bryanvick bryanvick - 1 month ago 11
Ajax Question

POST to server, receive PDF, deliver to user w/ jQuery

I have a link that the user clicks to get a PDF. In jQuery, I create a POST ajax call to the server to get the PDF. The PDF comes to me with the correct content headers etc that would normally cause the browser to open the Reader plugin, or allow the user to save the PDF.

Since I am getting the PDF w/ an ajax call, I'm not sure what to do with the data that I get in the OnSuccess callback. How can I give the data I receive to the browser and allow it to do its default thing with the PDF response?

Answer

You don't need jQuery at all. Just submit your POST via a form normally, and on the server side, add the HTTP header

Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="whatever.pdf"

The browser will do its default thing.

Alternately, if you want to be more careful about reporting any errors that might occur during the PDF generation, you can do this. POST your parameters to your server with jQuery. On the server, generate the binary content and cache it somewhere for a few minutes, accessible via a key that you put in the user's session, and return a "success" Ajax response to your page (or if there was an error, return an "error" response). If the page gets back a success response, it can immediately do something like:

window.location = "/get/my/pdf";

The server then returns the cached PDF content. Be sure to include the Content-Disposition header, as above.

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