Administrator Topic

Employee/OU API

The Employee/OU API allows organizations to create, update, and fetch employee and organizational unit (OU) details from Cornerstone. The Employee/OU API appears as a single tile in API Explorer, and it includes two APIs:

  • Employee API v2 contains the following enhancements:
    • Host of additional endpoints to get employee metadata information.
    • Targeted, modular calls to allow fetching smaller payloads of specific datasets.
    • Improved response times by ~30% for PUT/PATCH/POST and ~50% for GET endpoints.
    • Increase throttling limit by 50% (from 100/min to 150/min, for all non-bulk endpoints).
    • A closely coupled OU API, that will allow consumers to serve a much broader set of use-cases to create, update, and fetch employee data for specific OU's.
  • The Organizational Unit (OU) API provides robust handling for full feature management of OUs. The OU API is now in General Availability with the release of Employee API v2. Detailed API documentation can be found in the Edge API Explorer.

Organizations are highly encouraged to move to Employee API v2 and start planning to move off both v1 REST API and the SOAP services.

At this time, Cornerstone has not deprecated the SOAP User/OU API, the Employee API v1, or the GET OU API. Cornerstone will continue to address defects and questions with these endpoints; however, any enhancements will only be made to the Bulk API and the Employee/OU API.

API Explorer

Documentation for all available APIs is available in the API Explorer for general access.


  • The OU API leverages the same permissions and constraints required to manage OUs in the portal.
  • Group management is not supported with this API.


Organizations can purchase and enable the Employee/OU API through the Edge Marketplace as a part of Cornerstone Foundational APIs. There are new scopes for API endpoints. Additional documentation is available in the API Explorer.


The OU API respects the same permissions and constraints on the following permissions:

OU Hierarchy - Manage Grants ability to create and update/edit organizational units. This permission grants access to all OU types, both standard and custom. This permission can be constrained by OU and User's OU. This is an administrator permission. Core Administration
Grades - View Grants ability to view the Grade Organizational Unit throughout the system, such as in availability drop down selectors, when editing users, etc. Those without this permission do not see the Grade OU on any screen. This is primarily an administrator permission, although organizational policy should determine whether the Grade OU should be visible to end users on reporting screens, etc. Core Administration


Last Published: 9/10/2021 If you have feedback or suggestions for an Online Help article, please select this link. © 2021, Cornerstone OnDemand