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Why are 'PUT' and 'DELETE' considered idempotent?

Posted on 2015-01-24
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Why are 'PUT' and 'DELETE' considered idempotent?
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Question by:KPax
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40568028
To quote this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext_Transfer_Protocol#Idempotent_methods_and_web_applications
PUT and DELETE are defined to be idempotent, meaning that multiple identical requests should have the same effect as a single request
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by:KPax
ID: 40568032
I know how to use wikipedia, thank you.
How comes that would be the true?
If you have resource on server and DELETE it you will get 200 or 202, then the next DELETE wouldn't have same effect as you already deleted resource and you will get 404. And what if I PUT some resource on server that irreversibly changes/affect state of some other component (DB record maybie)?
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 1500 total points
ID: 40568324
In theory, only POST method is supposed to be used to change something like a database record.
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by:KPax
KPax earned 0 total points
ID: 40568404
So, would you agree that in practice PUT and DELETE might not be idempotent all of the time? Depending on circumstances of  course - programmers error, intention, inexperience etc?
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Dave Baldwin earned 1500 total points
ID: 40568499
Yes, I agree... except I never use that word, 'idempotent'.  It doesn't describe any of the things you mention.  I don't have any hosting that uses PUT and DELETE.  At least not that I know of.
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Author Closing Comment

by:KPax
ID: 40577052
Additional thought and clarification from me regarding question.
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