How to pass json POST data to Web API method as an object?

ASP.NET MVC4 Web API application defines post method to save customer. Customer is passed in json format in POST request body. Customer parameter in post method contains null values for properties.

How to fix this so that posted data will passed as customer object ?

If possible Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded should used since I dont know how to change it in javascript method which posts form.

Controller:

public class CustomersController : ApiController {

  public object Post([FromBody] Customer customer)
        {
            return Request.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK,
            new
            {
                customer = customer
            });
        }
    }
}

public class Customer
    {
        public string company_name { get; set; }
        public string contact_name { get; set; }
     }

Request:

POST http://localhost:52216/api/customers HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, text/javascript, */*; q=0.01
X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8

{"contact_name":"sdfsd","company_name":"ssssd"}

Answers


EDIT : 31/10/2017

The same code/approach will work for Asp.Net Core 2.0 as well. The major difference is, In asp.net core, both web api controllers and Mvc controllers are merged together to single controller model. So your return type might be IActionResult or one of it's implementation (Ex :OkObjectResult)


Use

contentType:"application/json"

You need to use JSON.stringify method to convert it to JSON string when you send it,

And the model binder will bind the json data to your class object.

The below code will work fine (tested)

$(function () {
    var customer = {contact_name :"Scott",company_name:"HP"};
    $.ajax({
        type: "POST",
        data :JSON.stringify(customer),
        url: "api/Customer",
        contentType: "application/json"
    });
});

Result

contentType property tells the server that we are sending the data in JSON format. Since we sent a JSON data structure,model binding will happen properly.

If you inspect the ajax request's headers, you can see that the Content-Type value is set as application/json.

If you do not specify contentType explicitly, It will use the default content type which is application/x-www-form-urlencoded;


Edit on Nov 2015 to address other possible issues raised in comments

Posting a complex object

Let's say you have a complex view model class as your web api action method parameter like this

public class CreateUserViewModel
{
   public int Id {set;get;}
   public string Name {set;get;}  
   public List<TagViewModel> Tags {set;get;}
}
public class TagViewModel
{
  public int Id {set;get;}
  public string Code {set;get;}
}

and your web api end point is like

public class ProductController : Controller
{
    [HttpPost]
    public CreateUserViewMode Save([FromBody] CreateUserViewModel m)
    {
        // I am just returning the posted model as it is. 
        // You may do other stuff and return different response.
        // Ex : missileService.LaunchMissile(m);
        return m;
    }
}

At the time of this writing, ASP.NET MVC 6 is the latest stable version and in MVC6, Both Web api controllers and MVC controllers are inheriting from Microsoft.AspNet.Mvc.Controller base class.

To send data to the method from client side, the below code should work fine

//Build an object which matches the structure of our view model class
var model = {
    Name: "Shyju",
    Id: 123,
    Tags: [{ Id: 12, Code: "C" }, { Id: 33, Code: "Swift" }]
};

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    data: JSON.stringify(model),
    url: "../product/save",
    contentType: "application/json"
}).done(function(res) {       
    console.log('res', res);
    // Do something with the result :)
});
Model binding works for some properties, but not all ! Why ?

If you do not decorate the web api method parameter with [FromBody] attribute

[HttpPost]
public CreateUserViewModel Save(CreateUserViewModel m)
{
    return m;
}

And send the model(raw javascript object, not in JSON format) without specifying the contentType property value

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    data: model,
    url: "../product/save"
}).done(function (res) {
     console.log('res', res);
});

Model binding will work for the flat properties on the model, not the properties where the type is complex/another type. In our case, Id and Name properties will be properly bound to the parameter m, But the Tags property will be an empty list.

The same problem will occur if you are using the short version, $.post which will use the default Content-Type when sending the request.

$.post("../product/save", model, function (res) {
    //res contains the markup returned by the partial view
    console.log('res', res);
});

Working with POST in webapi can be tricky! Would like to add to the already correct answer..

Will focus specifically on POST as dealing with GET is trivial. I don't think many would be searching around for resolving an issue with GET with webapis. Anyways..

If your question is - In MVC Web Api, how to- - Use custom action method names other than the generic HTTP verbs? - Perform multiple posts? - Post multiple simple types? - Post complex types via jQuery?

Then the following solutions may help:

First, to use Custom Action Methods in Web API, add a web api route as:

public static void Register(HttpConfiguration config)
{
    config.Routes.MapHttpRoute(
        name: "ActionApi",
        routeTemplate: "api/{controller}/{action}");
}

And then you may create action methods like:

[HttpPost]
public string TestMethod([FromBody]string value)
{
    return "Hello from http post web api controller: " + value;
}

Now, fire the following jQuery from your browser console

$.ajax({
    type: 'POST',
    url: 'http://localhost:33649/api/TestApi/TestMethod',
    data: {'':'hello'},
    contentType: 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
    dataType: 'json',
    success: function(data){ console.log(data) }
});

Second, to perform multiple posts, It is simple, create multiple action methods and decorate with the [HttpPost] attrib. Use the [ActionName("MyAction")] to assign custom names, etc. Will come to jQuery in the fourth point below

Third, First of all, posting multiple SIMPLE types in a single action is not possible. Moreover, there is a special format to post even a single simple type (apart from passing the parameter in the query string or REST style). This was the point that had me banging my head with Rest Clients (like Fiddler and Chrome's Advanced REST client extension) and hunting around the web for almost 5 hours when eventually, the following URL proved to be of help. Will quote the relevant content for the link might turn dead!

Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
in the request header and add a = before the JSON statement:
={"Name":"Turbo Tina","Email":"na@Turbo.Tina"}

PS: Noticed the peculiar syntax?

http://forums.asp.net/t/1883467.aspx?The+received+value+is+null+when+I+try+to+Post+to+my+Web+Api

Anyways, let us get over that story. Moving on:

Fourth, posting complex types via jQuery, ofcourse, $.ajax() is going to promptly come in the role:

Let us say the action method accepts a Person object which has an id and a name. So, from javascript:

var person = { PersonId:1, Name:"James" }
$.ajax({
    type: 'POST',
    url: 'http://mydomain/api/TestApi/TestMethod',
    data: JSON.stringify(person),
    contentType: 'application/json; charset=utf-8',
    dataType: 'json',
    success: function(data){ console.log(data) }
});

And the action will look like:

[HttpPost]
public string TestMethod(Person person)
{
    return "Hello from http post web api controller: " + person.Name;
}

All of the above, worked for me!! Cheers!


I've just been playing with this and discovered a rather odd result. Say you have public properties on your class in C# like this:

public class Customer
{
    public string contact_name;
    public string company_name;
}

then you must do the JSON.stringify trick as suggested by Shyju and call it like this:

var customer = {contact_name :"Scott",company_name:"HP"};
$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    data :JSON.stringify(customer),
    url: "api/Customer",
    contentType: "application/json"
});

However, if you define getters and setters on your class like this:

public class Customer
{
    public string contact_name { get; set; }
    public string company_name { get; set; }
}

then you can call it much more simply:

$.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    data :customer,
    url: "api/Customer"
});

This uses the HTTP header:

Content-Type:application/x-www-form-urlencoded

I'm not quite sure what's happening here but it looks like a bug (feature?) in the framework. Presumably the different binding methods are calling different "adapters", and while the adapter for application/json one works with public properties, the one for form encoded data doesn't.

I have no idea which would be considered best practice though.


Use the JSON.stringify() to get the string in JSON format, ensure that while making the AJAX call you pass below mentioned attributes:

  • contentType: 'application/json'
  • dataType: 'json'

Below is the give jquery code to make ajax post call to asp.net web api:

var product =
    JSON.stringify({
        productGroup: "Fablet",
        productId: 1,
        productName: "Lumia 1525 64 GB",
        sellingPrice: 700
    });

$.ajax({
    URL: 'http://localhost/api/Products',
    type: 'POST',
    contentType: 'application/json',
    dataType: 'json',
    data: product,
    success: function (data, status, xhr) {
        alert('Success!');
    },
    error: function (xhr, status, error) {
        alert('Update Error occurred - ' + error);
    }
});

Make sure that your WebAPI service is expecting a strongly typed object with a structure that matches the JSON that you are passing. And make sure that you stringify the JSON that you are POSTing.

Here is my JavaScript (using AngluarJS):

$scope.updateUserActivity = function (_objuserActivity) {
        $http
        ({
            method: 'post',
            url: 'your url here',
            headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/json'},
            data: JSON.stringify(_objuserActivity)
        })
        .then(function (response)
        {
            alert("success");
        })
        .catch(function (response)
        {
            alert("failure");
        })
        .finally(function ()
        {
        });

And here is my WebAPI Controller:

[HttpPost]
[AcceptVerbs("POST")]
public string POSTMe([FromBody]Models.UserActivity _activity)
{
    return "hello";
}

Following code to return data in the json format ,instead of the xml -Web API 2 :-

Put following line in the Global.asax file

GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.Formatters.JsonFormatter.SerializerSettings.ReferenceLoopHandling = Newtonsoft.Json.ReferenceLoopHandling.Ignore;
        GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.Formatters.Remove(GlobalConfiguration.Configuration.Formatters.XmlFormatter);

@model MVCClient.Models.ProductDetails

@{
    ViewBag.Title = "ProductDetails";
}
<script src="~/Scripts/jquery-1.8.2.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">

    $(document).ready(function () {
        $("#Save").click(function () {
            var ProductDetails = new Object();
            ProductDetails.ProductName =  $("#txt_productName").val();
            ProductDetails.ProductDetail = $("#txt_desc").val();
            ProductDetails.Price= $("#txt_price").val();
            $.ajax({
                url: "http://localhost:24481/api/Product/addProduct",
                type: "Post",
                dataType:'JSON',
                data:ProductDetails, 

                success: function (data) {
                    alert('Updated Successfully');
                    //window.location.href = "../Index";
                },
                error: function (msg) { alert(msg); }
            });
        });
    });
    </script>
<h2>ProductDetails</h2>

<form id="form1" method="post">
    <fieldset>
        <legend>ProductDetails</legend>


        <div class="editor-label">
            @Html.LabelFor(model => model.ProductName)
        </div>
        <div class="editor-field">

            <input id="txt_productName" type="text" name="fname">
            @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.ProductName)
        </div>

        <div class="editor-label">
            @Html.LabelFor(model => model.ProductDetail)
        </div>
        <div class="editor-field">

            <input id="txt_desc" type="text" name="fname">
            @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.ProductDetail)
        </div>

        <div class="editor-label">
            @Html.LabelFor(model => model.Price)
        </div>
        <div class="editor-field">

            <input id="txt_price" type="text" name="fname">
            @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.Price)
        </div>



        <p>
            <input id="Save" type="button" value="Create" />
        </p>
    </fieldset>

</form>
    <div>
        @Html.ActionLink("Back to List", "Index")
    </div>

</form>



@section Scripts {
    @Scripts.Render("~/bundles/jqueryval")
}

Microsoft gave a good example of doing this:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/aspnet/web-api/overview/advanced/sending-html-form-data-part-1

First validate the request

if (ModelState.IsValid)

and than use the serialized data.

Content = new StringContent(update.Status)

Here 'Status' is a field in the complex type. Serializing is done by .NET, no need to worry about that.


1)In your client side you can send you http.post request in string like below

var IndexInfo = JSON.stringify(this.scope.IndexTree);
this.$http.post('../../../api/EvaluationProcess/InsertEvaluationProcessInputType', "'" + IndexInfo + "'" ).then((response: any) => {}

2)Then in your web api controller you can deserialize it

public ApiResponce InsertEvaluationProcessInputType([FromBody]string IndexInfo)
    {
var des = (ApiReceivedListOfObjects<TempDistributedIndex>)Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(DecryptedProcessInfo, typeof(ApiReceivedListOfObjects<TempDistributedIndex>));}

3)Your ApiReceivedListOfObjects class should be like below

public class ApiReceivedListOfObjects<T>
    {
        public List<T> element { get; set; }

    }

4)make sure that your serialized string (IndexInfo here) becomes like below structure before JsonConvert.DeserializeObject command in step 2

var resp = @"
    {
        ""element"": [
        {
            ""A"": ""A Jones"",
            ""B"": ""500015763""
        },
        {
            ""A"": ""B Smith"",
            ""B"": ""504986213""
        },
        {
            ""A"": ""C Brown"",
            ""B"": ""509034361""
        }
        ]
    }";

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