Secret ingredients to quality software


Do you return the correct response code?

Last updated by Matt Goldman on 23 Oct 2020 02:48 am (7 months ago) See History

The use of correct response codes is a simple yet crucial step towards building a better WebAPI. In ASP.NET Core, by default the WebAPI framework sets the response status code to 200 (OK), regardless of whether the task succeed or an error occurred.

You can save yourself countless hours of painful debugging , by specifying the correct response code.

For example: According to the HTTP/1.1 protocol, when a POST request results in the creation of a resource, the server should reply with status 201 (Created).

public Product PostProduct(Product item)
 item = repository.Add(item);
 return item;

Figure: Bad Example – By default a 200 status code is returned.

 public HttpResponseMessage PostProduct(Product item)
 item = repository.Add(item);
 var response = Request.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.Created, item);
 return response;

Figure: Good Example – When creating objects the “Created” status code is returned. 

public void PutProduct(int id, Product product)


    product.Id = id;

    if (!repository.Update(product))


        return Request.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.NotFound, ex.Message);



Figure: Good Example – When updating or deleting objects, if the object to be modified cannot be found throw exception with HttpStatusCode.NotFound

Chris BriggsChris Briggs
Drew RobsonDrew Robson

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