Kevin Wells Kevin Wells - 27 days ago 4x
reST (reStructuredText) Question

How can I send a File over a REST API?

I am trying to send a file to a server over a REST API. The file could potentially be of any type, though it can be limited in size and type to things that can be sent as email attachments.

I think my approach will be to send the file as a binary stream, and then save that back into a file when it arrives at the server. Is there a built in way to do this in .Net or will I need to manually turn the file contents into a data stream and send that?

For clarity, I have control over both the client and server code, so I am not restricted to any particular approach.


I'd recommend you look into RestSharp

The RestSharp library has methods for posting files to a REST service. (RestRequst.AddFile()). I believe on the server-side this will translate into an encoded string into the body, with the content-type in the header specifying the file type.

I've also seen it done by converting a stream to a base-64 string, and transferring that as one of the properties of the serialized json/xml object. Especially if you can set size limits and want to include file meta-data in the request as part of the same object, this works really well.

It really depends how large your files are though. If they are very large, you need to consider streaming, of which the nuances of that is covered in this SO post pretty thoroughly: How do streaming resources fit within the RESTful paradigm?