Sending POST Requests with the Python Requests Library by Specifying GET

Feb 3, 2024 ยท 2 min read

When working with the Python Requests library to make HTTP requests, you may encounter a situation where you need to make a POST request but have specified the method='GET' parameter. This seems contradictory, but there is an easy way to still send a POST request in this case.

The key thing to understand is that the method parameter in the Requests library is not the final word on what type of request will be made. Requests allows you to override the method by including data in the request.

Here is an example:

import requests

url = 'https://api.example.com/post-data'
data = {'key1': 'value1', 'key2': 'value2'}

response = requests.post(url, data=data, method='GET')

Even though we have passed method='GET', this will send a POST request rather than a GET request. This is because we have included the data parameter, which forces Requests to send a POST request with the data form-encoded in the body of the request.

So in summary:

  • The method parameter specifies the intended request method, but can be overridden if data is included
  • By passing a data dict, Requests will automatically switch to making a POST request instead
  • This allows making POSTs while reusing code that specifies method='GET'
  • Some key things to watch out for:

  • Any query parameters set via the params parameter may be ignored by some servers when making a POST in this manner
  • Servers may handle such requests differently depending on headers set, authentication used, etc
  • Always check the server response to verify the request went through as intended
  • So while not always recommended, you can force a POST with Requests even if a GET is specified. This is handy for reusing generic request code, mocking endpoints during testing, and working around limitations in certain libraries and frameworks.

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