Object Overview

Last updated: 2020-05-26 15:10:58


    An object is the basic unit of COS and is stored in a bucket just like a photo stored in an album. You can manage objects in different ways including Tencent Cloud Console, APIs, and SDKs. An object is named in the format of <ObjectKey> in API and SDK examples.

    Objects can be uploaded via simple upload or multipart upload(https://intl.cloud.tencent.com/document/product/436/14112).

    • Use simple upload for objects less than 5 GB.
    • Multipart upload is limited to no more than 10,000 parts (less than 5 GB per part) and a maximum object size of 48.82 TB.

    Each object consists of an object key (ObjectKey), an object value (Value), and object metadata (Metadata).

    • ObjectKey: uniquely identifies an object in a bucket, and can be regarded as file path informally.
    • Value: the uploaded object, and can be regarded as file content informally.
    • Metadata: a set of key-value pairs, and can be regarded as file attributes, which you can configure when uploading the object.

    You can configure objects in the console. For more information, see:



    An object in COS must contain a valid ObjectKey, which is the unique identifier of an object in a bucket.
    For example, in an object's access address examplebucket-1250000000.cos.ap-guangzhou.myqcloud.com/folder/picture.jpg, the ObjectKey is folder/picture.jpg.

    Naming convention

    • You can use any UTF-8 character in a key name. However, for the maximum compatibility with other applications, it is recommended to use uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers (i.e., [a-z, A-Z, 0-9]), special characters (-, !, _, ., and *), and a combination of them.
    • The encoding length is up to 850 bytes.
    • An object key does not support some ASCII control characters, including upward arrow (↑), downward arrow (↓), rightward arrow (→), and leftward arrow (←), corresponding to CAN (24), EM (25), SUB (26), and ESC (27).
    • If the name of the uploaded file or folder contains Chinese characters, when you access or request the file or folder, the Chinese characters will be converted into a percent-encoded string according to URL-encoding rules.

    The following are examples of valid key names:

    • my-organization
    • my.great_photos-2016/01/me.jpg
    • videos/2016/birthday/video.wmv

    Special characters

    Some characters may need to be URL encoded or referenced in the hexadecimal format. Some of these are non-printable characters and your browser might not handle them, which also requires special handling, as shown below:

    , : ; =
    & $ @ +
    ASCII character ranges: 00-1F hexadecimal (0-31 decimal) and 7F (127 decimal) (space)

    There are also some characters that require significant special handling to maintain consistency across all applications, so it is recommended to avoid them directly, as shown below:

    ` ^ " \
    { } [ ]
    ~ % # |
    > < ASCII
    128-255 decimal

    Access address

    The access address of the object consists of a bucket access address and an object key, in the format of [bucket domain name]/[object key].
    For example, when you upload the exampleobject.txt object to the examplebucket-1250000000 bucket in Guangzhou (South China), the access address for exampleobject.txt is examplebucket-1250000000.cos.ap-guangzhou.myqcloud.com/exampleobject.txt.

    Folder and directory

    As COS comes with no folders or directories, it will not create a project folder for uploading the object project/a.txt. To make it easier for you to get started, COS simulates the display mode of "folder" or "directory" in the console and graphical tools such as COS browser. This is implemented by creating an empty object with a key value of project/ and displaying it as a traditional folder.

    For example, when you upload the object project/doc/a.txt via APIs or SDKs, the delimiter / simulates the display mode of "folder", and you can see the folders project and doc in the console. The folder doc is displayed under the folder project and contains the file a.txt.

    Objects in the bucket are evenly distributed among distributed clusters. Therefore, you cannot directly get the size of all objects with a specified object key prefix. Instead, you can accumulate the size of each object to get the full size.

    Deleting folders and directories is relatively complicated, as shown below:

    Deletion Means Deletion        Result
    Console Folder project All objects with the object key prefix project/ will be deleted
    Console Object project/doc/a.txt The project and doc folders will be retained
    API and SDK Object project/ or project/doc/ The object project/doc/*.txt will be retained. If you want to delete the objects in the folder, use code traversal to delete them



    Metadata (aka HTTP header) is a set of key-value pairs in an object. It is the string sent by the server before the server sends HTML data using HTTP protocol to the browser. Modifying the HTTP header when uploading an object can alter page response forms or communicate configuration information, such as modifying caching time.

    There are two kinds of metadata: system metadata and user-defined metadata.

    Modifying an object's HTTP header does not modify the object itself.

    System metadata

    provides attribute information about the object, such as upload time or modification time.

    Name Description
    Content-Length Length in bytes of the content of an HTTP request defined in RFC 2616
    Last-Modified The creation date or last modified date (whichever is later) of the object
    x-cos-version-id Object version. A version ID of the object is returned when you enable versioning on the bucket.
    ETag Indicates the MD5 value of an object uploaded by calling PUT Object, or the unique ID of an object uploaded by multipart upload or a historical version of API, which cannot perform check though |

    User-defined metadata

    This refers to the object's custom parameters, such as Content-Type, Cache-Control, Expires, and x-cos-meta-*. For more information, see Custom Object Headers.

    Name Description
    Cache-Control The caching policy as defined in RFC 2616; saved as part of object metadata
    File name/encoding format/content type (MIME) as defined in RFC 2616; saved as part of object metadata
    Expires The cache expiration time as defined in RFC 2616; saved as part of object metadata
    x-cos-acl Defines ACL attributes of the object. Valid values: private, public-read-write, public-read; Default: private
    x-cos-grant-* Grants the grantee permissions
    x-cos-meta-* User-defined headers; returned as part of object metadata with a size up to 2 K
    x-cos-storage-class Storage class of the object; enumerated values: STANDARD, STANDARD_IA, ARCHIVE; default: STANDARD
    x-cos-server-side-encryption Specifies whether to enable server-side encryption for the object and the encryption method

    Object Sub-resources

    COS has sub-resources that are associated with buckets and objects. Sub-resources belong to objects, so they do not exist independently; instead, they are always associated with other entities such as objects or buckets. An access control list (ACL) is the access control information list for a specific object, which is a sub-resource of a COS object.

    An ACL contains an authorization list that identifies authorized users and the granted licenses to implement access control on the object. When you create an object, ACL identifies the object owner who can fully control the object. The user can retrieve the object ACL or replace it with a new authorization list.

    To update an ACL, you can only do so by replacing it.

    Access Permission Types

    COS supports setting two permissions for objects: Public Permissions and User Permissions.
    Public Permissions: includes Inherit Permission, Private Read/Write, and Public Read/Private Write.

    • Inherited permission: the object permissions inherited from the bucket is the same as the access permissions of the bucket itself. When you access an object with the "inherited bucket permission", COS will match the bucket permission to respond to the access. A new object inherits the permission from its bucket by default.
    • Private Read/Write: when you access an object with the Private Read/Write permission, the object can only be accessed with a request signature, regardless of the bucket permission.
    • Public Read/Private Write: when an object with an access permission of "Public Read" is accessed, the object can be directly downloaded, regardless of the bucket access permission.

    User Permissions: the root account has all the permissions of the object by default (i.e. full control). In COS, sub-accounts can be added to read/write data, read/write permissions, and have the full control permission.

    Use cases

    Allow public access to a specified object in a Private Read/Write bucket or set a required authentication for a specific object in a Public Read/Write bucket.

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