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When I connect to the 2011 endpoint of the Core Service on a 2013SP1 machine and request the API version I get 7.1.0 where I expected 6.1.0. That suggests it is not the API version but the Tridion version; is that intended and correct behaviour?

Same applies to the 2012 endpoint on the same machine (where I would expect an API version of 7.0.0).

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All the endpoints are backwards-compatible. That is why you get a new endpoint every release. You can continue to use the old one without updating your code -- or you can update your code and connect to the new endpoint. The old endpoint will maintain the same contract, but obviously runs the newer code.

The idea behind the GetApiVersion method is that it will tell you which version of Tridion is serving the endpoint. You could then decide if you wish to use a newer endpoint to take advantage of the new functionality that was introduced.

So it is indeed correct that it returns 7.1.0 for you, regardless of the endpoint you are using.

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I think this is because the API version is indeed matched to the version number of Tridion.

The CoreService2011, 2012, 2013 etc endpoints are more like a Contract (in other words, the code running the API was changed, but it still adheres to the old contracts)

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    So it's the same API (interface/contract) but a different product version (implementation/actual code). I would expect the API version to reflect the interface and not the implementation. Just some naming confusion then :-) – Bjørn van Dommelen Jul 23 '15 at 12:33

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