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203 Non-Authoritative Info: What It Means - HTTP Status Code 203

Bhargava MNN
~ 7 min read | Published on Mar 28, 2024





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What is a 203 Status Code?

HTTP status codes are a crucial part of communication between a client and a server. They provide information about the result of a request made by the client. Among these status codes, the 203 status code stands out as it signifies Non-Authoritative Information.

When a server responds with a 203 status code, it indicates that the information sent back to the client originates from a source that isn't the original server, and it might be outdated or stored in a cache. This status code is particularly useful in scenarios where a client wants to receive information from a third-party server or cache without necessarily contacting the original server directly.

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What are the Possible Use Cases for 203 Status Code?

Content Aggregation Platforms

Imagine a scenario where a content aggregation platform like a news aggregator or a social media feed fetches content from various sources. In such cases, the platform might utilize the 203 status code to inform the client that the content being displayed is sourced from a different server or cached location, rather than being directly from the original publishers.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Content Delivery Networks often cache resources like images, scripts, or stylesheets closer to the user for faster delivery. By utilizing the 203 status code, CDNs can inform clients that the content being served is not directly from the original server but from a cache located closer to the user.

How to Implement 203 Status Code in JavaScript

In JavaScript, you can set the status code of an HTTP response using frameworks like Express.js for Node.js applications. Below is a basic example of how you can implement a 203 status code in an Express.js route handler:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

app.get('/example', (req, res) => {
  res.status(203).send('Non-Authoritative Information');
});

app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('Server is running on port 3000');
});

Best Practices for Using 203 Status Code

Ensure Clear Communication

When using the 203 status code, ensure that it clearly communicates to the client that the information being provided is not authoritative and may be subject to change or come from a cached source.

Update Caches Regularly

If your server relies on cached information to provide non-authoritative responses, make sure that these caches are updated regularly to avoid serving outdated content to clients.

How to Test 203 Status Code on Postman

To test a 203 status code using Postman, follow these steps:

  1. Open Postman and create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the endpoint that is expected to return a 203 status code.
  3. Send the request.
  4. Check the response status in the response section of Postman. It should indicate 203 Non-Authoritative Information.

How to Test 203 Status Code in DevTools Browser in Chrome

Testing a 203 status code in the DevTools browser in Chrome can be done by following these steps:

  1. Open Google Chrome and navigate to the page or endpoint you want to test.
  2. Open DevTools by right-clicking on the page, selecting "Inspect," and then navigating to the "Network" tab.
  3. Trigger the request by reloading the page or performing the action that initiates the request.
  4. Look for the specific request in the network tab and check the status column. It should show a 203 status code if the request was successful.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What distinguishes the 203 status code from other non-error status codes?

A: The 203 status code specifically indicates that the information being provided is non-authoritative, meaning it may come from a source other than the original server.

Q: Can a client cache the response received with a 203 status code?

A: Yes, clients can cache responses with a 203 status code if the response headers allow caching. However, it's essential to consider the freshness of the cached content.

Q: How does a client know if the information received with a 203 status code is up-to-date?

A: The response headers accompanying the 203 status code may include information about the age of the content or directives on cache validation, helping the client determine the freshness of the information.

Q: Are there any security considerations when using the 203 status code?

A: Since the 203 status code allows non-authoritative information to be served, there's a risk of clients receiving outdated or manipulated content. It's crucial to implement proper validation mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the information.

Q: Can a server use the 203 status code to redirect clients to another resource?

A: No, the 203 status code is not intended for redirection purposes. Instead, it informs the client that the information provided is non-authoritative and may come from a different source.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the 203 status code serves as a valuable tool for indicating non-authoritative information to clients. Whether it's content aggregation platforms, CDN implementations, or other scenarios where cached or third-party content is utilized, understanding and correctly implementing the 203 status code enhances communication between servers and clients.

For effective monitoring and handling of HTTP errors, including status codes like 203, consider utilizing Zipy's tool, which offers comprehensive error tracking and session replay capabilities. Learn more about Zipy here.

Read more resources on 2xx status codes

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Feel free to comment or write to us in case you have any further questions at support@zipy.ai. We would be happy to help you. In case you want to explore for your app, you can sign up or book a demo.











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