Difference Between PUT and PATCH Request
In the world of web development and API integration, two commonly used HTTP methods are PUT and PATCH. Both PUT and PATCH requests are used to modify resources on a server, but they differ in their approach. In this article, we will explore the differences between PUT and PATCH requests, their usage scenarios, and provide examples to help you understand their distinctions.
What is PUT Request?
PUT (or PUT update) is an HTTP method used to update a resource or replace the entire representation of a resource on the server. In simple terms, PUT request is used when you want to update an existing resource or create a new one if it doesn’t already exist.
Examples of PUT Request:
- Updating a user’s profile information
- Creating a new blog post
- Modifying an existing product in an e-commerce database
What is PATCH Request?
PATCH (or PATCH update) is also an HTTP method used to update a resource but with a slight difference. Unlike PUT, which replaces or creates the entire resource, PATCH is used for partial updates. In other words, PATCH request is used when you want to modify specific attributes or properties of a resource without affecting the rest.
Examples of PATCH Request:
- Updating only the email address of a user
- Changing the price of a specific product
- Editing specific fields of a contact in an address book
|Difference Area||PUT Request||PATCH Request|
|Resource Modification||Replaces or creates the entire resource||Updates specific attributes of the resource|
|Request Payload||Must send the complete updated representation of the resource||Only needs to send the specific changes to be made|
|Idempotent||Idempotent operation (second request has the same effect as the first)||Non-idempotent operation (multiple requests may have different effects)|
|Error Handling||If a resource already exists, it is replaced. Otherwise, a new resource is created.||If a resource doesn’t exist, client receives a 404 Not Found response|
|Multiple Updates||PUT request usually replaces all values of the resource||PATCH request allows partial updates without affecting the rest|
|Caching||Should invalidate any existing cache for the targeted resource||May need to update specific cache sections based on changes made|
|Security||PUT requests may pose security risks if not properly implemented||PATCH requests can help reduce security risks by limiting changes to specific attributes|
|Usage Scenarios||Best for complete updates or creating new resources||Useful when only specific attributes need to be modified|
|Compatibility||Supported by most browsers, frameworks, and libraries||May not be universally supported, requiring additional handling|
|Client-Side Handling||Client needs to send the complete updated representation||Client only needs to send the specific changes|
In summary, the main difference between PUT and PATCH requests lies in their approach to updating resources. PUT replaces or creates the entire resource, while PATCH updates only specific attributes. PUT is ideal for complete updates or creating new resources, while PATCH is useful for making partial modifications. Understanding these differences will help you choose the appropriate method for your API integration or web development needs.
- Which HTTP method is used to replace or create an entire resource?
Answer: PUT request
- When would you use a PATCH request instead of PUT?
Answer: When you only need to update specific attributes of a resource.
- Is the PUT method idempotent?
Answer: Yes, the PUT method is idempotent.
- What happens if a PATCH request is made for a non-existing resource?
Answer: The client receives a 404 Not Found response.
- Does PATCH request allow partial updates?
Answer: Yes, PATCH request allows partial updates.
- Which request may pose security risks if not properly implemented?
Answer: PUT request
- In terms of caching, which request should invalidate any existing cache for the targeted resource?
Answer: PUT request
- Which request is more suitable for modifying specific attributes?
Answer: PATCH request
- Is PUT request universally supported?
Answer: Yes, PUT request is supported by most browsers, frameworks, and libraries.
- What is the difference in client-side handling between PUT and PATCH?
Answer: PUT requires the client to send the complete updated representation, while PATCH only needs to send the specific changes.
- Difference Between POST and PUT Requests
- Understanding HTTP Methods: GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE
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