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Using WebClient Class in .NET

Posted by Jaish Mathews Articles | Learn .NET January 10, 2011
Here I am explaining various ways to handle the response from a URL and display that response in a browser.
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The WebClient class in .NET has been there for a long time. We have many uses of the class. Generally it is used to interact with a web URL and handle the response from this URL. This class is very useful when you need to handle the response from a web service. Here I am explaining various ways to handle the response from a URL and display that response in a browser.

1. DownloadFile()

This method can directly download the response contents from a URL and save it to hard disk. The syntax is as below.

<<WebClient Object>>.DownloadFile(<<URL to download>>, <<File path to store download data>>);

In attached solution file I am downloading the Google site response and storing it in a file and later displaying it in a browser

WebClass1.gif

2. DownloadData()

This method can directly download the response contents from a URL in byte[] format and this data can be written to a stream and can also be saved to a file.

<<WebClient Object>>.DownloadData(<<URL to download>>);

In the attached solution file I am downloading the Ask.com site response in byte[] format and later storing it in a file and displaying it in a browser.

WebClass2.gif

3. DownloadString()

This method can directly download the response contents from a URL in string format and this data can be written to a stream and can also be saved to a file. One possible usage is that you can search for specific contents inside this string.

<<WebClient Object>>.DownloadString(<<URL to download>>);

In attached solution file I am downloading the Yahoo site response in string format and later storing it in a file and displaying it in a browser.

4. OpenRead()

This method can directly open a stream towards response contents from a URL. You can read this URL and can also save it to a file.

<<WebClient Object>>.OpenRead(<<URL to download>>);

In attached solution file I am downloading the MSN site response using a stream and later showing it in a browser


WebClass3.gif

Even though I used plain websites as examples, the real time purpose of WebClient is during handling of WebServices response. So your assignment is to handle your WebService response in a better way using WebClient and see how much you can utilize this class.
  

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