REST API: Cannot PATCH to an empty field

Kellen Fields
Kellen Fields
  • Updated

Author: Kellen Fields

Date: April 25, 2024

Audience:  Everyone


When using a PATCH REST API command to an empty field, you receive a bad request message back:

"meta": {
"status": "Bad Request",
"timestamp": "2024-04-07T17:51:18.034+0000",
"message": "no such path in target JSON document\n{\"op\":\"replace\",\"path\":\"/fields/method$89\",\"value\":\"test\"}"

And no update will take place.


If the field is empty,  you will not be able to replace it using PATCH. Instead, you will have to use add:

Screenshot 2024-02-07 at 9.53.02 AM.png

"meta": {
"status": "OK",
"timestamp": "2024-04-07T17:53:20.841+0000"


According to RF 6902, which we use for available changes with PATCH (, it states for add
"If the target location specifies an object member that does not exist, a new member is added." 
Whereas replace states: 
"The "replace" operation replaces the value at the target location with a new value.  The operation object MUST contain a "value" member whose content specifies the replacement value."


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