10 Differences Between put and patch

Engaging 50-word Intro:
In the world of web development and APIs, the terms “put” and “patch” are often encountered. Although they both serve the purpose of modifying data, understanding their differences can be crucial. In this article, we will explore the definitions, examples, and various use cases of both “put” and “patch”, shedding light on their distinctions and helping you comprehend when to use each method effectively.

What is/are “put”?

“Put” is an HTTP method primarily used to update or replace an existing resource on the server. It allows the client to send a complete set of information for the resource, resulting in either its modification or replacement. This method is idempotent, meaning multiple identical requests should have the same effect as a single request.

Examples of “put”:

– Updating a user’s profile information
– Replacing an existing product listing
– Modifying an article content

Uses of “put”:

1. Uploading files: Using “put” allows clients to upload files to the server by sending the complete file in the request body.

2. Atomic updates: “Put” can be used when you wish to replace an entire resource atomically, ensuring consistency.

3. Resource creation: Although not conventional, including a “put” request can be a way to create new resources if supported by the server.

4. Cluster management: “Put” can also be utilized for managing clusters by replacing configurations or deploying new settings.

What is/are “patch”?

“Patch” is also an HTTP method used to update resources, but unlike “put,” it focuses on making partial modifications rather than a complete replacement. With “patch,” you only send the modified fields or attributes, reducing the overhead of transmitting unnecessary data.

Examples of “patch”:

– Changing a user’s password without modifying other profile details
– Updating only the price field of a product
– Appending a new paragraph to an existing article

Uses of “patch”:

1. Optimizing bandwidth: As “patch” sends only the modified data, it reduces bandwidth usage compared to the complete payload sent with “put.”

2. Incremental updates: When an update involves only certain fields of a resource, “patch” simplifies the process by focusing solely on those fields.

3. Version control systems: “Patch” is widely used in version control systems, enabling the creation and application of patches to source code and configuration files.

4. Dynamic updates: Real-time applications often use “patch” to update data without transmitting the entire resource, ensuring responsiveness.

Differences Table:

Difference Area PUT PATCH
Requirement Requires sending complete resource representation. Allows sending partial resource representation.
Use Case Used for complete resource replacement. Used for partial resource modification.
Idempotency Multiple identical requests have the same effect as a single request. Multiple identical requests may lead to different outcomes.
Bandwidth Usage Transmits complete resource even if only a few attributes changed. Reduces bandwidth by transmitting only modified attributes.
Response Status Returns a new resource representation with a successful status (200/201). Returns the updated resource representation with successful status (200/204).
Mandatory Fields All fields of the resource are typically mandatory. Only modified fields need to be included.
Advanced Usage Works with static files and rarely used for dynamic data. Preferred for dynamic, real-time data updates.
Error Handling Errors in any field of the resource will reject the request. Errors in specific modified fields can still result in successful updates.
Server Complexity Server needs to handle complete resource replacement. Server must implement logic to handle partial updates.
Backward Compatibility May cause compatibility issues when newer fields are added to the resource. More tolerant as it deals with partial updates, allowing for easier versioning.


In summary, both “put” and “patch” are HTTP methods used for modifying resources, but they differ in their approach. “Put” focuses on complete replacements and is idempotent, while “patch” specializes in partial updates and reduces bandwidth usage. Understanding their distinctions and matching them to specific use cases empowers developers to make informed decisions and optimize their web applications.

People Also Ask:

Q: Can “put” and “patch” be used interchangeably?
A: No, they serve different purposes. “Put” is recommended for complete resource replacement, while “patch” is more suitable for partial modifications.

Q: Are “put” and “patch” the only HTTP methods for updating resources?
A: No, there are other methods like “post” and “delete,” but “put” and “patch” specialize in updating existing resources.

Q: When should I use “put” instead of “patch”?
A: “Put” is best used when you have all the necessary data to update or replace the resource entirely.

Q: Can “patch” be used to create new resources?
A: Although not conventional, some servers may support using “patch” for creating new resources by including the necessary initial data.

Q: Can I use “put” or “patch” without requesting server authorization?
A: Both methods require proper authentication and authorization to maintain resource integrity and prevent unauthorized modifications.

Leave a Comment

content of this page is protected

Scroll to Top