The requests library is an integral part of Python. It helps make HTTP requests to a specific URL. Currently, it is one of the most downloaded Python packages, given its ease of use and practicality.
Whether you want to scrape the web or use Python for other projects, you must familiarize yourself with the functionalities of the Python Requests library. It will ease interaction with web servers and help consume data in your application.
What Is Python Requests Library?
The Requests library makes it easier for you to send different types of HTTP requests. It is an easy-to-understand library with numerous features, including SSL certifications, error handling, parameter passing, sending custom headers, and more.
It also handles cookies and authenticates information like username and password when someone requests a URL.
If you want to make your web-related tasks hassle-free, there’s no reason to sleep on learning the Python Requests library and its helpful features.
Benefits of Requests Library
The more you explore the Requests library, the more features you stumble upon. Here are some advantages you can expect from the Requests library at the most basic level.
- Fetching online data is no small feat. Luckily, the Requests library makes retrieving data from any URL easier.
- You can also use it to handle your web scraping tasks and make them more efficient.
- The library allows you to GET, POST, UPDATE, and DELETE data from a URL of your choice.
- The authentication module takes care of your online security
- Tackling sessions and cookies is straightforward with the Requests library
- It also handles timeouts and other related errors, making data fetching easier.
Making an HTTP Request In Requests Library
If you know your way around the Requests library, making HTTP requests isn’t challenging. Here are some steps to help you get started.
Installing HTTP Requests
To begin with, you need to install Requests. You can run the command $ pip install requests to download the library.
Alternatively, you can use the command $ pipenv install requests if you use Pipenv to manage Python packages.
Once the application installs, you can view the importing requests.
Generally, HTTP methods, including GET and POST, determine which action you perform when making the request.
GET is one of the most popular HTTP methods. It highlights that a user is trying to harvest data from a specific source. You need to enter the command requests.get () to generate GET request.
Note that () will contain the URL you want to retrieve the data from. Press enter, and you’ll successfully make your GET request.
The Response determines the results of the previously made request. Try making the same request again but consider returning the value in a variable. This will help you examine its attributes. Here’s an example:
>>> response = requests.get ()
This example captures the get () return value and stores it in the response variable. You can use the response to display helpful information generated from the get request.
On a side note, the first piece of information you collect from Response is the status code; it tells you about the request’s status.
The Get request response has some helpful information called payload. This valuable bit is included in the message body, and you can view it using the methods and attributes of Response.
Add .content to display the Response content in bytes
The headers also give you valuable information. For instance, they can provide you with the type of payload content and a time frame. You can use >>> response. headers to view them.
Passing values through the query string allows you to customize the Get request. You need to pass the data to params to achieve this using get().
Query string parameters are helpful to parametrize the Get requests. You can also modify and alter the headers by customizing your requests.
When customizing the headers, you can pass the HTTP header dictionary to Get () via the headers. The Accept header will inform the server about the type of content your app can manage.
You may experience some issues when interacting with a remote server. Common exceptions include:
- The URL you requested does not exist on the server
- The server is out of reach
- It fails to respond within the given timeframe
The HTTPError class catches and resolves these errors. However, because the library doesn’t raise exceptions automatically, you need to use the raise_for_status () method to detect the error status code.
This will catch, block, and print out the error, allowing you to continue your task.
The Python Requests library is one of the most powerful and beloved tools among Python developers. The flexible and versatile library allows you to make requests and handle errors like a pro.
It also enables you to customize requests and examine the data you forward to the server, and the server sends you.