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A Beginner's Guide to HTTP for No-Code Creators

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This session will introduce you to the fundamentals of HTTP requests. Let's start with a definition of HTTP.
written by Greg Vonf
Greg Vonf

HTTP: A Quick Overview

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an internet request and response structure protocol. @ HTTP is a server-client protocol that requires data to be transmitted from one location to another across the internet. A client can be your laptop or mobile device, whereas a server is usually a web host located somewhere in the world that is ready to give data in response to successful client requests. HTTP also includes a number of methods, such as GET and POST, that allow clients and servers to communicate. They can be considered commands.

As the titles of these request methods suggest, a GET request is used when a client requests data from a server. When a client wishes to send data to a server, they use a client-server protocol

When you open a new browser window and type into the search bar, the browser will immediately send a GET request to Google's servers, requesting data. If your request is successful, the server will send data to your browser, which will be converted into a webpage that you can read and display. It's worth noting that HTTP inquiries always result in a response! The server may or may not return all of the data requested, but it will ALWAYS return a status code indicating whether or not the request was successful.

Make (formerly Integromat)'s Use of Direct HTTP Calls

Let's have a look at Make (formerly Integromat)'s HTTP app, which can be used to immediately make HTTP queries from your scenarios.

The first field is the URL. You must always provide a URL in order to execute any type of request, as you can see from the example. A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is essential because it is used to locate a specific resource that is published on the web and controlled by a server. So, in the URL field, put to receive data from a website. The following step is to choose your request method. You can make a variety of additional types of requests, but the most common are GET and POST. Choose GET in this situation. To create a basic GET request to using an Make (formerly Integromat) scenario, all you need is that.

A request can be a lot more involved and require a lot more parameters to be successful depending on the resource you're trying to access. That depends totally on how a resource is built and structured, which is often documented by the resource creator. Because the 'Headers,' 'Query string,' and 'Body type' parameters aren't necessary to make a basic GET call to, you can skip them in this example. You may now save your scenario and run it once to make this HTTP request. If your request was successful, click the bubble symbol at the top of the HTTP app to see the response to your request.

The status code in the response's output region should be 200. When a request is successful, a web server always responds with this code. The status code 400, which stands for "Bad Request," will be returned if a request is failed. You can now look through the Data collection to see what kind of data the server has returned. There should be a significant amount of HTML code, which is the language used to establish a website's design. This is a predictable response because you requested, which is a URL that returns a webpage. The only difference between using a browser to make a request and using Make (formerly Integromat) is that a browser can read html data and transform it to a format that Make (formerly Integromat) can understand.

This does not, however, rule out the idea of employing HTTP requests in a particular case. APIs are specialized resources that you can use to make requests to and receive extremely useful data from within your scenarios, allowing you to build extremely useful functionality.