string
              city:
                type: string
          profileImage: # Part 3 (an image)
            type: string
            format: binary
You start with the requestBody/content keyword. Then, you specify the media type of request data. File uploads typically use the multipart/form-data media type, and mixed-data requests usually use multipart/mixed. Below the media type, put the schema keyword to indicate that you start describing the request payload. You describe individual parts of the request as properties of the schema object. As you can see, a multipart request can include various data: strings, objects in JSON format, and binary data. You can also specify one or several files for uploading. (To learn more, see File Upload). The example above corresponds to the following request:
POST /upload HTTP/1.1
Content-Length: 428
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=----WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="id"
Content-Type: text/plain

123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440000

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="address"
Content-Type: application/json

{
  "street": "3, Garden St",
  "city": "Hillsbery, UT"
}

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="profileImage "; filename="image1.png"
Content-Type: application/octet-steam

{…file content…}

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7--

Specifying Content-Type

By default, the Content-Type of individual request parts is set automatically according to the type of the schema properties that describe the request parts:
Schema Property Type Content-Type
Primitive or array of primitives text/plain
Complex value or array of complex values application/json
String in the binary or base64 format application/octet-stream
To set a specific Content-Type for a request part, use the encoding/{property-name}/contentType field. You add encoding as a child of the media type property, one the same level where schema is located. In the example below, we set the contentType for the profileImage part of a multipart request to image/png, image/jpg:
requestBody:
  content:
    multipart/form-data:
      schema:
        type: object
        properties: # Request parts
          id:
            type: string
            format: uuid
          address:
            type: object
            properties:
              street:
                type: string
              city:
                type: string
          profileImage:
            type: string
            format: base64
      encoding: # The same level as schema
        profileImage: # Property name (see above)
          contentType: image/png, image/jpeg

Specifying Custom Headers

Parts of multipart requests usually do not use any headers, except for Content. In case you need to include custom headers, use the encoding/{property-name}/headers field to describe these headers (see below). For complete information on describing headers, see Describing Parameters. Below is an example of a custom header defined for a part of a multipart request:
requestBody:
  content:
    multipart/form-data:
      schema:
        type: object
        properties:
          id:
            type: string
            format: uuid
          profileImage:
            type: string
            format: binary
      encoding:
        profileImage: # Property name
          contentType: image/png, image/jpeg
          headers: # Custom headers
            X-Custom-Header:
              description: This is a custom header
              schema:
                type: string
This declaration matches the following request:
POST /upload HTTP/1.1
Content-Length: 428
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=----WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="id"
Content-Type: text/plain

123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-426655440000

------WebKitFormBoundaryOmz20xyMCkE27rN7
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="profileImage"; filename="image1.png"
Content-Type: image/png
X-Custom-Header: x-header

{…file content…}