URIs, Addressability, and the use of HTTP GET and POST

Ian Jacobs

Ian Jacobs, URIs, Addressability, and the use of HTTP GET and POST, World Wide Web Consortium, TAG Finding, March 2004.

An important principle of Web architecture is that all important resources be identifiable by URI. The finding discusses the relationship between the URI addressability of a resource and the choice between HTTP GET and POST methods with HTTP URIs. HTTP GET promotes URI addressability so, designers should adopt it for safe operations such as simple queries. POST is appropriate for other types of applications where a user request has the potential to change the state of the resource (or of related resources). The finding explains how to choose between HTTP GET and POST for an application taking into account architectural, security, and practical considerations. This finding does not discuss URI schemes other than "http" or protocols other than HTTP/1.1.


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