Make HTTP Request in Javascript

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HTTP requests are an essential part of web development. They allow us to send and receive data between a client and a server. In Javascript, we can make HTTP requests using the XMLHttpRequest (XHR) object or the fetch() function. In this article, we’ll explore both methods and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Using XMLHttpRequest (XHR) The XMLHttpRequest (XHR) object allows us to make HTTP requests in Javascript. Here’s an example:

const xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();

xhr.open(‘GET’, ‘https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/todos/1’);

xhr.onload = () => {

if (xhr.status === 200) {

console.log(xhr.response);

} else {

console.log(`Error ${xhr.status}: ${xhr.statusText}`);

}

};

xhr.onerror = () => {

console.log(‘Request failed’);

};

xhr.send();

In this example, we’re making a GET request to the JSONPlaceholder API to retrieve a todo item with an ID of 1. We first create a new XMLHttpRequest object with the new keyword. We then call the open() method to initialize the request with the HTTP method and URL. We then set up event listeners for the onload and onerror events. The onload event fires when the request is successful, while the onerror event fires when the request fails. Finally, we call the send() method to send the request.

Using fetch() The fetch() function is a newer, more modern way of making HTTP requests in Javascript. Here’s an example:

fetch(‘https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/todos/1‘)

.then(response => {

if (!response.ok) {

throw new Error(`HTTP error ${response.status}`);

}

return response.json();

})

.then(data => console.log(data))

.catch(error => console.log(error));

In this example, we’re again making a GET request to the JSONPlaceholder API to retrieve a todo item with an ID of 1. We call the fetch() function with the URL as its argument. The fetch() function returns a Promise that resolves to the response object. We then call the json() method on the response object to convert the response to a JSON object. We use the then() method to handle the resolved Promise, and the catch() method to handle any errors.

Advantages and Disadvantages Both XMLHttpRequest and fetch() have their advantages and disadvantages. XMLHttpRequest has been around for much longer and has more extensive browser support. It’s also more flexible than fetch() and allows us to set custom headers and handle progress events. On the other hand, fetch() is easier to use and has a simpler syntax. It’s also based on Promises, which makes it easier to handle asynchronous code.

In conclusion, both XMLHttpRequest and fetch() are viable options for making HTTP requests in Javascript. The choice between them ultimately depends on your use case and personal preference.

Chris Griffins
WRITTEN BY

Chris Griffins

A dev in Toronto who is passionate about coding, crypto and good coffee!

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