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The format element controls how the content-type of the response can be specified by using the URI. The format element is optional.

The format element can have the following values:

The content-type is specified by using the format query string parameter, for example /helloworld?to=dave&format=xml.
The content-type is specified by using the URI extension, for example /hello/world.xml?to=dave.
Either argument or extension can be used. This is the default where none is specified.

The format element also has the following attributes:

default (optional)
If the caller does not specify a required content-type at all, the default content-type is taken from the default attribute of the format element. By default, if not set, the html format is assumed. In some cases, a URI might decide upon a response content-type at runtime. For these URIs, specify an empty format, for example format default="".
format element example:
  <shortname>Alfresco Repo Usage</shortname>
  JSON Returned:
   "lastUpdate" : 1298463432794,
   "users" : 1,
   "documents" : 54,
   "licenseMode" : "TEAM",
   "readOnly" : false,
   "updated" : true,
   "licenseValidUntil" : null,
   "level" : 0,
   "warnings": [],
   "errors": []
  level 0: nothing to report
  level 1: report warnings and errors to admin only
  level 2: report warnings and errors to all
  level 3: report warnings and errors to all; system is locked for updates
  <format default="json"/>
  <transaction allow="readonly">required</transaction>