What is http multipart request?


I have been writing iPhone applications for some time now, sending data to server, receiving data (via HTTP protocol), without thinking too much about it. Mostly I am theoretically familiar with process, but the part I am not so familiar is HTTP multipart request. I know its basic structure, but the core of it eludes me.

It seems that whenever I am sending something different than plain text (like photos, music), I have to use a multipart request. Can someone briefly explain to me why it is used and what are its advantages?

If I use it, why is it better way to send photos that way?

2/4/2016 2:07:19 PM

Accepted Answer

A HTTP multipart request is a HTTP request that HTTP clients construct to send files and data over to a HTTP Server. It is commonly used by browsers and HTTP clients to upload files to the server.

11/9/2017 1:12:02 PM

As the official specification says, "one or more different sets of data are combined in a single body". So when photos and music are handled as multipart messages as mentioned in the question, probably there is some plain text metadata associated as well, thus making the request containing different types of data (binary, text), which implies the usage of multipart.