What does idempotent mean?

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From wikipedia …

“Idempotence is the property of certain operations in mathematics and computer science, that can be applied multiple times without changing the result beyond the initial application. … In computer science, the term idempotent is used more comprehensively to describe an operation that will produce the same results if executed once or multiple times.”


  • Looking up customer name – idempotent
  • Updating customer address – idempotent
  • Cancelling an order – idempotent
  • Placing an order – not idemptotent (that is why don’t hit the submit button twice)

HTTP GET is idempotent but POST is not.

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