Although HTTP methods for building RESTful APIs are simple to connect with RESTful web services, they can appear irrational, redundant, and ineffective. Many HTTP methods exist, many of which are incompatible with RESTful principles. There is also an ongoing argument about how crucial it is to rigorously adhere to HTTP or REST principles while developing APIs.
This frequently results from misunderstanding and abuse. Thus, it is crucial to examine the HTTP API methods and comprehend how to apply them properly to resources and resource collections. After quickly comparing resources and resource collections, let’s look at the five core HTTP methods that everybody working on a RESTful API should be familiar with.
Resources from HTTP versus resource collections
An HTTP methods for building RESTful APIs resource is similar to a data file in that it is host on a server and reachable by a URL, and developers can read and edit the resource’s contents.
A resource collection is a group of connect resources that can be thought of as a collection of connecte documents. The techniques in this article can work with resources, resource collections, or a combination of both.
The software that underpins the collection, particularly how that software is implement, determines the interaction between the resources within the collection.
The files can be combine, organize in a tree, or arrange in various ways. If the implementations don’t give client behavior some prescribed order, the ensuing diversity might lead to inconsistencies and break applications.
Approach 1: Post
POST is the sole HTTP way for RESTful APIs focusing on help groups. Applying POST to the parent help causes it to build a new resource, add it to the correct order, and produce a clear URL for coming use for installing a nether resource in a collection. But remember that POST is not idempotent; you cannot employ this technique repeatedly and anticipate a constant result.
A huge advantage is that POST enables developers to designate resources explicitly. This function assists teams in avoiding the unintentional creation of subordinate resources that contaminate code, muddle references and disrupt applications.
Technique 2: PUT
A resource becomes the single-resource partner of the Center once the PUT order completely replaces its range. PUT is the most often use for changing resource data in a RESTful API.
A resource can be create using the PUT technique. However, as was already said, this method risks unintentionally creating resources. When PUT is use on a group of resources, the entire group is replace, which usually differs from what is intende.
Approach 3: PATCH
Another HTTP mechanism, PATCH, is a resource update method. Unlike the PUT technique, which replaces resources, PATCH modifies the contents of resources. Frequently, these updates should be communicate using a standard format like JSON or XML.
Using PATCH methods directly to a resource collection is bad to practice, just like PUT, unless you plan to alter every resource it includes.
Approach 4: GET
The most popular HTTP method is GET, which provides a representative view of the information and data included in a resource. The data should only be read-only when using GET to preserve resource idempotence and data security.
If this method has yet to be alter by another client in the interim, you should always obtain the same results no matter how many times you use it.
Although changing a resource’s contents with the GET method is occasionally done, this is a risky application of the method. If a resource detects a change since the PATCH client’s last GET. It’s usually for a client’s ability to PATCH the resource to be compromised.
Approach 5: Deletion
The final HTTP method to consider is DELETE. When using the DELETE method to target a single resource, that resource is completely delete.
DELETE implementations are frequently a little erratic. The URL for the resource could still be accessible even if the resource itself has been remove.
In this scenario, the server or resource implementation will likely continue changing the removed resource’s status using the URL. It is also likely to react differently to subsequent DELETE requests.
Although feasible, you should normally avoid utilizing the DELETE method in a resource collection. Because doing so will remove everything inside. Remember that the procedure is not idempotent and shouldn’t be use that way.