draft-snell-search-method-02.txt   draft-snell-search-method-latest.txt 
Network Working Group J. Reschke Network Working Group J. Reschke
Internet-Draft greenbytes Internet-Draft greenbytes
Updates: 5323 (if approved) A. Malhotra Updates: 5323 (if approved) A. Malhotra
Intended status: Standards Track Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: March 6, 2021 J.M. Snell Expires: June 3, 2021 J.M. Snell
September 2, 2020 November 30, 2020
HTTP SEARCH Method HTTP SEARCH Method
draft-snell-search-method-02 draft-snell-search-method-latest
Abstract Abstract
This specification updates the definition and semantics of the HTTP This specification updates the definition and semantics of the HTTP
SEARCH request method originally defined by RFC 5323. SEARCH request method originally defined by RFC 5323.
Editorial Note Editorial Note
This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC. This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.
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Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute
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and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
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material or to cite them other than as "work in progress." material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."
This Internet-Draft will expire on March 6, 2021. This Internet-Draft will expire on June 3, 2021.
Copyright Notice Copyright Notice
Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
document authors. All rights reserved. document authors. All rights reserved.
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and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components
extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text
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provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License. provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.
Table of Contents Table of Contents
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. SEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2. SEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3. The "Accept-Search" Header Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3. The "Accept-Search" Header Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4. Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 4. Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.1. Simple SEARCH with a Direct Response . . . . . . . . . . 6 4.1. Simple SEARCH with a Direct Response . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.2. Simple SEARCH with indirect response (303 See Other) . . 6 4.2. Simple SEARCH with indirect response (303 See Other) . . 6
5. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 5. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
6. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 6. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 7. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1. Introduction 1. Introduction
This specification updates the HTTP SEARCH method originally defined This specification updates the HTTP SEARCH method originally defined
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set allowed by URL standards. Such encoding can add significant set allowed by URL standards. Such encoding can add significant
complexity, introduce bugs, or otherwise reduce the overall complexity, introduce bugs, or otherwise reduce the overall
visibility of the query being requested. visibility of the query being requested.
As an alternative to using GET, many implementations make use of the As an alternative to using GET, many implementations make use of the
HTTP POST method to perform queries, as illustrated in the example HTTP POST method to perform queries, as illustrated in the example
below. In this case, the input parameters to the search operation below. In this case, the input parameters to the search operation
are passed along within the request payload as opposed to using the are passed along within the request payload as opposed to using the
request URI. request URI.
A typical use of HTTP GET for requesting a search A typical use of HTTP POST for requesting a search
POST /feed HTTP/1.1 POST /feed HTTP/1.1
Host: example.org Host: example.org
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
q=foo&limit=10&sort=-published q=foo&limit=10&sort=-published
This variation, however, suffers from the same basic limitation as This variation, however, suffers from the same basic limitation as
GET in that it is not readily apparent -- absent specific knowledge GET in that it is not readily apparent -- absent specific knowledge
of the resource and server to which the request is being sent -- that of the resource and server to which the request is being sent -- that
a search operation is what is being requested. Web applications use a search operation is what is being requested. Web applications use
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The payload returned in response to a SEARCH cannot be assumed to be The payload returned in response to a SEARCH cannot be assumed to be
a representation of the resource identified by the effective request a representation of the resource identified by the effective request
URI. URI.
The body payload of the request defines the query. Implementations The body payload of the request defines the query. Implementations
MAY use a request body of any content type with the SEARCH method; MAY use a request body of any content type with the SEARCH method;
however, for backwards compatibility with existing WebDAV however, for backwards compatibility with existing WebDAV
implementations, SEARCH requests that use the text/xml or implementations, SEARCH requests that use the text/xml or
application/xml content types MUST be processed per the requirements application/xml content types MUST be processed per the requirements
established by [RFC5323]. established by [RFC5323].
// This can be relaxed to XML with a document element in the "DAV:"
// namespace, or even to the two element names mentionbed in
// Section 2.2.2 of [RFC5323].
SEARCH requests are both safe and idempotent with regards to the SEARCH requests are both safe and idempotent with regards to the
resource identified by the request URI. That is, SEARCH requests do resource identified by the request URI. That is, SEARCH requests do
not alter the state of the targeted resource. However, while not alter the state of the targeted resource. However, while
processing a search request, a server can be expected to allocate processing a search request, a server can be expected to allocate
computing and memory resources or even create additional HTTP computing and memory resources or even create additional HTTP
resources through which the response can be retrieved. resources through which the response can be retrieved.
A successful response to a SEARCH request is expected to provide some A successful response to a SEARCH request is expected to provide some
indication as to the final disposition of the search operation. For indication as to the final disposition of the search operation. For
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indirectly to the SEARCH request by returning a 3xx Redirection with indirectly to the SEARCH request by returning a 3xx Redirection with
a Location header specifying an alternate Request URI from which the a Location header specifying an alternate Request URI from which the
search results can be retrieved using an HTTP GET request. Various search results can be retrieved using an HTTP GET request. Various
non-normative examples of successful SEARCH responses are illustrated non-normative examples of successful SEARCH responses are illustrated
in Section 4. in Section 4.
The response to a SEARCH request is not cacheable. It ought to be The response to a SEARCH request is not cacheable. It ought to be
noted, however, that because SEARCH requests are safe and idempotent, noted, however, that because SEARCH requests are safe and idempotent,
responses to a SEARCH MUST NOT invalidate previously cached responses responses to a SEARCH MUST NOT invalidate previously cached responses
to other requests directed at the same effective request URI. to other requests directed at the same effective request URI.
// By default, that is. We need to figure out under which conditions
// we can make the result cacheable.
The semantics of the SEARCH method change to a "conditional SEARCH" The semantics of the SEARCH method change to a "conditional SEARCH"
if the request message includes an If-Modified-Since, If-Unmodified- if the request message includes an If-Modified-Since, If-Unmodified-
Since, If-Match, If-None-Match, or If-Range header field ([RFC7232]). Since, If-Match, If-None-Match, or If-Range header field ([RFC7232]).
A conditional SEARCH requests that the query be performed only under A conditional SEARCH requests that the query be performed only under
the circumstances described by the conditional header field(s). It the circumstances described by the conditional header field(s). It
is important to note, however, that such conditions are evaluated is important to note, however, that such conditions are evaluated
against the state of the target resource itself as opposed to the against the state of the target resource itself as opposed to the
collected results of the search operation. collected results of the search operation.
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The non-normative examples in this section make use of a simple, The non-normative examples in this section make use of a simple,
hypothetical plain-text based query syntax based on SQL with results hypothetical plain-text based query syntax based on SQL with results
returned as comma-separated values. This is done for illustration returned as comma-separated values. This is done for illustration
purposes only. Implementations are free to use any format they wish purposes only. Implementations are free to use any format they wish
on both the request and response. on both the request and response.
4.1. Simple SEARCH with a Direct Response 4.1. Simple SEARCH with a Direct Response
A simple query with a direct response: A simple query with a direct response:
SEARCH /contacts HTTP/1.1 SEARCH /contacts HTTP/1.1
Host: example.org Host: example.org
Content-Type: text/query Content-Type: text/query
Accept: text/csv Accept: text/csv
select surname, givenname, email limit 10 select surname, givenname, email limit 10
Response: Response:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/csv Content-Type: text/csv
surname, givenname, email surname, givenname, email
Smith, John, john.smith@example.org Smith, John, john.smith@example.org
Jones, Sally, sally.jones@example.com Jones, Sally, sally.jones@example.com
Dubois, Camille, camille.dubois@example.net Dubois, Camille, camille.dubois@example.net
4.2. Simple SEARCH with indirect response (303 See Other) 4.2. Simple SEARCH with indirect response (303 See Other)
A simple query with an Indirect Response (303 See Other) A simple query with an Indirect Response (303 See Other):
SEARCH /contacts HTTP/1.1 SEARCH /contacts HTTP/1.1
Host: example.org Host: example.org
Content-Type: text/query Content-Type: text/query
Accept: text/csv Accept: text/csv
select surname, givenname, email limit 10 select surname, givenname, email limit 10
Response: Response:
HTTP/1.1 303 See Other HTTP/1.1 303 See Other
Location: http://example.org/contacts/query123 Location: http://example.org/contacts/query123
Fetch Query Response: Fetch Query Response:
GET /contacts/query123 HTTP/1.1 GET /contacts/query123 HTTP/1.1
Host: example.org Host: example.org
Response: Response:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/csv Content-Type: text/csv
surname, givenname, email surname, givenname, email
Smith, John, john.smith@example.org Smith, John, john.smith@example.org
Jones, Sally, sally.jones@example.com Jones, Sally, sally.jones@example.com
Dubois, Camille, camille.dubois@example.net Dubois, Camille, camille.dubois@example.net
5. Security Considerations 5. Security Considerations
The SEARCH method is subject to the same general security The SEARCH method is subject to the same general security
considerations as all HTTP methods as described in [RFC7231]. considerations as all HTTP methods as described in [RFC7231].
6. IANA Considerations 6. IANA Considerations
IANA is requested to update the registration of the SEARCH method in IANA is requested to update the registration of the SEARCH method in
the permanent registry at <http://www.iana.org/assignments/http- the permanent registry at <http://www.iana.org/assignments/http-
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