[SOLVED] How should I pass multiple parameters to an ASP.Net Web API GET?

Issue

I am using the .Net MVC4 Web API to (hopefully) implement a RESTful api. I need to pass in a few parameters to the system and have it perform some action, then return a list of objects as the results. Specifically I am passing in two dates and returning records that fall between them. I’m also keeping track of the records returned so that subsequent calls do not get reprocessed in the system.

I’ve considered a few approaches:

  1. Serializing the params into one single JSON string and picking it apart in the API.
    http://forums.asp.net/t/1807316.aspx/1

  2. Pass the params in the query string.
    What is best way to pass multiple query parameters to a restful api?

  3. Defining the params in the route:
    api/controller/date1/date2

  4. Using a POST that inherently lets me pass an object with params.

  5. Researching ODATA since the Web API (currently) supports it. I haven’t done much with this yet so I’m not very familiar with it.

It seems that proper REST practices indicate when data is pulled, you should use a GET. However, GET should also be nullipotent (produces no side-effects), and I wonder if my specific implementation violates that since I mark records in the API system, hence I am producing side-effects.

It also led me to the question of supporting variable parameters. If the input parameter list changes, it would be tedious to have to re-define your route for Choice 3 if that happens a lot. And what might happen if the parameters are defined at run-time…

In any case, for my specific implementation, which choice (if any) seems best?

Solution

What does this record marking mean? If this is used only for logging purposes, I would use GET and disable all caching, since you want to log every query for this resources. If record marking has another purpose, POST is the way to go. User should know, that his actions effect the system and POST method is a warning.

Answered By – LukLed

Answer Checked By – Pedro (BugsFixing Volunteer)

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