By SKumar


2014-07-21 20:50:17 8 Comments

Can some please help me to know how to pass multiple objects from a C# console app to Web API controller as shown below?

using (var httpClient = new System.Net.Http.HttpClient())
{
    httpClient.BaseAddress = new Uri(ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["Url"]);
    httpClient.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Clear();
    httpClient.DefaultRequestHeaders.Accept.Add(new MediaTypeWithQualityHeaderValue("application/json"));   

    var response = httpClient.PutAsync("api/process/StartProcessiong", objectA, objectB);
}

My Web API method is like this:

public void StartProcessiong([FromBody]Content content, [FromBody]Config config)
{

}

10 comments

@kota 2018-07-18 08:57:09

Best way to pass multiple complex object to webapi services is by using tuple other than dynamic, json string, custom class.

HttpClient.PostAsJsonAsync("http://Server/WebService/Controller/ServiceMethod?number=" + number + "&name" + name, Tuple.Create(args1, args2, args3, args4));

[HttpPost]
[Route("ServiceMethod")]
[ResponseType(typeof(void))]
public IHttpActionResult ServiceMethod(int number, string name, Tuple<Class1, Class2, Class3, Class4> args)
{
    Class1 c1 = (Class1)args.Item1;
    Class2 c2 = (Class2)args.Item2;
    Class3 c3 = (Class3)args.Item3;
    Class4 c4 = (Class4)args.Item4;
    /* do your actions */
    return Ok();
}

No need to serialize and deserialize passing object while using tuple. If you want to send more than seven complex object create internal tuple object for last tuple argument.

@Rob Sedgwick 2018-01-04 11:58:53

Late answer, but you can take advantage of the fact that you can deserialize multiple objects from one JSON string, as long as the objects don't share any common property names,

    public async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Post(HttpRequestMessage request)
    {
        var jsonString = await request.Content.ReadAsStringAsync();
        var content  = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Content >(jsonString);
        var config  = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Config>(jsonString);
    }

@Brian Wenhold 2015-02-11 19:20:29

You could try posting multipart content from the client like this:

 using (var httpClient = new HttpClient())
{
    var uri = new Uri("http://example.com/api/controller"));

    using (var formData = new MultipartFormDataContent())
    {
        //add content to form data
        formData.Add(new StringContent(JsonConvert.SerializeObject(content)), "Content");

        //add config to form data
        formData.Add(new StringContent(JsonConvert.SerializeObject(config)), "Config");

        var response = httpClient.PostAsync(uri, formData);
        response.Wait();

        if (!response.Result.IsSuccessStatusCode)
        {
            //error handling code goes here
        }
    }
}

On the server side you could read the the content like this:

public async Task<HttpResponseMessage> Post()
{
    //make sure the post we have contains multi-part data
    if (!Request.Content.IsMimeMultipartContent())
    {
        throw new HttpResponseException(HttpStatusCode.UnsupportedMediaType);
    }

    //read data
    var provider = new MultipartMemoryStreamProvider();
    await Request.Content.ReadAsMultipartAsync(provider);

    //declare backup file summary and file data vars
    var content = new Content();
    var config = new Config();

    //iterate over contents to get Content and Config
    foreach (var requestContents in provider.Contents)
    {
        if (requestContents.Headers.ContentDisposition.Name == "Content")
        {
            content = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Content>(requestContents.ReadAsStringAsync().Result);
        }
        else if (requestContents.Headers.ContentDisposition.Name == "Config")
        {
            config = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Config>(requestContents.ReadAsStringAsync().Result);
        }
    }

    //do something here with the content and config and set success flag
    var success = true;

    //indicate to caller if this was successful
    HttpResponseMessage result = Request.CreateResponse(success ? HttpStatusCode.OK : HttpStatusCode.InternalServerError, success);
    return result;

}

}

@Aviram Fireberger 2017-07-04 10:35:15

Great answer!, and excellent example of the usage of "MultipartFormDataContent".

@harlandgomez 2017-07-27 13:12:30

Create one complex object to combine Content and Config in it as others mentioned, use dynamic and just do a .ToObject(); as:

[HttpPost]
public void StartProcessiong([FromBody] dynamic obj)
{
   var complexObj= obj.ToObject<ComplexObj>();
   var content = complexObj.Content;
   var config = complexObj.Config;
}

@Sheikh M. Haris 2017-04-21 16:04:39

Here I found a workaround to pass multiple generic objects (as json) from jquery to a WEB API using JObject, and then cast back to your required specific object type in api controller. This objects provides a concrete type specifically designed for working with JSON.

var combinedObj = {}; 
combinedObj["obj1"] = [your json object 1]; 
combinedObj["obj2"] = [your json object 2];

$http({
       method: 'POST',
       url: 'api/PostGenericObjects/',
       data: JSON.stringify(combinedObj)
    }).then(function successCallback(response) {
         // this callback will be called asynchronously
         // when the response is available
         alert("Saved Successfully !!!");
    }, function errorCallback(response) {
         // called asynchronously if an error occurs
         // or server returns response with an error status.
         alert("Error : " + response.data.ExceptionMessage);
});

and then you can get this object in your controller

using Newtonsoft.Json;
using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq;

public [OBJECT] PostGenericObjects(object obj)
    {
        string[] str = GeneralMethods.UnWrapObjects(obj);
        var item1 = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<ObjectType1>(str[0]);
        var item2 = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<ObjectType2>(str[1]);

        return *something*;
    } 

I have made a generic function to unwrap the complex object, so there is no limitation of number of objects while sending and unwrapping. We can even send more than two objects

public class GeneralMethods
{
    public static string[] UnWrapObjects(object obj)
    {
        JObject o = JObject.Parse(obj.ToString());

        string[] str = new string[o.Count];

        for (int i = 0; i < o.Count; i++)
        {
            string var = "obj" + (i + 1).ToString();
            str[i] = o[var].ToString(); 
        }

        return str;
    }

}

I have posted the solution to my blog with a little more description with simpler code to integrate easily.

Pass multiple complex objects to Web API

I hope it would help someone. I would be interested to hear from the experts here regarding the pros and cons of using this methodology.

@Manzar Zafar 2016-09-22 14:37:41

Basically you can send complex object without doing any extra fancy thing. Or without making changes to Web-Api. I mean why would we have to make changes to Web-Api, while the fault is in our code that's calling the Web-Api.

All you have to do use NewtonSoft's Json library as following.

string jsonObjectA = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(objectA);
string jsonObjectB = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(objectB);
string jSoNToPost = string.Format("\"content\": {0},\"config\":\"{1}\"",jsonObjectA , jsonObjectB );
//wrap it around in object container notation
jSoNToPost = string.Concat("{", jSoNToPost , "}"); 
//convert it to JSON acceptible content
HttpContent content = new StringContent(jSoNToPost , Encoding.UTF8, "application/json"); 

var response = httpClient.PutAsync("api/process/StartProcessiong", content);

@user6775030 2016-08-30 15:53:07

I know this is an old question, but I had the same issue and here is what I came up with and hopefully will be useful to someone. This will allow passing JSON formatted parameters individually in request URL (GET), as one single JSON object after ? (GET) or within single JSON body object (POST). My goal was RPC-style functionality.

Created a custom attribute and parameter binding, inheriting from HttpParameterBinding:

public class JSONParamBindingAttribute : Attribute
{

}

public class JSONParamBinding : HttpParameterBinding
{

    private static JsonSerializer _serializer = JsonSerializer.Create(new JsonSerializerSettings()
    {
        DateTimeZoneHandling = DateTimeZoneHandling.Utc
    });


    public JSONParamBinding(HttpParameterDescriptor descriptor)
        : base(descriptor)
    {
    }

    public override Task ExecuteBindingAsync(ModelMetadataProvider metadataProvider,
                                                HttpActionContext actionContext,
                                                CancellationToken cancellationToken)
    {
        JObject jobj = GetJSONParameters(actionContext.Request);

        object value = null;

        JToken jTokenVal = null;
        if (!jobj.TryGetValue(Descriptor.ParameterName, out jTokenVal))
        {
            if (Descriptor.IsOptional)
                value = Descriptor.DefaultValue;
            else
                throw new MissingFieldException("Missing parameter : " + Descriptor.ParameterName);
        }
        else
        {
            try
            {
                value = jTokenVal.ToObject(Descriptor.ParameterType, _serializer);
            }
            catch (Newtonsoft.Json.JsonException e)
            {
                throw new HttpParseException(String.Join("", "Unable to parse parameter: ", Descriptor.ParameterName, ". Type: ", Descriptor.ParameterType.ToString()));
            }
        }

        // Set the binding result here
        SetValue(actionContext, value);

        // now, we can return a completed task with no result
        TaskCompletionSource<AsyncVoid> tcs = new TaskCompletionSource<AsyncVoid>();
        tcs.SetResult(default(AsyncVoid));
        return tcs.Task;
    }

    public static HttpParameterBinding HookupParameterBinding(HttpParameterDescriptor descriptor)
    {
        if (descriptor.ActionDescriptor.ControllerDescriptor.GetCustomAttributes<JSONParamBindingAttribute>().Count == 0 
            && descriptor.ActionDescriptor.GetCustomAttributes<JSONParamBindingAttribute>().Count == 0)
            return null;

        var supportedMethods = descriptor.ActionDescriptor.SupportedHttpMethods;

        if (supportedMethods.Contains(HttpMethod.Post) || supportedMethods.Contains(HttpMethod.Get))
        {
            return new JSONParamBinding(descriptor);
        }

        return null;
    }

    private JObject GetJSONParameters(HttpRequestMessage request)
    {
        JObject jobj = null;
        object result = null;
        if (!request.Properties.TryGetValue("ParamsJSObject", out result))
        {
            if (request.Method == HttpMethod.Post)
            {
                jobj = JObject.Parse(request.Content.ReadAsStringAsync().Result);
            }
            else if (request.RequestUri.Query.StartsWith("?%7B"))
            {
                jobj = JObject.Parse(HttpUtility.UrlDecode(request.RequestUri.Query).TrimStart('?'));
            }
            else
            {
                jobj = new JObject();
                foreach (var kvp in request.GetQueryNameValuePairs())
                {
                    jobj.Add(kvp.Key, JToken.Parse(kvp.Value));
                }
            }
            request.Properties.Add("ParamsJSObject", jobj);
        }
        else
        {
            jobj = (JObject)result;
        }

        return jobj;
    }



    private struct AsyncVoid
    {
    }
}

Inject binding rule inside WebApiConfig.cs's Register method:

        public static void Register(HttpConfiguration config)
        {
            // Web API configuration and services

            // Web API routes
            config.MapHttpAttributeRoutes();

            config.ParameterBindingRules.Insert(0, JSONParamBinding.HookupParameterBinding);

            config.Routes.MapHttpRoute(
            name: "DefaultApi",
            routeTemplate: "{controller}/{action}/{id}",
            defaults: new { id = RouteParameter.Optional }
        );
        }

This allows for controller actions with default parameter values and mixed complexity, as such:

[JSONParamBinding]
    [HttpPost, HttpGet]
    public Widget DoWidgetStuff(Widget widget, int stockCount, string comment="no comment")
    {
        ... do stuff, return Widget object
    }

example post body:

{ 
    "widget": { 
        "a": 1, 
        "b": "string", 
        "c": { "other": "things" } 
    }, 
    "stockCount": 42, 
    "comment": "sample code"
} 

or GET single param (needs URL encoding)

controllerPath/DoWidgetStuff?{"widget":{..},"comment":"test","stockCount":42}

or GET multiple param (needs URL encoding)

controllerPath/DoWidgetStuff?widget={..}&comment="test"&stockCount=42

@Melbourne Developer 2016-07-20 05:33:23

Here's another pattern that may be useful to you. It's for a Get but the same principle and code applies for a Post/Put but in reverse. It essentially works on the principle of converting objects down to this ObjectWrapper class which persists the Type's name to the other side:

using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace WebAPI
{
    public class ObjectWrapper
    {
        #region Public Properties
        public string RecordJson { get; set; }
        public string TypeFullName { get; set; }
        #endregion

        #region Constructors

        public ObjectWrapper() : this(null, null)
        {
        }

        public ObjectWrapper(object objectForWrapping) : this(objectForWrapping, null)
        {
        }

        public ObjectWrapper(object objectForWrapping, string typeFullName)
        {
            if (typeFullName == null && objectForWrapping != null)
            {
                TypeFullName = objectForWrapping.GetType().FullName;
            }
            else
            {
                TypeFullName = typeFullName;
            }

            RecordJson = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(objectForWrapping);
        }
        #endregion

        #region Public Methods
        public object ToObject()
        {
            var type = Type.GetType(TypeFullName);
            return JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(RecordJson, type);
        }
        #endregion

        #region Public Static Methods
        public static List<ObjectWrapper> WrapObjects(List<object> records)
        {
            var retVal = new List<ObjectWrapper>();
            records.ForEach
            (item =>
            {
                retVal.Add
                (
                    new ObjectWrapper(item)
                );
            }
            );

            return retVal;
        }

        public static List<object> UnwrapObjects(IEnumerable<ObjectWrapper> objectWrappers)
        {
            var retVal = new List<object>();

            foreach(var item in objectWrappers)
            {
                retVal.Add
                (
                    item.ToObject()
                );
            }

            return retVal;
        }
        #endregion
    }
}

In the REST code:

[HttpGet]
public IEnumerable<ObjectWrapper> Get()
{
    var records = new List<object>();
    records.Add(new TestRecord1());
    records.Add(new TestRecord2());
    var wrappedObjects = ObjectWrapper.WrapObjects(records);
    return wrappedObjects;
}

This is the code on the client side (UWP) using a REST client library. The client library just uses the Newtonsoft Json serialization library - nothing fancy.

private static async Task<List<object>> Getobjects()
{
    var result = await REST.Get<List<ObjectWrapper>>("http://localhost:50623/api/values");
    var wrappedObjects = (IEnumerable<ObjectWrapper>) result.Data;
    var unwrappedObjects =  ObjectWrapper.UnwrapObjects(wrappedObjects);
    return unwrappedObjects;
}

@Maggie Ying 2014-07-22 17:02:43

As @djikay mentioned, you cannot pass multiple FromBody parameters.

One workaround I have is to define a CompositeObject,

public class CompositeObject
{
    public Content Content { get; set; }
    public Config Config { get; set; }
}

and have your WebAPI takes this CompositeObject as the parameter instead.

public void StartProcessiong([FromBody] CompositeObject composite)
{ ... }

@ruffin 2018-02-21 16:19:10

This is almost (if not exactly) equivalent to saying to use a DTO, which I'm not sure is the wrong answer. It does sort of break the strict API feel of your app, though. I'm not sure how I feel about the middle ground presented here -- a DTO of business models -- and might encourage a "real" DTO, but it's Not Wrong. ;^)

@djikay 2014-07-21 23:45:30

In the current version of Web API, the usage of multiple complex objects (like your Content and Config complex objects) within the Web API method signature is not allowed. I'm betting good money that config (your second parameter) is always coming back as NULL. This is because only one complex object can be parsed from the body for one request. For performance reasons, the Web API request body is only allowed to be accessed and parsed once. So after the scan and parsing occurs of the request body for the "content" parameter, all subsequent body parses will end in "NULL". So basically:

  • Only one item can be attributed with [FromBody].
  • Any number of items can be attributed with [FromUri].

Below is a useful extract from Mike Stall's excellent blog article (oldie but goldie!). You'll want to pay attention to item 4:

Here are the basic rules to determine whether a parameter is read with model binding or a formatter:

  1. If the parameter has no attribute on it, then the decision is made purely on the parameter's .NET type. "Simple types" use model binding. Complex types use the formatters. A "simple type" includes: primitives, TimeSpan, DateTime, Guid, Decimal, String, or something with a TypeConverter that converts from strings.
  2. You can use a [FromBody] attribute to specify that a parameter should be from the body.
  3. You can use a [ModelBinder] attribute on the parameter or the parameter's type to specify that a parameter should be model bound. This attribute also lets you configure the model binder. [FromUri] is a derived instance of [ModelBinder] that specifically configures a model binder to only look in the URI.
  4. The body can only be read once. So if you have 2 complex types in the signature, at least one of them must have a [ModelBinder] attribute on it.

It was a key design goal for these rules to be static and predictable.

A key difference between MVC and Web API is that MVC buffers the content (e.g. request body). This means that MVC's parameter binding can repeatedly search through the body to look for pieces of the parameters. Whereas in Web API, the request body (an HttpContent) may be a read-only, infinite, non-buffered, non-rewindable stream.

You can read the rest of this incredibly useful article on your own so, to cut a long story short, what you're trying to do is not currently possible in that way (meaning, you have to get creative). What follows is not a solution, but a workaround and only one possibility; there are other ways.

Solution/Workaround

(Disclaimer: I've not used it myself, I'm just aware of the theory!)

One possible "solution" is to use the JObject object. This objects provides a concrete type specifically designed for working with JSON.

You simply need to adjust the signature to accept just one complex object from the body, the JObject, let's call it stuff. Then, you manually need to parse properties of the JSON object and use generics to hydrate the concrete types.

For example, below is a quick'n'dirty example to give you an idea:

public void StartProcessiong([FromBody]JObject stuff)
{
  // Extract your concrete objects from the json object.
  var content = stuff["content"].ToObject<Content>();
  var config = stuff["config"].ToObject<Config>();

  . . . // Now do your thing!
}

I did say there are other ways, for example you can simply wrap your two objects in a super-object of your own creation and pass that to your action method. Or you can simply eliminate the need for two complex parameters in the request body by supplying one of them in the URI. Or ... well, you get the point.

Let me just reiterate I've not tried any of this myself, although it should all work in theory.

@SKumar 2014-07-22 13:53:20

How can i pass different object in JObject. its throwing exception if i add different object as .Add(object1) and .Add(object2)

@djikay 2014-07-22 14:26:25

As I mentioned, I have no personal experience with this, so I can't directly help you. You should be able to find a lot of information on the web about this though. If, for whatever reason, it's not clear, then you can create your own "master" data transfer object which will simply contain Content and Config. Then you'll just need to use that "master" object to call your method.

@Arminder Dahul 2014-12-05 10:39:06

Isn't the answer as simple as use traditional methods? Why use Web API if what you're doing isn't going to adhere to the RESTful paradigm? Use the right tool for the job.

@Brian Wenhold 2015-02-11 19:23:26

You can post as many complex object types as you like of you post using multipart/form-data.

@Craig Howard 2016-09-29 11:46:46

The Solution/Workaround worked for me. Thanks.

@Mort 2019-10-19 13:30:34

What is the syntax to pass into the stuff variable, in order for that example to work? I have tried 20 different strings and none of them result in a valid JObject.

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