Java Reference
In-Depth Information
Creating an Order, Customer, or Product
There are two possible ways in which a client could create an Order , Customer , or Product
within our order entry system: by using either the HTTP PUT or POST method. Let's look at
both ways.
Creating with PUT
The HTTP definition of PUT states that it can be used to create or update a resource on the
server. To create an Order , Customer , or Product with PUT, the client simply sends a rep-
resentation of the new object it is creating to the exact URI location that represents the ob-
PUT / orders / 233 HTTP / 1.1
PUT / customers / 112 HTTP / 1.1
PUT / products / 664 HTTP / 1.1
PUT is required by the specification to send a response code of 201, “Created,” if a new re-
source was created on the server as a result of the request.
The HTTP specification also states that PUT is idempotent. Our PUT is idempotent, because
no matter how many times we tell the server to “create” our Order , the same bits are stored
at the /orders/233 location. Sometimes a PUT request will fail and the client won't know if
the request was delivered and processed at the server. Idempotency guarantees that it's OK
for the client to retransmit the PUT operation and not worry about any adverse side effects.
The disadvantage of using PUT to create resources is that the client has to provide the unique
ID that represents the object it is creating. While it usually possible for the client to generate
this unique ID, most application designers prefer that their servers (usually through their
databases) create this ID. In our hypothetical order entry system, we want our server to con-
trol the generation of resource IDs. So what do we do? We can switch to using POST instead
of PUT.
Creating with POST
Creating an Order , Customer , or Product using the POST method is a little more complex
than using PUT. To create an Order , Customer , or Product with POST, the client sends a
representation of the new object it is creating to the parent URI of its representation, leaving
out the numeric target ID. For example:
POST / orders HTTP / 1.1
Content - Type: application / xml
< order >
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