Browse Definitions :
Definition

idempotence

Idempotence, in programming and mathematics, is a property of some operations such that no matter how many times you execute them, you achieve the same result.

In programming, idempotence can be a property of many different code elements, including functions, methods, requests and statements. Idempotence is a language-agnostic property: It means the same thing in any programming context.

Here’s a simple demonstration of idempotence in HTTP requests:

HTTP GET requests are a method of retrieving specified data from a source, such as getting a bank account balance. GET requests are idempotent: Accessing the same data should always be consistent. On the other hand, POST requests are designed to change the target, such as adding a sum to a bank account. As such, a POST request should change the result and that means it’s not idempotent.

Benjamin Peirce, an American mathematician of the 19th century who taught at Harvard for over 50 years, coined the word idempotent to refer to algebraic elements that don’t change when raised to a positive integer power. The literal meaning of the word is “of the same power,” from the Latin idem, meaning same and Old French potence, meaning power.

This was last updated in May 2016

Continue Reading About idempotence

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • DOS (disk operating system)

    A DOS, or disk operating system, is an operating system that runs from a disk drive. The term can also refer to a particular ...

  • private key

    A private key, also known as a secret key, is a variable in cryptography that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt ...

  • security token

    A security token is a physical or digital device that provides two-factor authentication for a user to prove their identity in a ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

Close