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Understanding HTTP Request Methods: GET vs POST

GET API Method

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) request methods play a crucial role in how clients interact with web servers to request and manipulate data. Understanding the differences between HTTP GET and POST methods is fundamental for web developers and API designers.

What are HTTP Request Methods?

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) request methods are used by clients to request actions to be performed on a resource identified by a URL. Each request method has a specific purpose and indicates the desired action to be taken by the server. The most common HTTP request methods are:

GET: Requests a representation of the specified resource. GET requests should only retrieve data and should not have any other effect on the server. POST: Submits data to be processed to a specified resource. The data is included in the body of the request. POST requests are often used to create new resources.

PUT: Updates the specified resource with the requested data. PUT requests are idempotent, meaning that multiple identical requests should have the same effect as a single request.

DELETE: Deletes the specified resource. DELETE requests are also idempotent. PATCH: Applies partial modifications to a resource. The request body contains a set of changes to apply to the resource.

HEAD: Requests a response similar to a GET request, but without the response body. It is often used to check the validity of resources or to retrieve metadata about a resource.

OPTIONS: Requests information about the communication options available for the target resource. It is used to determine the supported request methods and other capabilities of the server.

TRACE: Echoes the received request so that a client can see what changes or additions have been made by intermediate servers.

CONNECT: Establishes a tunnel to the server identified by the target resource.

These HTTP request methods allow clients to interact with web servers in a variety of ways, enabling the implementation of complex web applications and APIs.

What is the HTTP GET API?

The HTTP GET API is an API method that web services and applications use to obtain data from each other. The HTTP GET method is used to retrieve information from a web server. A client (for example, a browser or other application) typically uses this method to make a request to the server, usually via a URL. The server receives the request to retrieve the resource specified in the URL and responds by returning the specified resource.

Typically, users use the GET API to retrieve data from the server, and they generally prefer it for situations that do not require data modification. Users usually send data through an HTTP POST request or other HTTP methods for data modification to the API server.

What are the Differences Between HTTP GET and POST?

HTTP GET and POST are two of the most commonly used HTTP request methods, but they have different purposes and behaviors. Here are the key differences between them:

  1. Purpose:
    • GET: Used to request data from a specified resource.
    • POST: Used to submit data to be processed to a specified resource.
  2. Data Handling:
    • GET: Sends data in the URL query string. Data is visible to everyone in the URL.
    • POST: Sends data in the request body. Data is not visible in the URL.
  3. Security:
    • GET: Less secure than POST because data is exposed in the URL.
    • POST: More secure than GET because data is not exposed in the URL.
  4. Data Length:
    • GET: Limited by the maximum length of a URL. Typically around 2048 characters.
    • POST: Not limited by URL length. Can send large amounts of data.
  5. Caching:
    • GET: Can be cached by the browser. Data can be bookmarked and stored in browser history.
    • POST: Cannot be cached. Data is not stored in browser history.
  6. Idempotent:
    • GET: Idempotent. Multiple identical requests will have the same effect as a single request.
    • POST: Not idempotent. Multiple identical requests may have different effects.
  7. Bookmarking:
    • GET: Can be bookmarked.
    • POST: Cannot be bookmarked.
  8. Backward/Forward Button:
    • GET: Can be safely used with the browser’s back/forward button.
    • POST: Using the back/forward button may resubmit the data.
  9. Use Cases:
    • GET: Suitable for retrieving data where the request has no side effects (e.g., retrieving search results).
    • POST: Suitable for operations that may change the server state (e.g., submitting a form, or uploading a file).

What are the Common Use Cases of Using the HTTP GET API?

In this section, we will discuss the most preferred data of enterprises with the HTTP GET API requirement.

Geolocation

Obtaining geolocation data is one of the most popular use cases for businesses and developers today. They obtain this data via HTTP GET from a free and best IP geolocation API such as the ipstack. To access geolocation data corresponding to an IP address from the ipstack API via HTTP GET, businesses, and developers can use the following request URL:

In the ‘YOUR_ACCESS_KEY’ field in this request URL, the user can paste their API key and send an HTTP GET request to this URL.

HTTP response of the ipstack get api

Currency

Currency data is data that businesses often get from third-party APIs. Fixer is an API that provides this data today with the highest accuracy and timeliness via HTTP GET. This API is very simple to use and provides data to the client in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. The request URL that allows businesses and developers to obtain forex data from this API is as follows:

The JSON response that will be obtained when an HTTP GET request is sent to this URL is as follows:

HTTP response of the fixer api

Weather

Weather data is also one of the most useful data obtained with HTTP GET. The weatherstack API is a very popular API that provides weather information and serves companies such as Microsoft and Ericsson. This API also sends an error status code to its users in case of an exception. The URL used to get current weather data from this API is as follows:

When businesses and developers send an HTTP GET request to this URL, the detailed response they will get is as follows:

HTTP response of the weatherstack api

Conclusion

To sum up, the HTTP GET API method is an HTTP method for exchanging data in web services. The client usually uses this method to read data from the server. HTTP GET method sends request parameters via URL and retrieves data. Users widely use it, especially in cases where data does not require modification on the server side. However, when users require data changes, they should prefer using HTTP POST or other HTTP methods.

Explore the free useful APIs and get data by HTTP GET API method with high speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are HTTP Request Methods?
    HTTP request methods are used by clients to request actions on resources identified by URLs.
  2. What is the HTTP GET API?
    The HTTP GET API is used to request data from a server, typically via a URL, without modifying the server state.
  3. What are the Differences Between HTTP GET and POST?
    HTTP GET is used to request data from a server, while POST is used to submit data to be processed by the server, often for creation or modification of resources.
  4. What are the Common Use Cases of Using the HTTP GET API?
    Common use cases include obtaining geolocation, currency, and weather data from third-party APIs.

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