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c# – How to make HTTP POST web request

Posted by: admin February 21, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

Canonical
How can I make an HTTP request and send some data using the POST method?

I can do GET request but have no idea how to make a POST.

How to&Answers:

There are several ways to perform HTTP GET and POST requests:


Method A: HttpClient (Preferred)

Available in: .NET Framework 4.5+, .NET Standard 1.1+, .NET Core 1.0+ .

Currently the preferred approach. Asynchronous and high performance. Use the built-in version in most cases, but for very old platforms there is a NuGet package.

using System.Net.Http;

Setup

It is recommended to instantiate one HttpClient for your application’s lifetime and share it unless you have specific reason not to.

private static readonly HttpClient client = new HttpClient();

See HttpClientFactory for a Dependency Injection solution.


  • POST

    var values = new Dictionary<string, string>
    {
    { "thing1", "hello" },
    { "thing2", "world" }
    };
    
    var content = new FormUrlEncodedContent(values);
    
    var response = await client.PostAsync("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx", content);
    
    var responseString = await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();
    
  • GET

    var responseString = await client.GetStringAsync("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx");
    

Method B: 3rd-Party Libraries

RestSharp

  • POST

     var client = new RestClient("http://example.com");
     // client.Authenticator = new HttpBasicAuthenticator(username, password);
     var request = new RestRequest("resource/{id}");
     request.AddParameter("thing1", "Hello"); 
     request.AddParameter("thing2", "world"); 
     request.AddHeader("header", "value");
     request.AddFile("file", path);
     var response = client.Post(request);
     var content = response.Content; // raw content as string
     var response2 = client.Post<Person>(request);
     var name = response2.Data.Name;
    

Flurl.Http

Newer library sporting a fluent API and testing helpers. HttpClient under the hood. Portable. Available via NuGet.

    using Flurl.Http;

  • POST

    var responseString = await "http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx"
        .PostUrlEncodedAsync(new { thing1 = "hello", thing2 = "world" })
        .ReceiveString();
    
  • GET

    var responseString = await "http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx"
        .GetStringAsync();
    

Method C: HttpWebRequest (Not recommended for new work)

Available in: .NET Framework 1.1+, .NET Standard 2.0+, .NET Core 1.0+. In .NET Core, it is mostly for compatibility — it wraps HttpClient, is less performant, and won’t get new features.

using System.Net;
using System.Text;  // for class Encoding
using System.IO;    // for StreamReader

  • POST

    var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx");
    
    var postData = "thing1=" + Uri.EscapeDataString("hello");
        postData += "&thing2=" + Uri.EscapeDataString("world");
    var data = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(postData);
    
    request.Method = "POST";
    request.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded";
    request.ContentLength = data.Length;
    
    using (var stream = request.GetRequestStream())
    {
        stream.Write(data, 0, data.Length);
    }
    
    var response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
    
    var responseString = new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream()).ReadToEnd();
    
  • GET

    var request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx");
    
    var response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();
    
    var responseString = new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream()).ReadToEnd();
    

Method D: WebClient (Not recommended for new work)

This is a wrapper around HttpWebRequest. Compare with HttpClient.

Available in: .NET Framework 1.1+, NET Standard 2.0+, .NET Core 2.0+

using System.Net;
using System.Collections.Specialized;

  • POST

    using (var client = new WebClient())
    {
        var values = new NameValueCollection();
        values["thing1"] = "hello";
        values["thing2"] = "world";
    
        var response = client.UploadValues("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx", values);
    
        var responseString = Encoding.Default.GetString(response);
    }
    
  • GET

    using (var client = new WebClient())
    {
        var responseString = client.DownloadString("http://www.example.com/recepticle.aspx");
    }
    

Answer:

Simple GET request

using System.Net;

...

using (var wb = new WebClient())
{
    var response = wb.DownloadString(url);
}

Simple POST request

using System.Net;
using System.Collections.Specialized;

...

using (var wb = new WebClient())
{
    var data = new NameValueCollection();
    data["username"] = "myUser";
    data["password"] = "myPassword";

    var response = wb.UploadValues(url, "POST", data);
    string responseInString = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(response);
}

Answer:

MSDN has a sample.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Net;
using System.Text;

namespace Examples.System.Net
{
    public class WebRequestPostExample
    {
        public static void Main()
        {
            // Create a request using a URL that can receive a post. 
            WebRequest request = WebRequest.Create("http://www.contoso.com/PostAccepter.aspx");
            // Set the Method property of the request to POST.
            request.Method = "POST";
            // Create POST data and convert it to a byte array.
            string postData = "This is a test that posts this string to a Web server.";
            byte[] byteArray = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(postData);
            // Set the ContentType property of the WebRequest.
            request.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded";
            // Set the ContentLength property of the WebRequest.
            request.ContentLength = byteArray.Length;
            // Get the request stream.
            Stream dataStream = request.GetRequestStream();
            // Write the data to the request stream.
            dataStream.Write(byteArray, 0, byteArray.Length);
            // Close the Stream object.
            dataStream.Close();
            // Get the response.
            WebResponse response = request.GetResponse();
            // Display the status.
            Console.WriteLine(((HttpWebResponse)response).StatusDescription);
            // Get the stream containing content returned by the server.
            dataStream = response.GetResponseStream();
            // Open the stream using a StreamReader for easy access.
            StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(dataStream);
            // Read the content.
            string responseFromServer = reader.ReadToEnd();
            // Display the content.
            Console.WriteLine(responseFromServer);
            // Clean up the streams.
            reader.Close();
            dataStream.Close();
            response.Close();
        }
    }
}

Answer:

This is a complete working example of sending/receiving data in JSON format, I used VS2013 Express Edition

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.OleDb;
using System.IO;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.Web.Script.Serialization;

namespace ConsoleApplication1
{
    class Customer
    {
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public string Address { get; set; }
        public string Phone { get; set; }
    }

    public class Program
    {
        private static readonly HttpClient _Client = new HttpClient();
        private static JavaScriptSerializer _Serializer = new JavaScriptSerializer();

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Run().Wait();
        }

        static async Task Run()
        {
            string url = "http://www.example.com/api/Customer";
            Customer cust = new Customer() { Name = "Example Customer", Address = "Some example address", Phone = "Some phone number" };
            var json = _Serializer.Serialize(cust);
            var response = await Request(HttpMethod.Post, url, json, new Dictionary<string, string>());
            string responseText = await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();

            List<YourCustomClassModel> serializedResult = _Serializer.Deserialize<List<YourCustomClassModel>>(responseText);

            Console.WriteLine(responseText);
            Console.ReadLine();
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Makes an async HTTP Request
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="pMethod">Those methods you know: GET, POST, HEAD, etc...</param>
        /// <param name="pUrl">Very predictable...</param>
        /// <param name="pJsonContent">String data to POST on the server</param>
        /// <param name="pHeaders">If you use some kind of Authorization you should use this</param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        static async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Request(HttpMethod pMethod, string pUrl, string pJsonContent, Dictionary<string, string> pHeaders)
        {
            var httpRequestMessage = new HttpRequestMessage();
            httpRequestMessage.Method = pMethod;
            httpRequestMessage.RequestUri = new Uri(pUrl);
            foreach (var head in pHeaders)
            {
                httpRequestMessage.Headers.Add(head.Key, head.Value);
            }
            switch (pMethod.Method)
            {
                case "POST":
                    HttpContent httpContent = new StringContent(pJsonContent, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json");
                    httpRequestMessage.Content = httpContent;
                    break;

            }

            return await _Client.SendAsync(httpRequestMessage);
        }
    }
}

Answer:

There are some really good answers on here. Let me post a different way to set your headers with the WebClient(). I will also show you how to set an API key.

        var client = new WebClient();
        string credentials = Convert.ToBase64String(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(userName + ":" + passWord));
        client.Headers[HttpRequestHeader.Authorization] = $"Basic {credentials}";
        //If you have your data stored in an object serialize it into json to pass to the webclient with Newtonsoft's JsonConvert
        var encodedJson = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(newAccount);

        client.Headers.Add($"x-api-key:{ApiKey}");
        client.Headers.Add("Content-Type:application/json");
        try
        {
            var response = client.UploadString($"{apiurl}", encodedJson);
            //if you have a model to deserialize the json into Newtonsoft will help bind the data to the model, this is an extremely useful trick for GET calls when you have a lot of data, you can strongly type a model and dump it into an instance of that class.
            Response response1 = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Response>(response);

Answer:

Simple (one-liner, no error checking, no wait for response) solution i’ve found so far

(new WebClient()).UploadStringAsync(new Uri(Address), dataString);‏

use with caution!

Answer:

This solution uses nothing but standard .NET calls.

Tested:

  • In use in an enterprise WPF application. Uses async/await to avoid blocking the UI.
  • Compatible with .NET 4.5+.
  • Tested with no parameters (requires a “GET” behind the scenes).
  • Tested with parameters (requires a “POST” behind the scenes).
  • Tested with a standard web page such as Google.
  • Tested with an internal Java-based webservice.

Reference:

// Add a Reference to the assembly System.Web

Code:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Collections.Specialized;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.Web;

private async Task<WebResponse> CallUri(string url, TimeSpan timeout)
{
    var uri = new Uri(url);
    NameValueCollection rawParameters = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(uri.Query);
    var parameters = new Dictionary<string, string>();
    foreach (string p in rawParameters.Keys)
    {
        parameters[p] = rawParameters[p];
    }

    var client = new HttpClient { Timeout = timeout };
    HttpResponseMessage response;
    if (parameters.Count == 0)
    {
        response = await client.GetAsync(url);
    }
    else
    {
        var content = new FormUrlEncodedContent(parameters);
        string urlMinusParameters = uri.OriginalString.Split('?')[0]; // Parameters always follow the '?' symbol.
        response = await client.PostAsync(urlMinusParameters, content);
    }
    var responseString = await response.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();

    return new WebResponse(response.StatusCode, responseString);
}

private class WebResponse
{
    public WebResponse(HttpStatusCode httpStatusCode, string response)
    {
        this.HttpStatusCode = httpStatusCode;
        this.Response = response;
    }
    public HttpStatusCode HttpStatusCode { get; }
    public string Response { get; }
}

To call with no parameters (uses a “GET” behind the scenes):

 var timeout = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(300);
 WebResponse response = await this.CallUri("http://www.google.com/", timeout);
 if (response.HttpStatusCode == HttpStatusCode.OK)
 {
     Console.Write(response.Response); // Print HTML.
 }

To call with parameters (uses a “POST” behind the scenes):

 var timeout = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(300);
 WebResponse response = await this.CallUri("http://example.com/path/to/page?name=ferret&color=purple", timeout);
 if (response.HttpStatusCode == HttpStatusCode.OK)
 {
     Console.Write(response.Response); // Print HTML.
 }

Answer:

When using Windows.Web.Http namespace, for POST instead of FormUrlEncodedContent we write HttpFormUrlEncodedContent. Also the response is type of HttpResponseMessage. The rest is as Evan Mulawski wrote down.

Answer:

If you like fluent API you can use Tiny.RestClient. It’s available at Nuget

var client = new TinyRestClient(new HttpClient(), "http://MyAPI.com/api");
// POST
var city = new City() { Name = "Paris", Country = "France" };
// With content
var response = await client.PostRequest("City", city)
                           .ExecuteAsync<bool>();

Hope that helps!

Answer:

You can use IEnterprise.Easy-HTTP since it has built in class parsing and query building:

await new RequestBuilder<ExampleObject>()
.SetHost("https://httpbin.org")
.SetContentType(ContentType.Application_Json)
.SetType(RequestType.Post)
.SetModelToSerialize(dto)
.Build()
.Execute();

I’m the author of the library so feel free to ask questions or check the code in github

Answer:

Why is this not totally trivial ? doing the request is not and especially not dealing with the results and seems like there are some .NET bugs involved as well – see https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/d8d87789-0ac9-4294-84a0-91c9fa27e353/bug-in-httpclientgetasync-should-throw-webexception-not-taskcanceledexception?forum=netfxnetcom

I ended up with this code:

static async Task<(bool Success, WebExceptionStatus WebExceptionStatus, HttpStatusCode? HttpStatusCode, string ResponseAsString)> HttpRequestAsync(HttpClient httpClient, string url, string postBuffer = null, CancellationTokenSource cts = null) {
    try {
        HttpResponseMessage resp = null;

        if (postBuffer is null) {
            resp = cts is null ? await httpClient.GetAsync(url) : await httpClient.GetAsync(url, cts.Token);

        } else {
            using (var httpContent = new StringContent(postBuffer)) {
                resp = cts is null ? await httpClient.PostAsync(url, httpContent) : await httpClient.PostAsync(url, httpContent, cts.Token);
            }
        }

        var respString = await resp.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();
        return (resp.IsSuccessStatusCode, WebExceptionStatus.Success, resp.StatusCode, respString);

    } catch (WebException ex) {
        WebExceptionStatus status = ex.Status;
        if (status == WebExceptionStatus.ProtocolError) {
            // Get HttpWebResponse so that you can check the HTTP status code.
            using (HttpWebResponse httpResponse = (HttpWebResponse)ex.Response) {
                return (false, status, httpResponse.StatusCode, httpResponse.StatusDescription);
            }
        } else {
            return (false, status, null, ex.ToString()); 
        }

    } catch (TaskCanceledException ex) {
        if (cts is object && ex.CancellationToken == cts.Token) {
            // a real cancellation, triggered by the caller
            return (false, WebExceptionStatus.RequestCanceled, null, ex.ToString());
        } else {
            // a web request timeout (possibly other things!?)
            return (false, WebExceptionStatus.Timeout, null, ex.ToString());
        }

    } catch (Exception ex) {
        return (false, WebExceptionStatus.UnknownError, null, ex.ToString());
    }
}

This will do a GET or POST depends if postBuffer is null or not

if Success is true the response will then be in ResponseAsString

if Success is false you can check WebExceptionStatus, HttpStatusCode and ResponseAsString to try to see what went wrong.

I welcome comments on this as I still not sure it covers all cases.