DEV Community

Sato Kenta
Sato Kenta

Posted on

PUT vs POST: An In-Depth Comparison of RESTful API Methods

This document delves into the PUT and POST methods of HTTP, explaining their functionalities and key attributes. We're exploring how these methods operate within the context of web services and API interactions.

Introduction to the PUT HTTP Method

The PUT method in HTTP is primarily utilized either to create a new resource or to update an existing one at a designated URI. It serves as a means to maintain or modify data on the server, making it essential for RESTful APIs wherein resource state management is crucial.

Characteristics of the PUT Method

  • Resource Identification: The URI in the PUT request pinpoints the resource to be modified or created.
  • Complete Resource Replacement: The payload of the PUT request encapsulates the entire new state of the resource, replacing the existing state entirely if the resource is already present.
  • Idempotency: Successive identical requests with PUT will always produce the same result, ensuring consistency.
  • Creation or Update: PUT can either forge a new resource if none exists at the target URI or update it completely if it does exist.

As a method, PUT assists in the precise and controlled modification or creation of resources, critical for maintaining the integrity of data within APIs.

Introduction to the POST HTTP Method

The POST method is used ubiquitously across the internet to submit data to specified resources. It is integral in scenarios where a new resource needs to be created under a predefined resource collection.

Characteristics of the POST Method

  • Resource Handler: The URI in a POST request refers to the resource or handler that will process the incoming data.
  • Data Submission: It encapsulates data meant for creating a new resource within the request payload.
  • Non-idempotency: Unlike PUT, POST requests can yield different results with each submission, which is reflective of its ability to create new data entries.
  • Versatility: POST can be used to initiate various operations other than just creating resources, such as invoking processing actions or submitting forms.

In essence, POST is dynamic and suitable for various tasks beyond resource creation, providing extensive functionality in web interactions and API designs.

Practical Examples: Utilizing PUT and POST

PUT in Action

// Using PUT to update an existing user
PUT /users/1
  "id": 1,
  "name": "Ichiro",
  "age": 22
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This example illustrates how a PUT request can overhaul an existing user's details by replacing the previous data with the new data provided in the request body.

POST in Action

// Using POST to add a new user
POST /users
  "name": "Saburo",
  "age": 18
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This snippet shows a POST request aimed at creating a new user. Unlike PUT, POST does not replace but adds a new entry to the collection of users.

Comparing PUT and POST

While both HTTP methods are instrumental in data management via APIs, they cater to different needs:

  • Full vs Partial Data: PUT requires a complete data set for the resource, whereas POST handles partial data for creating new resources.
  • Target: PUT acts directly on a specific resource, POST targets a handler or an endpoint that processes the data.
  • Outcome Consistency: PUT is idempotent, making repeated requests safe in terms of consistency, unlike POST, which can lead to different outcomes.

Harnessing HTTP Methods with Apidog

Apidog offers comprehensive support for various HTTP methods, simplifying the API development process from design to testing. By understanding when to use PUT or POST, developers can leverage Apidog to efficiently build and maintain robust APIs.

  • Support for All Methods: Apidog facilitates using GET for retrieval, POST for creation, PUT for updates, and DELETE for removal.
  • Enhanced API Design: Beyond request handling, Apidog aids in designing, testing, and mocking APIs, ensuring a smoother development cycle.


The functionality offered by Apidog ensures that developers can adapt to different HTTP methods effectively, enhancing both the design and implementation of web services.


Understanding the distinct roles and functionalities of HTTP methods like PUT and POST is crucial for effective API interaction and data management. Each method serves specific purposes, making the right choice paramount for optimal API design and interaction.

Top comments (0)