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Specifying the Range Header for File Service Operations

Updated: February 26, 2015

Some File service GET operations support the use of the standard HTTP Range header. Many HTTP clients, including the .NET client library, limit the size of the Range header to a 32-bit integer, and thus its value is limited to a maximum of 4 GB. Since files can be larger than 4 GB in size, the File service accepts a custom range header x-ms-range for any operation that takes an HTTP Range header.

Some HTTP clients, including the Microsoft Silverlight library, limit access to the Range header altogether. The x-ms-range header can be used to circumvent these limitations as well.

If the x-ms-range header is specified on a request, then the service uses the range specified by x-ms-range; otherwise, the range specified by the Range header is used.

The File service accepts two byte ranges for the Range and x-ms-range headers. The byte range must adhere to either of the following formats for the headers:

  • bytes=startByte-

  • bytes=startByte-endByte

This range will return bytes from the offset startByte through the end of the file. For example, to specify a range encompassing all bytes after the first 256 bytes of a file, you can pass in either of the following headers:

  • Range: bytes=255-

  • x-ms-range: bytes=255-

The Content-Length header in the response is equal to the number of bytes from the offset until the end of the file. Using the example range above for a file of 1,024 bytes in length, Content-Length would be 756.

If the offset is valid and does not exceed the file’s total length, the request will return an status code 206 (Partial Content). If the offset is invalid and exceeds the file’s total length, the request will return status code 416 (Requested Range Not Satisfiable).

This range will return bytes from the offset startByte through endByte. For example, to specify a range encompassing the first 512 bytes of a file, you would pass in either of the following headers:

  • Range: bytes=0-511

  • x-ms-range: bytes=0-511

The Content-Length header in the response is equal to the number of bytes between each offset. Using the example range above for a file of 1,024 bytes in length, Content-Length would be 512.

If the offset is valid and does not exceed the file’s total length, the request will return an status code 206 (Partial Content). If the offset is invalid and exceeds the file’s total length, the request will return status code 416 (Requested Range Not Satisfiable).

See Also

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