Server timestamps

In order to avoid race conditions, each change is guaranteed to increment the timestamp of the related collection. If two changes happen at the same millisecond, they will still have two different timestamps.

The ETag header with the current timestamp of the collection for the current user will be given on collection endpoints.

ETag: "1432208041618"

On record enpoints, the ETag header value will contain the timestamp of the record.

In order to bypass costly and error-prone HTTP date parsing, ETag headers are not HTTP date values.

A human readable version of the timestamp (rounded to second) is provided though in the Last-Modified response headers:

Last-Modified: Wed May 20 17:22:38 2015 +0200

Changed in version 2.0: In previous versions, cache and concurrency control was handled using If-Modified-Since and If-Unmodified-Since. But since the HTTP date does not include milliseconds, they contained the milliseconds timestamp as integer. The current version using ETag is HTTP compliant (see original discussion.)


The client may send If-Unmodified-Since or If-Modified-Since requests headers, but in the current implementation, they will be ignored.

Cache control

In order to check that the client version has not changed, a If-None-Match request header can be used. If the response is 304 Not Modified then the cached version if still good.

Concurrency control

In order to prevent race conditions, like overwriting changes occured in the interim for example, a If-Match request header can be used. If the response is 412 Precondition failed then the resource has changed meanwhile.

The client can then choose to:

  • overwrite by repeating the request without If-Match;
  • reconcile the resource by fetching, merging and repeating the request.