BrokeMyLegBiking BrokeMyLegBiking - 6 months ago 48
JSON Question

Best way to call a JSON WebService from a .NET Console

I am hosting a web service in ASP.Net MVC3 which returns a Json string. What is the best way to call the webservice from a c# console application, and parse the return into a .NET object?

Should I reference MVC3 in my console app?

Json.Net has some nice methods for serializing and deserializing .NET objects, but I don't see that it has ways for POSTing and GETing values from a webservice.

Or should I just create my own helper method for POSTing and GETing to the web service? How would I serialize my .net object to key value pairs?

Answer

I use HttpWebRequest to GET from the web service, which returns me a JSON string. It looks something like this for a GET:

// Returns JSON string
string GET(string url) 
{
    HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(url);
    try {
        WebResponse response = request.GetResponse();
        using (Stream responseStream = response.GetResponseStream()) {
            StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(responseStream, Encoding.UTF8);
            return reader.ReadToEnd();
        }
    }
    catch (WebException ex) {
        WebResponse errorResponse = ex.Response;
        using (Stream responseStream = errorResponse.GetResponseStream())
        {
            StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(responseStream, Encoding.GetEncoding("utf-8"));
            String errorText = reader.ReadToEnd();
            // log errorText
        }
        throw;
    }
}

I then use JSON.Net to dynamically parse the string. Alternatively, you can generate the C# class statically from sample JSON output using this codeplex tool: http://jsonclassgenerator.codeplex.com/

POST looks like this:

// POST a JSON string
void POST(string url, string jsonContent) 
{
    HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(url);
    request.Method = "POST";

    System.Text.UTF8Encoding encoding = new System.Text.UTF8Encoding();
    Byte[] byteArray = encoding.GetBytes(jsonContent);

    request.ContentLength = byteArray.Length;
    request.ContentType = @"application/json";

    using (Stream dataStream = request.GetRequestStream()) {
        dataStream.Write(byteArray, 0, byteArray.Length);
    }
    long length = 0;
    try {
        using (HttpWebResponse response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse()) {
            length = response.ContentLength;
        }
    }
    catch (WebException ex) {
        // Log exception and throw as for GET example above
    }
}

I use code like this in automated tests of our web service.