In this section you will learn about DELETE Method, what is it, its benefits, components with DELETE examples.
What is DELETE Method?
DELETE is one of the HTTP methods that facilitates the deletion of resources on the server. It's a request method supported by HTTP used by the World Wide Web. By design, the
DELETE method is idempotent, which means even if you call the same
DELETE request multiple times, the first request will delete the resource and the subsequent requests will return a
404 Not Found error as the resource is already deleted. This is akin to throwing a file in the trash can, once it's gone, it's gone.
Principles of DELETE
DELETEmethod is idempotent. An operation is idempotent if the result of performing it once is exactly the same as the result of performing it repeatedly without any intervening operations. This characteristic is crucial as it ensures that the client can make the same request repeatedly while producing the same result, which is the deletion of the specified resource. In other words, making multiple identical
DELETErequests will have the same effect as making a single request.
DELETEis used to delete a specified resource. This is its primary function. It's a straightforward way to instruct the server to remove a particular item, whether it's a user profile, a blog post, or any other type of object the server is storing.
Why use DELETE?
DELETE is essential when a client needs to tell the server to remove a resource. It's a straightforward way to manage the removal of resources in a RESTful API. This method enables the maintenance of a clean and organized data structure on the server by removing outdated or unwanted resources.
Understanding the Benefits of DELETE
DELETEallows for effective resource management by providing a method to remove unwanted or outdated resources. It helps in keeping the data on the server organized and up to date, which is crucial for the performance and reliability of web applications.
Simple to Use: The
DELETEmethod is simple and easy to use, which is beneficial for developers when creating and managing APIs. The ease of use accelerates development processes and enhances productivity.
How does DELETE Work?
The operation of the
DELETE method involves the following steps:
Client Sends a Request
The client sends an HTTP request to the server with the
DELETEmethod, specifying the resource's
URI. This is similar to selecting a file on your computer, right-clicking it, and selecting "Delete."
Server Processes the Request
The server processes the request, deletes the specified resource, and prepares the response. During this phase, the server may interact with a database to remove the data associated with the specified resource. This is where the actual deletion of the resource occurs, akin to the file being moved to the trash bin on your computer.
Server Sends a Response to the Client
The server sends an HTTP response to the client, indicating the result of the request. A successful deletion will typically return a
204 No Contentresponse.
Components of a DELETE Request
DELETE request comprises several components:
URI (Uniform Resource Identifier): The
URIidentifies the resource to be deleted. For example:
/api/orders/456. It's like the address of the house where you are sending a letter, informing to discard a specific item.
Method: The HTTP method, which in this case is
DELETE. This tells the server what kind of action you want to perform, much like specifying whether you are sending a regular letter or a parcel.
Headers: HTTP headers allow the client to pass additional information about the request and about itself, to the server. For instance, an
Authorizationheader might be used to provide credentials to allow the deletion.
DELETE Request Example
Here's how a client would send a
DELETE request to remove a resource:
With this request, the client is asking the server to delete the book resource with the ID
DELETE Response Example
Upon successful deletion, the server might respond with a
204 No Content status, indicating that the action has been successfully completed and there is no additional content to send in the response body:
If the resource cannot be found, the server might respond with a
404 Not Found status:
Or, if the request cannot be processed for some other reason, the server might return a
5xx status code with an appropriate message.
DELETE method is an essential tool in the HTTP protocol suite, enabling the removal of resources from the server.