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SQL Server1518-Mar-2008
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Articles > Retrieve data from a web page

Retrieve data from a web page

Summary: An example of how we can make a request to a web page and retrieve the resulting HTMLSocialize it

There are a few situations where it would be useful to be able to retrieve the HTML from a web page via code. Fortunately, this is made relatively easy by the HttpWebRequest and httpWebResponse classes.

Firstly, we need to decide which type of form the web page is using. The two different methods are GET and POST and for this article, I'm going to assume you have a basic understanding of these methods and I'll simply show you an example of how to implement either method rather than go into the differences between them. For both methods we'll need a simple page to actually display the results so let's start by making a page with a TextBox on it:

Now, we need to write the code based on whichever method we have decided to use.

Using the GET method

This is the shorter of the two methods as since we don't have to post any data we can simply set the URL and add any querystring values to that URL. We can then simply make a request using this URL and read the response given back to us:

Using the POST method

This method is slightly longer than the GET method due to the fact that we actually have to specify the data that is going to be sent to the page. We also have to set the actual type and length of this content before posting it so the page in question knows what it will be receiving:

Both of these simple examples demonstrate an easy method of reading the results of a request to a web page. You can obviously parse the results if necessary and only display certain information from the web page but this article will at least get you up to that point.

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