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RESTful Web Services Cookbook by Subbu Allamaraju

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Appendix C. HTTP Methods

HTTP’s uniform interface consists of the OPTIONS, GET, HEAD, POST, PUT, DELETE, and TRACE methods. This appendix provides a short primer on using these HTTP methods, listed in the order used by RFC 2616.

OPTIONS

Use this method to find the list of HTTP methods supported by any resource or to ping the server.

Request: Headers but no body.

Response: Headers but no body by default. The server may provide a description of the resource in the body.

Examples:

# 1. Request to find methods supported by a resource
OPTIONS /movie/gone_with_the_wind HTTP/1.1
Host: www.example.org

# Response with the methods supported by the resource
HTTP/1.1 204 No Content
Allow: HEAD, GET, OPTIONS, PUT, DELETE

# 2. Request to ping the server or find the version of HTTP supported
OPTIONS * HTTP/1.1
Host: www.example.org

# Response
HTTP/1.1 204 No Content

GET

Use this method to retrieve a representation of a resource.

Request: Headers but no body specified by HTTP 1.1.

Response: A representation of the resource at the request URI usually with a body. Response headers such as Content-Type, Content-Length, Content-Language, Last-Modified, and ETag correspond to the representation in the response.

Examples:

# A request to get a representation of a resource
GET /tx/1234 HTTP/1.1
Host: www.example.org

# Response
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/xml;charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: xxx

<status>
...
</status>

HEAD

Use this method to retrieve the same headers as that of a GET response but without ...

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