Sending payload in an HTTP GET request



2998 views Backend System Design



It is a common myth that we could not pass the request body in the HTTP GET request. HTTP 1.1 specification neither enforces nor suggests this behavior.

This means it is up to implementing the application web servers- Flask, uWSGI, etc.- to see if it parses the request body in the HTTP GET request. To do this, just check the request object you would be getting in your favorite framework.

What can we do with this information?

Say you are modeling an analytics service like Google Analytics in which you are exposing an endpoint that returns you the data point depending on the requirements. The requirements specified here could be a large, complex JSON.

Passing this query in the URL of the GET request as a query param is not convenient as it would require you to serialize and escape the JSON string before passing.

This is a perfect use case where the complex JSON query can be passed as a request body in the HTTP GET request, giving a good user experience.

So, does any popular tool uses this convention?

Yes. ElasticSearch- one of the most popular search utilities, uses this convention.

The search endpoint of ElasticSearch is a GET endpoint where the complex search queries in JSON format are sent in the request payload.


Arpit Bhayani

Arpit's Newsletter

CS newsletter for the curious engineers

❤️ by 14000+ readers

If you like what you read subscribe you can always subscribe to my newsletter and get the post delivered straight to your inbox. I write essays on various engineering topics and share it through my weekly newsletter.




Other videos that you might like


Implementing Vertical Sharding

217 views 24 likes 2022-05-25

Sharding is super-important when you want to handle the traffic that cannot be handled through one server. Sharding come...

An in-depth introduction to Blue Green Deployments

775 views 45 likes 2022-05-18

Deployments are a pain if we are unsure about our release changes. But sometimes even if we know our changes well, somet...

An in-depth introduction to Canary Deployments

1466 views 98 likes 2022-05-16

Deployments are stressful; what if something goes wrong? What if you forgot to handle an edge case that was also missed ...

Introduction to Serverless Computing and Architecture

1752 views 104 likes 2022-05-02

Serverless Computing is one of the hottest topics of discussion today, but the term "serverless" is slightly misleading ...


Arpit's Newsletter read by 14000+ engineers

🔥 Thrice a week, in your inbox, an essay about system design, distributed systems, microservices, programming languages internals, or a deep dive on some super-clever algorithm, or just a few tips on building highly scalable distributed systems.



  • v10.6.4
  • © Arpit Bhayani, 2022