Walkthrough: Connecting Using Tasks and XML HTTP Request (IXHR2)

This example shows how to use the IXMLHTTPRequest2 and IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback interfaces together with tasks to send HTTP GET and POST requests to a web service in a Windows Store app. By combining IXHR2 together with tasks, you can write code that composes with other tasks. For example, you can use the download task as part of a chain of tasks. The download task can also respond when work is canceled.

For more information about tasks, see Task Parallelism (Concurrency Runtime). For more information about how to use tasks in a Windows Store app, see Asynchronous programming in C++ and Creating Asynchronous Operations in C++ for Windows Store Apps.

This document first shows how to create HttpRequest and its supporting classes. It then shows how to use this class from a Windows Store app that uses C++ and XAML.

For a more complete example that uses the HttpReader class described in this document, see Developing Bing Maps Trip Optimizer, a Windows Store app in JavaScript and C++. For another example that uses IXHR2 but does not use tasks, see Quickstart: Connecting using XML HTTP Request (IXHR2).

Tip Tip

IXMLHTTPRequest2 and IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback are the interfaces that we recommend for use in a Windows Store app. You can also adapt this example for use in a desktop app.

When you use the IXMLHTTPRequest2 interface to create web requests over HTTP, you implement the IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback interface to receive the server response and react to other events. This example defines the HttpRequest class to create web requests, and the HttpRequestBuffersCallback and HttpRequestStringCallback classes to process responses. The HttpRequestBuffersCallback and HttpRequestStringCallback classes support the HttpRequest class; you work only with the HttpRequest class from application code.

The GetAsync, PostAsync methods of the HttpRequest class enable you to start HTTP GET and POST operations, respectively. These methods use the HttpRequestStringCallback class to read the server response as a string. The SendAsync and ReadAsync methods enable you to stream large content in chunks. These methods each return concurrency::task to represent the operation. The GetAsync and PostAsync methods produce task<std::wstring> value, where the wstring part represents the server’s response. The SendAsync and ReadAsync methods produce task<void> values; these tasks complete when the send and read operations complete.

Because the IXHR2 interfaces act asynchronously, this example uses concurrency::task_completion_event to create a task that completes after the callback object completes or cancels the download operation. The HttpRequest class creates a task-based continuation from this task to set the final result. The HttpRequest class uses a task-based continuation to ensure that the continuation task runs even if the previous task produces an error or is canceled. For more information about task-based continuations, see Task Parallelism (Concurrency Runtime)

To support cancellation, the HttpRequest, HttpRequestBuffersCallback, and HttpRequestStringCallback classes use cancellation tokens. The HttpRequestBuffersCallback and HttpRequestStringCallback classes use the concurrency::cancellation_token::register_callback method to enable the task completion event to respond to cancellation. This cancellation callback aborts the download. For more info about cancellation, see Cancellation in the PPL.

To Define the HttpRequest Class

  1. Use the Visual C++ Blank App (XAML) template to create a blank XAML app project. This example names the project UsingIXHR2.

  2. Add to the project a header file that is named HttpRequest.h and a source file that is named HttpRequest.cpp.

  3. In pch.h, add this code:

    #include <ppltasks.h>
    #include <string>
    #include <sstream>
    #include <wrl.h>
    #include <msxml6.h>
    
  4. In HttpRequest.h, add this code:

    #pragma once
    #include "pch.h"
    
    inline void CheckHResult(HRESULT hResult)
    {
        if (hResult == E_ABORT)
        {
            concurrency::cancel_current_task();
        }
        else if (FAILED(hResult))
        {
            throw Platform::Exception::CreateException(hResult);
        }
    }
    
    namespace Web
    {
    
    namespace Details
    {
    
    // Implementation of IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback used when partial buffers are needed from the response.
    // When only the complete response is needed, use HttpRequestStringCallback instead.
    class HttpRequestBuffersCallback 
        : public Microsoft::WRL::RuntimeClass<
            Microsoft::WRL::RuntimeClassFlags<Microsoft::WRL::ClassicCom>,
            IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback,
            Microsoft::WRL::FtmBase>
    {
    public:
        HttpRequestBuffersCallback(IXMLHTTPRequest2* httpRequest, 
            concurrency::cancellation_token ct = concurrency::cancellation_token::none()) :
            request(httpRequest), cancellationToken(ct), responseReceived(false), dataHResult(S_OK), statusCode(200)
        {
            // Register a callback function that aborts the HTTP operation when 
            // the cancellation token is canceled.
            if (cancellationToken != concurrency::cancellation_token::none())
            {
                registrationToken = cancellationToken.register_callback([this]() 
                {
                    if (request != nullptr) 
                    {
                        request->Abort();
                    }
                });
            }
    
            dataEvent = concurrency::task_completion_event<void>();
        }
    
        // Called when the HTTP request is being redirected to a new URL.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnRedirect(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, PCWSTR) 
        {
            return S_OK;
        }
    
        // Called when HTTP headers have been received and processed.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnHeadersAvailable(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, DWORD statusCode, PCWSTR reasonPhrase)
        {
            HRESULT hr = S_OK;
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2.
            try
            {
                this->statusCode = statusCode;
                this->reasonPhrase = reasonPhrase;
    
                concurrency::critical_section::scoped_lock lock(dataEventLock);
                dataEvent.set();
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Called when a portion of the entity body has been received.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnDataAvailable(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, ISequentialStream* stream)
        {
            HRESULT hr = S_OK;
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2.
            try
            {
                // Store a reference on the stream so it can be accessed by the task.
                dataStream = stream;
    
                // The work must be done as fast as possible, and must not block this thread,
                // for example, waiting on another event object.  Here we simply set an event
                // that can be processed by another thread.
                concurrency::critical_section::scoped_lock lock(dataEventLock);
                dataEvent.set();
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Called when the entire entity response has been received.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnResponseReceived(IXMLHTTPRequest2* xhr, ISequentialStream* responseStream)
        {
            responseReceived = true;
            return OnDataAvailable(xhr, responseStream);
        }
    
        // Called when an error occurs during the HTTP request.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnError(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, HRESULT hrError) 
        {
            HRESULT hr = S_OK;
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2.
            try
            {
                concurrency::critical_section::scoped_lock lock(dataEventLock);
                dataHResult = hrError;
                dataEvent.set();
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
    
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Create a task that completes when data is available, in an exception-safe way.
        concurrency::task<void> CreateDataTask();
    
        HRESULT GetError() const
        {
            return dataHResult;
        }
    
        int GetStatusCode() const
        {
            return statusCode;
        }
    
        std::wstring const& GetReasonPhrase() const
        {
            return reasonPhrase;
        }
    
        bool IsResponseReceived() const
        {
            return responseReceived;
        }
    
        // Copy bytes from the sequential stream into the buffer provided until
        // we reach the end of one or the other.
        unsigned int ReadData(
            _Out_writes_(outputBufferSize) byte* outputBuffer,
            unsigned int outputBufferSize);
    
    private:
        ~HttpRequestBuffersCallback()
        {
            // Unregister the callback.
            if (cancellationToken != concurrency::cancellation_token::none())
            {
                cancellationToken.deregister_callback(registrationToken);
            }
        }
    
        // Signals that the download operation was canceled.
        concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken;
    
        // Used to unregister the cancellation token callback.
        concurrency::cancellation_token_registration registrationToken;
    
        // The IXMLHTTPRequest2 that processes the HTTP request.
        Microsoft::WRL::ComPtr<IXMLHTTPRequest2> request;
    
        // Task completion event that is set when data is available or error is triggered.
        concurrency::task_completion_event<void> dataEvent;
        concurrency::critical_section dataEventLock;
    
        // We cannot store the error obtained from IXHR2 in the dataEvent since any value there is first-writer-wins,
        // whereas we want a subsequent error to override an initial success.
        HRESULT dataHResult;
    
        // Referenced pointer to the data stream.
        Microsoft::WRL::ComPtr<ISequentialStream> dataStream;
    
        // HTTP status code and reason returned by the server.
        int statusCode;
        std::wstring reasonPhrase;
    
        // Whether the response has been completely received.
        bool responseReceived;
    };
    
    };
    
    // Utility class for performing asynchronous HTTP requests.
    // This class only supports one outstanding request at a time.
    class HttpRequest
    {
    public:
        HttpRequest();
    
        int GetStatusCode() const
        {
            return statusCode;
        }
    
        std::wstring const& GetReasonPhrase() const
        {
            return reasonPhrase;
        }
    
        // Whether the response has been completely received, if using ReadAsync().
        bool IsResponseComplete() const
        {
            return responseComplete;
        }
    
        // Start an HTTP GET on the specified URI.  The returned task completes once the entire response
        // has been received, and the task produces the HTTP response text.  The status code and reason
        // can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
        concurrency::task<std::wstring> GetAsync(
            Windows::Foundation::Uri^ uri, 
            concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken = concurrency::cancellation_token::none());
    
        // Start an HTTP POST on the specified URI, using a string body.  The returned task produces the 
        // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
        concurrency::task<std::wstring> PostAsync(
            Windows::Foundation::Uri^ uri,
            PCWSTR contentType,
            IStream* postStream,
            uint64 postStreamSizeToSend,
            concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken = concurrency::cancellation_token::none());
    
        // Start an HTTP POST on the specified URI, using a stream body.  The returned task produces the
        // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
        concurrency::task<std::wstring> PostAsync(
            Windows::Foundation::Uri^ uri,
            const std::wstring& str,
            concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken = concurrency::cancellation_token::none());
    
        // Send a request but don't return the response.  Instead, let the caller read it with ReadAsync().
        concurrency::task<void> SendAsync(
            const std::wstring& httpMethod,
            Windows::Foundation::Uri^ uri,
            concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken = concurrency::cancellation_token::none());
    
        // Read a chunk of data from the HTTP response, up to a specified length or until we reach the end
        // of the response, and store the value in the provided buffer.  This is useful for large content,
        // enabling the streaming of the result.
        concurrency::task<void> ReadAsync(
            Windows::Storage::Streams::IBuffer^ readBuffer,
            unsigned int offsetInBuffer,
            unsigned int requestedBytesToRead);
    
        static void CreateMemoryStream(IStream **stream);
    
    private:
        // Start a download of the specified URI using the specified method.  The returned task produces the
        // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
        concurrency::task<std::wstring> DownloadAsync(
            PCWSTR httpMethod,
            PCWSTR uri, 
            concurrency::cancellation_token cancellationToken,
            PCWSTR contentType,
            IStream* postStream,
            uint64 postStreamBytesToSend);
    
        // Referenced pointer to the callback, if using SendAsync/ReadAsync.
        Microsoft::WRL::ComPtr<Details::HttpRequestBuffersCallback> buffersCallback;
    
        int statusCode;
        std::wstring reasonPhrase;
    
        // Whether the response has been completely received, if using ReadAsync().
        bool responseComplete;
    };
    
    };
    
  5. In HttpRequest.cpp, add this code:

    #include "pch.h"
    #include "HttpRequest.h"
    #include <robuffer.h>
    #include <shcore.h>
    
    using namespace concurrency;
    using namespace Microsoft::WRL;
    using namespace Platform;
    using namespace std;
    using namespace Web;
    using namespace Windows::Foundation;
    using namespace Windows::Storage::Streams;
    
    // Implementation of IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback used when only the complete response is needed. 
    // When processing chunks of response data as they are received, use HttpRequestBuffersCallback instead. 
    class HttpRequestStringCallback 
        : public RuntimeClass<RuntimeClassFlags<ClassicCom>, IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback, FtmBase>
    {
    public:
        HttpRequestStringCallback(IXMLHTTPRequest2* httpRequest, 
            cancellation_token ct = concurrency::cancellation_token::none()) :
            request(httpRequest), cancellationToken(ct)
        {
            // Register a callback function that aborts the HTTP operation when  
            // the cancellation token is canceled. 
            if (cancellationToken != cancellation_token::none())
            {
                registrationToken = cancellationToken.register_callback([this]() 
                {
                    if (request != nullptr) 
                    {
                        request->Abort();
                    }
                });
            }
        }
    
        // Called when the HTTP request is being redirected to a new URL.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnRedirect(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, PCWSTR) 
        {
            return S_OK;
        }
    
        // Called when HTTP headers have been received and processed.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnHeadersAvailable(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, DWORD statusCode, PCWSTR reasonPhrase)
        {
            HRESULT hr = S_OK;
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2. 
            try
            {
                this->statusCode = statusCode;
                this->reasonPhrase = reasonPhrase;
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
    
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Called when a portion of the entity body has been received.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnDataAvailable(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, ISequentialStream*)
        {
            return S_OK;
        }
    
        // Called when the entire entity response has been received.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnResponseReceived(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, ISequentialStream* responseStream)
        {
            wstring wstr;
            HRESULT hr = ReadUtf8StringFromSequentialStream(responseStream, wstr);
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2. 
            try
            {
                completionEvent.set(make_tuple<HRESULT, wstring>(move(hr), move(wstr)));
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
    
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Simulate the functionality of DataReader.ReadString(). 
        // This is needed because DataReader requires IRandomAccessStream and this 
        // code has an ISequentialStream that does not have a conversion to IRandomAccessStream like IStream does.
        HRESULT ReadUtf8StringFromSequentialStream(ISequentialStream* readStream, wstring& str)
        {
            // Convert the response to Unicode wstring.
            HRESULT hr;
    
            // Holds the response as a Unicode string.
            wstringstream ss;
    
            while (true)
            {
                ULONG cb;
                char buffer[4096];
    
                // Read the response as a UTF-8 string.  Since UTF-8 characters are 1-4 bytes long, 
                // we need to make sure we only read an integral number of characters.  So we'll 
                // start with 4093 bytes.
                hr = readStream->Read(buffer, sizeof(buffer) - 3, &cb);
                if (FAILED(hr) || (cb == 0))
                {
                    break; // Error or no more data to process, exit loop.
                }
    
                if (cb == sizeof(buffer) - 3)
                {
                    ULONG subsequentBytesRead;
                    unsigned int i, cl;
    
                    // Find the first byte of the last UTF-8 character in the buffer. 
                    for (i = cb - 1; (i >= 0) && ((buffer[i] & 0xC0) == 0x80); i--);
    
                    // Calculate the number of subsequent bytes in the UTF-8 character. 
                    if (((unsigned char)buffer[i]) < 0x80)
                    {
                        cl = 1;
                    }
                    else if (((unsigned char)buffer[i]) < 0xE0)
                    {
                        cl = 2;
                    }
                    else if (((unsigned char)buffer[i]) < 0xF0)
                    {
                        cl = 3;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        cl = 4;
                    }
    
                    // Read any remaining bytes. 
                    if (cb < i + cl)
                    {
                        hr = readStream->Read(buffer + cb, i + cl - cb, &subsequentBytesRead);
                        if (FAILED(hr))
                        {
                            break; // Error, exit loop.
                        }
                        cb += subsequentBytesRead;
                    }
                }
    
                // First determine the size required to store the Unicode string. 
                int const sizeRequired = MultiByteToWideChar(CP_UTF8, 0, buffer, cb, nullptr, 0);
                if (sizeRequired == 0)
                {
                    // Invalid UTF-8.
                    hr = HRESULT_FROM_WIN32(GetLastError());
                    break;
                }
                unique_ptr<char16[]> wstr(new(std::nothrow) char16[sizeRequired + 1]);
                if (wstr.get() == nullptr)
                {
                    hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
                    break;
                }
    
                // Convert the string from UTF-8 to UTF-16LE.  This can never fail, since 
                // the previous call above succeeded.
                MultiByteToWideChar(CP_UTF8, 0, buffer, cb, wstr.get(), sizeRequired);
                wstr[sizeRequired] = L'\0'; // Terminate the string.
                ss << wstr.get(); // Write the string to the stream.
            }
    
            str = SUCCEEDED(hr) ? ss.str() : wstring();
            return (SUCCEEDED(hr)) ? S_OK : hr; // Don't return S_FALSE.
        }
    
        // Called when an error occurs during the HTTP request.
        IFACEMETHODIMP OnError(IXMLHTTPRequest2*, HRESULT hrError) 
        {
            HRESULT hr = S_OK;
    
            // We must not propagate exceptions back to IXHR2. 
            try
            {
                completionEvent.set(make_tuple<HRESULT, wstring>(move(hrError), wstring()));
            }
            catch (std::bad_alloc&)
            {
                hr = E_OUTOFMEMORY;
            }
    
            return hr;
        }
    
        // Retrieves the completion event for the HTTP operation.
        task_completion_event<tuple<HRESULT, wstring>> const& GetCompletionEvent() const
        {
            return completionEvent; 
        }
    
        int GetStatusCode() const
        {
            return statusCode;
        }
    
        wstring GetReasonPhrase() const
        {
            return reasonPhrase;
        }
    
    private:
        ~HttpRequestStringCallback()
        {
            // Unregister the callback. 
            if (cancellationToken != cancellation_token::none())
            {
                cancellationToken.deregister_callback(registrationToken);
            }
        }
    
        // Signals that the download operation was canceled.
        cancellation_token cancellationToken;
    
        // Used to unregister the cancellation token callback.
        cancellation_token_registration registrationToken;
    
        // The IXMLHTTPRequest2 that processes the HTTP request.
        ComPtr<IXMLHTTPRequest2> request;
    
        // Task completion event that is set when the  
        // download operation completes.
        task_completion_event<tuple<HRESULT, wstring>> completionEvent;
    
        int statusCode;
        wstring reasonPhrase;
    };
    
    // Copy bytes from the sequential stream into the buffer provided until 
    // we reach the end of one or the other. 
    unsigned int Web::Details::HttpRequestBuffersCallback::ReadData(
        _Out_writes_(outputBufferSize) byte* outputBuffer,
        unsigned int outputBufferSize)
    {
        // Lock the data event while doing the read, to ensure that any bytes we don't read will 
        // result in the correct event getting triggered.
        concurrency::critical_section::scoped_lock lock(dataEventLock);
    
        ULONG bytesRead;
        CheckHResult(dataStream.Get()->Read(outputBuffer, outputBufferSize, &bytesRead));
        if (bytesRead < outputBufferSize)
        {
            // We need to reset the data event, which we can only do by creating a new one.
            dataEvent = task_completion_event<void>();
        }
    
        return bytesRead;
    }
    
    // Create a task that completes when data is available, in an exception-safe way.
    task<void> Web::Details::HttpRequestBuffersCallback::CreateDataTask()
    {
        concurrency::critical_section::scoped_lock lock(dataEventLock);
        return create_task(dataEvent, cancellationToken);
    }
    
    HttpRequest::HttpRequest() : responseComplete(true), statusCode(200)
    {
    }
    
    // Start a download of the specified URI using the specified method.  The returned task produces the 
    // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
    task<wstring> HttpRequest::DownloadAsync(PCWSTR httpMethod, PCWSTR uri, cancellation_token cancellationToken,
        PCWSTR contentType, IStream* postStream, uint64 postStreamSizeToSend)
    {
        // Create an IXMLHTTPRequest2 object.
        ComPtr<IXMLHTTPRequest2> xhr;
        CheckHResult(CoCreateInstance(CLSID_XmlHttpRequest, nullptr, CLSCTX_INPROC, IID_PPV_ARGS(&xhr)));
    
        // Create callback.
        auto stringCallback = Make<HttpRequestStringCallback>(xhr.Get(), cancellationToken);
        CheckHResult(stringCallback ? S_OK : E_OUTOFMEMORY);
    
        auto completionTask = create_task(stringCallback->GetCompletionEvent());
    
        // Create a request.
        CheckHResult(xhr->Open(httpMethod, uri, stringCallback.Get(), nullptr, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr));
    
        if (postStream != nullptr && contentType != nullptr)
        {
            CheckHResult(xhr->SetRequestHeader(L"Content-Type", contentType));
        }
    
        // Send the request.
        CheckHResult(xhr->Send(postStream, postStreamSizeToSend));
    
        // Return a task that completes when the HTTP operation completes.  
        // We pass the callback to the continuation because the lifetime of the  
        // callback must exceed the operation to ensure that cancellation  
        // works correctly. 
        return completionTask.then([this, stringCallback](tuple<HRESULT, wstring> resultTuple)
        {
            // If the GET operation failed, throw an Exception.
            CheckHResult(std::get<0>(resultTuple));
    
            statusCode = stringCallback->GetStatusCode();
            reasonPhrase = stringCallback->GetReasonPhrase();
    
            return std::get<1>(resultTuple);
        });
    }
    
    // Start an HTTP GET on the specified URI.  The returned task completes once the entire response 
    // has been received, and the task produces the HTTP response text.  The status code and reason 
    // can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
    task<wstring> HttpRequest::GetAsync(Uri^ uri, cancellation_token cancellationToken)
    {
        return DownloadAsync(L"GET",
                             uri->AbsoluteUri->Data(),
                             cancellationToken,
                             nullptr,
                             nullptr,
                             0);
    }
    
    void HttpRequest::CreateMemoryStream(IStream **stream)
    {
        auto randomAccessStream = ref new Windows::Storage::Streams::InMemoryRandomAccessStream();
        CheckHResult(CreateStreamOverRandomAccessStream(randomAccessStream, IID_PPV_ARGS(stream)));
    }
    
    // Start an HTTP POST on the specified URI, using a string body.  The returned task produces the 
    // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
    task<wstring> HttpRequest::PostAsync(Uri^ uri, const wstring& body, cancellation_token cancellationToken)
    {
        int length = 0;
        ComPtr<IStream> postStream;
        CreateMemoryStream(&postStream);
    
        if (body.length() > 0)
        {
            // Get the required buffer size. 
            int size = WideCharToMultiByte(CP_UTF8,                         // UTF-8
                                           0,                               // Conversion type
                                           body.c_str(),                    // Unicode string to convert
                                           static_cast<int>(body.length()), // Size 
                                           nullptr,                         // Output buffer
                                           0,                               // Output buffer size 
                                           nullptr,
                                           nullptr);
            CheckHResult((size != 0) ? S_OK : HRESULT_FROM_WIN32(GetLastError()));
    
            std::unique_ptr<char[]> tempData(new char[size]);
            length = WideCharToMultiByte(CP_UTF8,                         // UTF-8
                                         0,                               // Conversion type
                                         body.c_str(),                    // Unicode string to convert
                                         static_cast<int>(body.length()), // Size
                                         tempData.get(),                  // Output buffer
                                         size,                            // Output buffer size 
                                         nullptr,
                                         nullptr);
            CheckHResult((length != 0) ? S_OK : HRESULT_FROM_WIN32(GetLastError()));
            CheckHResult(postStream->Write(tempData.get(), length, nullptr));
        }
    
        return DownloadAsync(L"POST",
                             uri->AbsoluteUri->Data(),
                             cancellationToken,
                             L"text/plain;charset=utf-8",
                             postStream.Get(),
                             length);
    }
    
    // Start an HTTP POST on the specified URI, using a stream body.  The returned task produces the 
    // HTTP response text.  The status code and reason can be read with GetStatusCode() and GetReasonPhrase().
    task<wstring> HttpRequest::PostAsync(Uri^ uri, PCWSTR contentType, IStream* postStream,
        uint64 postStreamSizeToSend, cancellation_token cancellationToken)
    {
        return DownloadAsync(L"POST",
                             uri->AbsoluteUri->Data(),
                             cancellationToken,
                             contentType,
                             postStream,
                             postStreamSizeToSend);
    }
    
    // Send a request but don't return the response.  Instead, let the caller read it with ReadAsync().
    task<void> HttpRequest::SendAsync(const wstring& httpMethod, Uri^ uri, cancellation_token cancellationToken)
    {
        // Create an IXMLHTTPRequest2 object.
        ComPtr<IXMLHTTPRequest2> xhr;
        CheckHResult(CoCreateInstance(CLSID_XmlHttpRequest, nullptr, CLSCTX_INPROC, IID_PPV_ARGS(&xhr)));
    
        // Create callback.
        buffersCallback = Make<Web::Details::HttpRequestBuffersCallback>(xhr.Get(), cancellationToken);
        CheckHResult(buffersCallback ? S_OK : E_OUTOFMEMORY);
    
        ComPtr<IXMLHTTPRequest2Callback> xhrCallback;
        CheckHResult(buffersCallback.As(&xhrCallback));
    
        // Open and send the request.
        CheckHResult(xhr->Open(httpMethod.c_str(),
                               uri->AbsoluteUri->Data(),
                               xhrCallback.Get(),
                               nullptr,
                               nullptr,
                               nullptr,
                               nullptr));
    
        responseComplete = false;
    
        CheckHResult(xhr->Send(nullptr, 0));
    
        // Return a task that completes when the HTTP operation completes. 
        // Since buffersCallback holds a reference on the callback, the lifetime of the callback will exceed 
        // the operation and ensure that cancellation works correctly. 
        return buffersCallback->CreateDataTask().then([this]()
        {
            CheckHResult(buffersCallback->GetError());
    
            statusCode = buffersCallback->GetStatusCode();
            reasonPhrase = buffersCallback->GetReasonPhrase();
        });
    }
    
    // Read a chunk of data from the HTTP response, up to a specified length or until we reach the end 
    // of the response, and store the value in the provided buffer.  This is useful for large content, 
    // enabling the streaming of the result.
    task<void> HttpRequest::ReadAsync(Windows::Storage::Streams::IBuffer^ readBuffer, unsigned int offsetInBuffer,
        unsigned int requestedBytesToRead)
    {
        if (offsetInBuffer + requestedBytesToRead > readBuffer->Capacity)
        {
            throw ref new InvalidArgumentException();
        }
    
        // Return a task that completes when a read completes.  
        // We pass the callback to the continuation because the lifetime of the  
        // callback must exceed the operation to ensure that cancellation  
        // works correctly. 
        return buffersCallback->CreateDataTask().then([this, readBuffer, offsetInBuffer, requestedBytesToRead]()
        {
            CheckHResult(buffersCallback->GetError());
    
            // Get a pointer to the location to copy data into.
            ComPtr<IBufferByteAccess> bufferByteAccess;
            CheckHResult(reinterpret_cast<IUnknown*>(readBuffer)->QueryInterface(IID_PPV_ARGS(&bufferByteAccess)));
            byte* outputBuffer; // Returned internal pointer, do not free this value.
            CheckHResult(bufferByteAccess->Buffer(&outputBuffer));
    
            // Copy bytes from the sequential stream into the buffer provided until 
            // we reach the end of one or the other.
            readBuffer->Length = buffersCallback->ReadData(outputBuffer + offsetInBuffer, requestedBytesToRead);
            if (buffersCallback->IsResponseReceived() && (readBuffer->Length < requestedBytesToRead))
            {
                responseComplete = true;
            }
        });
    }
    

This section demonstrates how to use the HttpRequest class in a Windows Store app. The app provides an input box that defines a URL resource, and button commands that perform GET and POST operations, and a button command that cancels the current operation.

To Use the HttpRequest Class

  1. In MainPage.xaml, define the StackPanel element as follows.

    <StackPanel HorizontalAlignment="Left" Width="440"
                Background="{StaticResource ApplicationPageBackgroundThemeBrush}">
        <TextBox x:Name="InputTextBox" TextWrapping="Wrap" 
                 Text="http://www.fourthcoffee.com/"/>
        <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
            <Button x:Name="GetButton" Content="Get" Background="Green" 
                Click="GetButton_Click"/>
            <Button x:Name="PostButton" Content="Post" Background="Blue" 
                Click="PostButton_Click"/>
            <Button x:Name="CancelButton" Content="Cancel" Background="Red"
                IsEnabled="False" Click="CancelButton_Click"/>
            <ProgressRing x:Name="ResponseProgressRing" />
        </StackPanel>
        <TextBlock x:Name="ResponseTextBlock" TextWrapping="Wrap"/>
    </StackPanel>
    
  2. In MainPage.xaml.h, add this #include directive:

    #include "HttpRequest.h"
    
  3. In MainPage.xaml.h, add these private member variables to the MainPage class:

    // Produces HTTP requets.
    Web::HttpRequest m_httpRequest;
    // Enables us to cancel the active HTTP request.
    concurrency::cancellation_token_source m_cancelHttpRequestSource;
    
  4. In MainPage.xaml.h, declare the private method ProcessHttpRequest:

    // Displays the result of the provided HTTP request on the UI.
    void ProcessHttpRequest(concurrency::task<std::wstring> httpRequest);
    
  5. In MainPage.xaml.cpp, add these using statements:

    using namespace concurrency;
    using namespace std;
    using namespace Web;
    
  6. In MainPage.xaml.cpp, implement the GetButton_Click, PostButton_Click, and CancelButton_Click methods of the MainPage class.

    void MainPage::GetButton_Click(Object^ sender, RoutedEventArgs^ e)
    {
        // Create a new cancellation token source for the web request.
        m_cancelHttpRequestSource = cancellation_token_source();
    
        // Set up the GET request parameters.
        auto uri = ref new Uri(InputTextBox->Text);
        auto token = m_cancelHttpRequestSource.get_token();
    
        // Send the request and then update the UI.
        ProcessHttpRequest(m_httpRequest.GetAsync(uri, token));
    }
    
    void MainPage::PostButton_Click(Object^ sender, RoutedEventArgs^ e)
    {
        // Create a new cancellation token source for the web request.
        m_cancelHttpRequestSource = cancellation_token_source();
    
        // Set up the POST request parameters.
        auto uri = ref new Uri(InputTextBox->Text);
        wstring postData(L"This is sample POST data.");
        auto token = m_cancelHttpRequestSource.get_token();
    
        // Send the request and then update the UI.
        ProcessHttpRequest(m_httpRequest.PostAsync(uri, postData, token));
    }
    
    void MainPage::CancelButton_Click(Object^ sender, RoutedEventArgs^ e)
    {
        // Disable the Cancel button. 
        // It will be re-enabled during the next web request.
        CancelButton->IsEnabled = false;
    
        // Initiate cancellation.
        m_cancelHttpRequestSource.cancel();
    }
    
    Tip Tip

    If your app does not require support for cancellation, pass concurrency::cancellation_token::none to the HttpRequest::GetAsync and HttpRequest::PostAsync methods.

  7. In MainPage.xaml.cpp, implement the MainPage::ProcessHttpRequest method.

    // Displays the result of the provided HTTP request on the UI. 
    void MainPage::ProcessHttpRequest(task<wstring> httpRequest)
    {
        // Enable only the Cancel button.
        GetButton->IsEnabled = false;
        PostButton->IsEnabled = false;
        CancelButton->IsEnabled = true;
    
        // Clear the previous response and start the progress ring.
        ResponseTextBlock->Text = "";
        ResponseProgressRing->IsActive = true;
    
        // Create a continuation that shows the results on the UI. 
        // The UI must be updated on the ASTA thread.  
        // Therefore, schedule the continuation to run on the current context.
        httpRequest.then([this](task<wstring> previousTask)
        {
            try
            {
                // 
                // Show the result on the UI.
    
                wstring response = previousTask.get();
                if (m_httpRequest.GetStatusCode() == 200)
                {
                    // The request succeeded. Show the response.
                    ResponseTextBlock->Text = ref new String(response.c_str());
                }
                else
                {
                    // The request failed. Show the status code and reason.
                    wstringstream ss;
                    ss << L"The server returned "
                       << m_httpRequest.GetStatusCode()
                       << L" ("
                       << m_httpRequest.GetReasonPhrase()
                       << L')';
                    ResponseTextBlock->Text = ref new String(ss.str().c_str());
                }
            }
            catch (const task_canceled&)
            {
                // Indicate that the operation was canceled.
                ResponseTextBlock->Text = "The operation was canceled";
            }
            catch (Exception^ e)
            {
                // Indicate that the operation failed.
                ResponseTextBlock->Text = "The operation failed";
    
                // TODO: Handle the error further.
                (void)e;
            }
    
            // Enable the Get and Post buttons.
            GetButton->IsEnabled = true;
            PostButton->IsEnabled = true;
            CancelButton->IsEnabled = false;
    
            // Stop the progress ring.
            ResponseProgressRing->IsActive = false;
    
        }, task_continuation_context::use_current());
    }
    
  8. In the project properties, under Linker, Input, specify shcore.lib and msxml6.lib.

Here is the running app:

The running Windows Store app
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