Sibeesh Passion

Web API With HttpClient Or Consume Web API From Console Application




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In this article we are going to learn how we can call Web API using HttpClient. Normally we call a Web API either from a jQuery Ajax or from Angular JS right? Recently I came across a need of calling our Web API from server side itself. Here I am going to use two Visual Studio application. One is our normal Web API application in which I have a Web API controller and actions, another one is a console application where I consume my Web API. Sounds good? I am using Visual Studio 2015. You can always get the tips/tricks/blogs about these mentioned technologies from the links given below.

  • MVC Tips, Tricks, Blogs
  • Web API Tips, Tricks, Blogs
  • Now we will go and create our application. I hope you will like this.

    Download the source code

    You can always download the source code here.

  • Web API Application
  • Web API Consumer
  • Background

    We all uses Web API in our application to implement Http services. Http services are much simpler than ever if we uses Web API. But the fact is, the benefits of a Web API is not limited to that. Previously we uses WCF services instead of Web API, where we were working with endpoints and all. Here I am going to explain an important feature of a Web API that we can call Web API from our server itself instead of using an Ajax Call. That is pretty cool right? Now we will create our application.

    First we will create our Web API application.

    Creating Web API application

    Click File-> New-> Project then select MVC application. From the following pop up we will select the template as empty and select the core references and folders for MVC.

    Empty Template With MVC And Web API Folders

    Empty Template With MVC And Web API Folders

    Once you click OK, a project with MVC like folder structure with core references will be created for you.

    Folder Structure And References For Empty MVC Project

    Folder Structure And References For Empty MVC Project

    Using the code

    We will set up our database first so that we can create Entity Model for our application later.

    Create a database

    The following query can be used to create a database in your SQL Server.

    USE [master]
    GO
    
    /****** Object:  Database [TrialsDB]    
    CREATE DATABASE [TrialsDB]
     CONTAINMENT = NONE
     ON  PRIMARY 
    ( NAME = N'TrialsDB', FILENAME = N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TrialsDB.mdf' , SIZE = 3072KB , MAXSIZE = UNLIMITED, FILEGROWTH = 1024KB )
     LOG ON 
    ( NAME = N'TrialsDB_log', FILENAME = N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\TrialsDB_log.ldf' , SIZE = 1024KB , MAXSIZE = 2048GB , FILEGROWTH = 10%)
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 110
    GO
    
    IF (1 = FULLTEXTSERVICEPROPERTY('IsFullTextInstalled'))
    begin
    EXEC [TrialsDB].[dbo].[sp_fulltext_database] @action = 'enable'
    end
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ANSI_NULL_DEFAULT OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ANSI_NULLS OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ANSI_PADDING OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ANSI_WARNINGS OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ARITHABORT OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET AUTO_CLOSE OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS ON 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET AUTO_SHRINK OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS ON 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET CURSOR_CLOSE_ON_COMMIT OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET CURSOR_DEFAULT  GLOBAL 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET RECURSIVE_TRIGGERS OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET  DISABLE_BROKER 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS_ASYNC OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET DATE_CORRELATION_OPTIMIZATION OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET TRUSTWORTHY OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET PARAMETERIZATION SIMPLE 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET HONOR_BROKER_PRIORITY OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET RECOVERY FULL 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET  MULTI_USER 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET PAGE_VERIFY CHECKSUM  
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET DB_CHAINING OFF 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET FILESTREAM( NON_TRANSACTED_ACCESS = OFF ) 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET TARGET_RECOVERY_TIME = 0 SECONDS 
    GO
    
    ALTER DATABASE [TrialsDB] SET  READ_WRITE 
    GO
    

    Now we will create the table we needed. As of now I am going to create the table tblTags

    Create tables in database

    Below is the query to create the table tblTags.

    USE [TrialsDB]
    GO
    
    /****** Object:  Table [dbo].[tblTags]    Script Date: 23-Mar-16 5:01:22 PM ******/
    SET ANSI_NULLS ON
    GO
    
    SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
    GO
    
    CREATE TABLE [dbo].[tblTags](
    	[tagId] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
    	[tagName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
    	[tagDescription] [nvarchar](max) NULL,
     CONSTRAINT [PK_tblTags] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
    (
    	[tagId] ASC
    )WITH (PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
    ) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY]
    
    GO
    

    Can we insert some data to the tables now?

    Insert data to table

    You can use the below query to insert the data to the table tblTags

    USE [TrialsDB]
    GO
    
    INSERT INTO [dbo].[tblTags]
               ([tagName]
               ,[tagDescription])
         VALUES
               (<tagName, nvarchar(50),>
               ,<tagDescription, nvarchar(max),>)
    GO
    

    Next thing we are going to do is creating a ADO.NET Entity Data Model.

    Create Entity Data Model

    Right click on your model folder and click new, select ADO.NET Entity Data Model. Follow the steps given. Once you have done the processes, you can see the edmx file and other files in your model folder. Here I gave Dashboard for our Entity data model name. Now you can see a file with edmx extension have been created.
    Now will create our Web API controller.

    Create Web API Controller

    To create a Web API controller, just right click on your controller folder and click Add -> Controller -> Select Web API 2 controller with actions, using Entity Framework.

    Web API 2 Controller With Actions Using Entity Framework

    Web API 2 Controller With Actions Using Entity Framework

    Now select tblTag (WebAPIWithHttpClient.Models) as our Model class and TrialsDBEntities (WebAPIWithHttpClient.Models) as data context class. This time we will select controller with async actions.

    Web API Controller With Async Actions

    Web API Controller With Async Actions

    As you can see It has been given the name of our controller as tblTags. Here I am not going to change that, if you wish to change, you can do that.

    Now you will be given the following codes in our new Web API controller.

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Data;
    using System.Data.Entity;
    using System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Net;
    using System.Net.Http;
    using System.Threading.Tasks;
    using System.Web.Http;
    using System.Web.Http.Description;
    using WebAPIWithHttpClient.Models;
    
    namespace WebAPIWithHttpClient.Controllers
    {
        public class tblTagsController : ApiController
        {
            private TrialsDBEntities db = new TrialsDBEntities();
    
            // GET: api/tblTags
            public IQueryable<tblTag> GettblTags()
            {
                return db.tblTags;
            }
    
            // GET: api/tblTags/5
            [ResponseType(typeof(tblTag))]
            public async Task<IHttpActionResult> GettblTag(int id)
            {
                tblTag tblTag = await db.tblTags.FindAsync(id);
                if (tblTag == null)
                {
                    return NotFound();
                }
    
                return Ok(tblTag);
            }
    
            // PUT: api/tblTags/5
            [ResponseType(typeof(void))]
            public async Task<IHttpActionResult> PuttblTag(int id, tblTag tblTag)
            {
                if (!ModelState.IsValid)
                {
                    return BadRequest(ModelState);
                }
    
                if (id != tblTag.tagId)
                {
                    return BadRequest();
                }
    
                db.Entry(tblTag).State = EntityState.Modified;
    
                try
                {
                    await db.SaveChangesAsync();
                }
                catch (DbUpdateConcurrencyException)
                {
                    if (!tblTagExists(id))
                    {
                        return NotFound();
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        throw;
                    }
                }
    
                return StatusCode(HttpStatusCode.NoContent);
            }
    
            // POST: api/tblTags
            [ResponseType(typeof(tblTag))]
            public async Task<IHttpActionResult> PosttblTag(tblTag tblTag)
            {
                if (!ModelState.IsValid)
                {
                    return BadRequest(ModelState);
                }
    
                db.tblTags.Add(tblTag);
                await db.SaveChangesAsync();
    
                return CreatedAtRoute("DefaultApi", new { id = tblTag.tagId }, tblTag);
            }
    
            // DELETE: api/tblTags/5
            [ResponseType(typeof(tblTag))]
            public async Task<IHttpActionResult> DeletetblTag(int id)
            {
                tblTag tblTag = await db.tblTags.FindAsync(id);
                if (tblTag == null)
                {
                    return NotFound();
                }
    
                db.tblTags.Remove(tblTag);
                await db.SaveChangesAsync();
    
                return Ok(tblTag);
            }
    
            protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
            {
                if (disposing)
                {
                    db.Dispose();
                }
                base.Dispose(disposing);
            }
    
            private bool tblTagExists(int id)
            {
                return db.tblTags.Count(e => e.tagId == id) > 0;
            }
        }
    }
    

    As you can see, we have actions for,

  • Get
  • Post
  • Put
  • Delete
  • So the coding part to fetch the data from database is ready, now we need to check whether our Web API is ready for action!. To check that, you just need to run the URL http://localhost:7967/api/tbltags. Here tblTags is our Web API controller name. I hope you get the data as a result.

    Web_API_Result

    Web_API_Result

    As of now our Web API application is ready, and we have just tested whether it is working or not. Now we can move on to create a console application where we can consume this Web API with the help of HttpClient. So shall we do that?

    Create Console Application To Consume Web API

    To create a console application, Click File -> New -> Click Windows -> Select Console application -> Name your application -> OK

    Console Application

    Console Application

    I hope now you have a class called Program.cs with the below codes.

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Text;
    namespace WebAPIWithHttpClientConsumer
    {
        class Program
        {
            static void Main(string[] args)
            {
            }
        }
    }
    

    Now we will start our coding, We will create a class called tblTag with some properties so that we can use those when we need.

    public class tblTag
        {
            public int tagId { get; set; }
            public string tagName { get; set; }
            public string tagDescription { get; set; }
        }
    

    To get started using the class HttpClient, you must import the namespace as follows.

    using System.Net.Http;
    

    Once you have imported the namespaces, we will set our HttpClient and the properties as follows.

    HttpClient cons = new HttpClient();
                cons.BaseAddress = new Uri("http://localhost:7967/");
                cons.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Clear();
                cons.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Add(new System.Net.Http.Headers.MediaTypeWithQualityHeaderValue("application/json"));
    

    As you can see we are just giving the base address of our API and setting the response header. Now we will create an asyn action to get the data from our database by calling our Web API.

    Get operation using HttpClient

    MyAPIGet(cons).Wait();
    

    Following is the definition of MyAPIGet function.

    static async Task MyAPIGet(HttpClient cons)
            {
                using (cons)
                {
                    HttpResponseMessage res = await cons.GetAsync("api/tblTags/2");
                    res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode();
                    if (res.IsSuccessStatusCode)
                    {
                        tblTag tag = await res.Content.ReadAsAsync<tblTag>();
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("---------------------Calling Get Operation------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("tagId    tagName          tagDescription");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("{0}\t{1}\t\t{2}", tag.tagId, tag.tagName, tag.tagDescription);                    
                        Console.ReadLine();
                    }
                }
            }
    

    Here res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode(); ensure that it throws errors if we get any. If you don’t need to throw the errors, please remove this line of code. If the asyn call is success, the value in IsSuccessStatusCode will be true.

    Now when you run the above code, there are chances to get an error as follows.

    Error CS1061 ‘HttpContent’ does not contain a definition for ‘ReadAsAsync’ and no extension method ‘ReadAsAsync’ accepting a first argument of type ‘HttpContent’ could be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)

    This is just because of the ReadAsAsync is a part of System.Net.Http.Formatting.dll which we have not added to our application as a reference yet. Now we will do that? Sounds OK?

    Just right click on the references and click add reference -> Click browse -> search for System.Net.Http.Formatting.dll – Click OK

    Add References

    Add References

    Please add Newtonsoft.Json also. Now let us run our project and see our output.

    Web_API_Consumer_Get_Output

    Web_API_Consumer_Get_Output

    Now shall we create a function for updating the record? Yes, we are going to create a function with ‘Put’ request. Please copy and paste preceding code for that.

    Put operation using HttpClient

    static async Task MyAPIPut(HttpClient cons)
            {
                using (cons)
                {
                    HttpResponseMessage res = await cons.GetAsync("api/tblTags/2");
                    res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode();
                    if (res.IsSuccessStatusCode)
                    {
                        tblTag tag = await res.Content.ReadAsAsync<tblTag>();
                        tag.tagName = "New Tag";
                        res = await cons.PutAsJsonAsync("api/tblTags/2", tag);
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("------------------Calling Put Operation--------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("tagId    tagName          tagDescription");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("{0}\t{1}\t\t{2}", tag.tagId, tag.tagName, tag.tagDescription);
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
    
                        Console.ReadLine();
                    }
                }
            }
    

    As you can see we are just updating the record as below once we get the response from await cons.GetAsync(“api/tblTags/2”) .

    tag.tagName = "New Tag";
    res = await cons.PutAsJsonAsync("api/tblTags/2", tag);
    

    Now again run your application, and check whether the tag name has been changed to ‘New Tag’.

    Web_API_Consumer_Put_Output

    Web_API_Consumer_Put_Output

    Now did you see that your tag name has been changed? If yes, we are ready to go for our next operation. Are you ready?

    Delete operation using HttpClient

    We will follow the same procedure for delete operation too. Please see the code for delete operation below.

     async Task MyAPIDelete(HttpClient cons)
            {
                using (cons)
                {
                    HttpResponseMessage res = await cons.GetAsync("api/tblTags/2");
                    res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode();
                    if (res.IsSuccessStatusCode)
                    {
                        res = await cons.DeleteAsync("api/tblTags/2");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("------------------Calling Delete Operation--------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("------------------Deleted-------------------");
                        Console.ReadLine();
                    }
                }
            }
    

    To delete a record we uses res = await cons.DeleteAsync(“api/tblTags/2”); method. Now run your application and see the result.

    Web_API_Consumer_Delete_Output

    Web_API_Consumer_Delete_Output

    What action is pending now? Yes, it is Post.

    Post operation using HttpClient

    Please add the below function to your project for the post operation.

    static async Task MyAPIPost(HttpClient cons)
            {
                using (cons)
                {
                    var tag = new tblTag { tagName = "jQuery", tagDescription = "This tag is all about jQuery" };
                    HttpResponseMessage res = await cons.PostAsJsonAsync("api/tblTags", tag);
                    res.EnsureSuccessStatusCode();
                    if (res.IsSuccessStatusCode)
                    {
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("\n");
                        Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("------------------Calling Post Operation--------------------");
                        Console.WriteLine("------------------Created Successfully--------------------");
                    }
                }
            }
    

    We are just creating a new tblTag and assign some values, once the object is ready we are calling the method PostAsJsonAsync as follows.

     var tag = new tblTag { tagName = "jQuery", tagDescription = "This tag is all about jQuery" };
                    HttpResponseMessage res = await cons.PostAsJsonAsync("api/tblTags", tag);
    

    As you have noticed, I have not provided the tagId in the object, do yo know why? I have already set Identity Specification with Identity Increment 1 in my table tblTags in SQL database.

    Now we will see the output. Shall we?

    Web_API_Consumer_Post_Output

    Web_API_Consumer_Post_Output

    We have done everything!. That’s fantastic right? Have a happy coding.

    You can always use WebClient also for this requirement, that I will share in an another article.

    Conclusion

    Did I miss anything that you may think which is needed? Did you try Web API yet? Have you ever wanted to call a Web API from server itself or from any console application? Could you find this post as useful? I hope you liked this article. Please share me your valuable suggestions and feedback.

    Your turn. What do you think?

    A blog isn’t a blog without comments, but do try to stay on topic. If you have a question unrelated to this post, you’re better off posting it on C# Corner, Code Project, Stack Overflow, Asp.Net Forum instead of commenting here. Tweet or email me a link to your question there and I’ll definitely try to help if I can.

    Kindest Regards
    Sibeesh Venu

    • Aioria

      Good one, but i have a question if i want to get all data not only one record, how can i do it?, thanks..

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