Cuong Le Cuong Le - 9 months ago 97
C# Question

How to download CSV file from ASP.NET Web Api using jQuery Ajax call

I am working on how to download CSV file from ASP.NET Web Api from jQuery ajax call. The CSV file is generated dynamically from Web API server based on custom CsvFormatter.

Ajax from jQuery:

type: "GET",
headers: {
Accept: "text/csv; charset=utf-8",
url: "/api/employees",
success: function (data) {

On the server, the
is implemented similar with below article, derived from

public class EmployeeCsvFormatter : BufferedMediaTypeFormatter
public EmployeeCsvFormatter()
SupportedMediaTypes.Add(new MediaTypeHeaderValue("text/csv"));

I also added override method to indicate that I would like to download like normal way to download file (can see the download file in download tab):

public override void SetDefaultContentHeaders(Type type,
HttpContentHeaders headers, MediaTypeHeaderValue mediaType)
base.SetDefaultContentHeaders(type, headers, mediaType);
headers.Add("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename=yourname.csv");
headers.ContentType = new MediaTypeHeaderValue("application/octet-stream");

But it does not work, the download file does not showed in status bar or in download tab on Chrome, even though from Fiddler, I see it the response seems correct:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: ASP.NET Development Server/
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:19:35 GMT
X-AspNet-Version: 4.0.30319
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=yourname.csv
Cache-Control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
Expires: -1
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Length: 26
Connection: Close


My method from ApiController:

public EmployeeDto[] Get()
var result = new[]
new EmployeeDto() {Id = 1, Name = "Cuong", Address = "123"},
new EmployeeDto() {Id = 1, Name = "Trung", Address = "123"},

return result;

It must be wrong somewhere which I have not figured out. How can I make it work by downloading CSV file like normal way?


jQuery Plugin for Requesting Ajax-like File Downloads does it without Ajax using a simple form submit.


jQuery('<form action="'+ url +'" method="'+ (method||'post') +'">'+inputs+'</form>')

It has an ajax-style interface so from outside you can call it like this


Another simple approach using:

$('#btnDownload').click(function (e) {
    window.location = "/api/employees?format=csv";

On the server, MediaTypeMappings must be used by adding one more constructor:

    public EmployeeCsvFormatter(MediaTypeMapping mediaTypeMapping)
        : this()

Then, add this formatter into Web Api configuration:

   configuration.Formatters.Add(new EmployeeCsvFormatter
            (new QueryStringMapping("format", "csv", "text/csv")));