Tutorial: Create a web API with ASP.NET Core

By Rick Anderson, Kirk Larkin, and Mike Wasson

This tutorial teaches the basics of building a web API with ASP.NET Core.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a web API project.
  • Add a model class and a database context.
  • Scaffold a controller with CRUD methods.
  • Configure routing, URL paths, and return values.
  • Call the web API with Postman.

At the end, you have a web API that can manage "to-do" items stored in a database.

Overview

This tutorial creates the following API:

API Description Request body Response body
GET /api/TodoItems Get all to-do items None Array of to-do items
GET /api/TodoItems/{id} Get an item by ID None To-do item
POST /api/TodoItems Add a new item To-do item To-do item
PUT /api/TodoItems/{id} Update an existing item   To-do item None
DELETE /api/TodoItems/{id}     Delete an item     None None

The following diagram shows the design of the app.

The client is represented by a box on the left. It submits a request and receives a response from the application, a box drawn on the right. Within the application box, three boxes represent the controller, the model, and the data access layer. The request comes into the application's controller, and read/write operations occur between the controller and the data access layer. The model is serialized and returned to the client in the response.

Prerequisites

Create a web project

  • From the File menu, select New > Project.
  • Select the ASP.NET Core Web Application template and click Next.
  • Name the project TodoApi and click Create.
  • In the Create a new ASP.NET Core Web Application dialog, confirm that .NET Core and ASP.NET Core 5.0 are selected. Select the API template and click Create.

VS new project dialog

Test the project

The project template creates a WeatherForecast API with support for Swagger.

Press Ctrl+F5 to run without the debugger.

Visual Studio displays the following dialog:

This project is configured to use SSL. To avoid SSL warnings in the browser you can choose to trust the self-signed certificate that IIS Express has generated. Would you like to trust the IIS Express SSL certificate?

Select Yes if you trust the IIS Express SSL certificate.

The following dialog is displayed:

Security warning dialog

Select Yes if you agree to trust the development certificate.

Visual Studio launches:

  • The IIS Express web server.
  • The default browser and navigates to https://localhost:<port>/https://localhost:5001/swagger/index.html, where <port> is a randomly chosen port number.

The Swagger page /swagger/index.html is displayed. Select GET > Try it out > Execute. The page displays:

  • The Curl command to test the WeatherForecast API.
  • The URL to test the WeatherForecast API.
  • The response code, body, and headers.
  • A drop down list box with media types and the example value and schema.

Swagger is used to generate useful documentation and help pages for web APIs. This tutorial focuses on creating a web API. For more information on Swagger, see ASP.NET Core Web API help pages with Swagger / OpenAPI.

Copy and past the Request URL in the browser: https://localhost:<port>/WeatherForecast

JSON similar to the following is returned:

[
    {
        "date": "2019-07-16T19:04:05.7257911-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 52,
        "temperatureF": 125,
        "summary": "Mild"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-17T19:04:05.7258461-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 36,
        "temperatureF": 96,
        "summary": "Warm"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-18T19:04:05.7258467-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 39,
        "temperatureF": 102,
        "summary": "Cool"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-19T19:04:05.7258471-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 10,
        "temperatureF": 49,
        "summary": "Bracing"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-20T19:04:05.7258474-06:00",
        "temperatureC": -1,
        "temperatureF": 31,
        "summary": "Chilly"
    }
]

Update the launchUrl

In Properties\launchSettings.json, update launchUrl from "swagger" to "api/TodoItems":

"launchUrl": "api/TodoItems",

Because Swagger has been removed, the preceding markup changes the URL that is launched to the GET method of the controller added in the following sections.

Add a model class

A model is a set of classes that represent the data that the app manages. The model for this app is a single TodoItem class.

  • In Solution Explorer, right-click the project. Select Add > New Folder. Name the folder Models.

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoItem and select Add.

  • Replace the template code with the following:

namespace TodoApi.Models
{
    public class TodoItem
    {
        public long Id { get; set; }
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
    }
}

The Id property functions as the unique key in a relational database.

Model classes can go anywhere in the project, but the Models folder is used by convention.

Add a database context

The database context is the main class that coordinates Entity Framework functionality for a data model. This class is created by deriving from the Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.DbContext class.

Add NuGet packages

  • From the Tools menu, select NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solution.
  • Select the Browse tab, and then enter **Microsoft. EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer in the search box.
  • Select the Include prerelease checkbox so the 5.0 RC version is available.
  • Select Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer in the left pane.
  • Select the Project check box in the right pane and then select Install.
  • Use the preceding instructions to add the Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.InMemory NuGet package.

NuGet Package Manager

Add the TodoContext database context

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoContext and click Add.
  • Enter the following code:

    using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
    
    namespace TodoApi.Models
    {
        public class TodoContext : DbContext
        {
            public TodoContext(DbContextOptions<TodoContext> options)
                : base(options)
            {
            }
    
            public DbSet<TodoItem> TodoItems { get; set; }
        }
    }
    

Register the database context

In ASP.NET Core, services such as the DB context must be registered with the dependency injection (DI) container. The container provides the service to controllers.

Update Startup.cs with the following code:

// Unused usings removed
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
using TodoApi.Models;

namespace TodoApi
{
    public class Startup
    {
        public Startup(IConfiguration configuration)
        {
            Configuration = configuration;
        }

        public IConfiguration Configuration { get; }

        public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
        {
            services.AddDbContext<TodoContext>(opt =>
                                               opt.UseInMemoryDatabase("TodoList"));
            services.AddControllers();
        }

        public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
        {
            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
            }

            app.UseHttpsRedirection();
            app.UseRouting();

            app.UseAuthorization();

            app.UseEndpoints(endpoints =>
            {
                endpoints.MapControllers();
            });
        }
    }
}

The preceding code:

  • Removes the Swagger calls.
  • Removes unused using declarations.
  • Adds the database context to the DI container.
  • Specifies that the database context will use an in-memory database.

Scaffold a controller

  • Right-click the Controllers folder.

  • Select Add > New Scaffolded Item.

  • Select API Controller with actions, using Entity Framework, and then select Add.

  • In the Add API Controller with actions, using Entity Framework dialog:

    • Select TodoItem (TodoApi.Models) in the Model class.
    • Select TodoContext (TodoApi.Models) in the Data context class.
    • Select Add.

The generated code:

  • Marks the class with the [ApiController] attribute. This attribute indicates that the controller responds to web API requests. For information about specific behaviors that the attribute enables, see Create web APIs with ASP.NET Core.
  • Uses DI to inject the database context (TodoContext) into the controller. The database context is used in each of the CRUD methods in the controller.

The ASP.NET Core templates for:

  • Controllers with views include [action] in the route template.
  • API controllers don't include [action] in the route template.

When the [action] token isn't in the route template, the action name is excluded from the route. That is, the action's associated method name isn't used in the matching route.

Update the PostTodoItem create method

Replace the return statement in the PostTodoItem to use the nameof operator:

// POST: api/TodoItems
[HttpPost]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> PostTodoItem(TodoItem todoItem)
{
    _context.TodoItems.Add(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    //return CreatedAtAction("GetTodoItem", new { id = todoItem.Id }, todoItem);
    return CreatedAtAction(nameof(GetTodoItem), new { id = todoItem.Id }, todoItem);
}

The preceding code is an HTTP POST method, as indicated by the [HttpPost] attribute. The method gets the value of the to-do item from the body of the HTTP request.

For more information, see Attribute routing with Http[Verb] attributes.

The CreatedAtAction method:

  • Returns an HTTP 201 status code if successful. HTTP 201 is the standard response for an HTTP POST method that creates a new resource on the server.
  • Adds a Location header to the response. The Location header specifies the URI of the newly created to-do item. For more information, see 10.2.2 201 Created.
  • References the GetTodoItem action to create the Location header's URI. The C# nameof keyword is used to avoid hard-coding the action name in the CreatedAtAction call.

Install Postman

This tutorial uses Postman to test the web API.

  • Install Postman
  • Start the web app.
  • Start Postman.
  • Disable SSL certificate verification
    • From File > Settings (General tab), disable SSL certificate verification.

      Warning

      Re-enable SSL certificate verification after testing the controller.

Test PostTodoItem with Postman

  • Create a new request.

  • Set the HTTP method to POST.

  • Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems.

  • Select the Body tab.

  • Select the raw radio button.

  • Set the type to JSON (application/json).

  • In the request body enter JSON for a to-do item:

    {
      "name":"walk dog",
      "isComplete":true
    }
    
  • Select Send.

    Postman with create request

Test the location header URI

The location header URI can be tested in the browser. Copy and paste the location header URI into the browser.

To test in Postman:

  • Select the Headers tab in the Response pane.

  • Copy the Location header value:

    Headers tab of the Postman console

  • Set the HTTP method to GET.

  • Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems/1. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1.

  • Select Send.

Examine the GET methods

Two GET endpoints are implemented:

  • GET /api/TodoItems
  • GET /api/TodoItems/{id}

Test the app by calling the two endpoints from a browser or Postman. For example:

  • https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems
  • https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1

A response similar to the following is produced by the call to GetTodoItems:

[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Item1",
    "isComplete": false
  }
]

Test Get with Postman

  • Create a new request.
  • Set the HTTP method to GET.
  • Set the request URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems.
  • Set Two pane view in Postman.
  • Select Send.

This app uses an in-memory database. If the app is stopped and started, the preceding GET request will not return any data. If no data is returned, POST data to the app.

Routing and URL paths

The [HttpGet] attribute denotes a method that responds to an HTTP GET request. The URL path for each method is constructed as follows:

  • Start with the template string in the controller's Route attribute:

    [Route("api/[controller]")]
    [ApiController]
    public class TodoItemsController : ControllerBase
    {
        private readonly TodoContext _context;
    
        public TodoItemsController(TodoContext context)
        {
            _context = context;
        }
    
  • Replace [controller] with the name of the controller, which by convention is the controller class name minus the "Controller" suffix. For this sample, the controller class name is TodoItemsController, so the controller name is "TodoItems". ASP.NET Core routing is case insensitive.

  • If the [HttpGet] attribute has a route template (for example, [HttpGet("products")]), append that to the path. This sample doesn't use a template. For more information, see Attribute routing with Http[Verb] attributes.

In the following GetTodoItem method, "{id}" is a placeholder variable for the unique identifier of the to-do item. When GetTodoItem is invoked, the value of "{id}" in the URL is provided to the method in its id parameter.

// GET: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> GetTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return todoItem;
}

Return values

The return type of the GetTodoItems and GetTodoItem methods is ActionResult<T> type. ASP.NET Core automatically serializes the object to JSON and writes the JSON into the body of the response message. The response code for this return type is 200 OK, assuming there are no unhandled exceptions. Unhandled exceptions are translated into 5xx errors.

ActionResult return types can represent a wide range of HTTP status codes. For example, GetTodoItem can return two different status values:

  • If no item matches the requested ID, the method returns a 404 status NotFound error code.
  • Otherwise, the method returns 200 with a JSON response body. Returning item results in an HTTP 200 response.

The PutTodoItem method

Examine the PutTodoItem method:

// PUT: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpPut("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> PutTodoItem(long id, TodoItem todoItem)
{
    if (id != todoItem.Id)
    {
        return BadRequest();
    }

    _context.Entry(todoItem).State = EntityState.Modified;

    try
    {
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync();
    }
    catch (DbUpdateConcurrencyException)
    {
        if (!TodoItemExists(id))
        {
            return NotFound();
        }
        else
        {
            throw;
        }
    }

    return NoContent();
}

PutTodoItem is similar to PostTodoItem, except it uses HTTP PUT. The response is 204 (No Content). According to the HTTP specification, a PUT request requires the client to send the entire updated entity, not just the changes. To support partial updates, use HTTP PATCH.

If you get an error calling PutTodoItem, call GET to ensure there's an item in the database.

Test the PutTodoItem method

This sample uses an in-memory database that must be initialized each time the app is started. There must be an item in the database before you make a PUT call. Call GET to ensure there's an item in the database before making a PUT call.

Update the to-do item that has Id = 1 and set its name to "feed fish":

  {
    "Id":1,
    "name":"feed fish",
    "isComplete":true
  }

The following image shows the Postman update:

Postman console showing 204 (No Content) response

The DeleteTodoItem method

Examine the DeleteTodoItem method:

// DELETE: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpDelete("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> DeleteTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);
    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    _context.TodoItems.Remove(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return NoContent();
}

Test the DeleteTodoItem method

Use Postman to delete a to-do item:

  • Set the method to DELETE.
  • Set the URI of the object to delete (for example https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1).
  • Select Send.

Prevent over-posting

Currently the sample app exposes the entire TodoItem object. Production apps typically limit the data that's input and returned using a subset of the model. There are multiple reasons behind this and security is a major one. The subset of a model is usually referred to as a Data Transfer Object (DTO), input model, or view model. DTO is used in this article.

A DTO may be used to:

  • Prevent over-posting.
  • Hide properties that clients are not supposed to view.
  • Omit some properties in order to reduce payload size.
  • Flatten object graphs that contain nested objects. Flattened object graphs can be more convenient for clients.

To demonstrate the DTO approach, update the TodoItem class to include a secret field:

namespace TodoApi.Models
{
    public class TodoItem
    {
        public long Id { get; set; }
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
        public string Secret { get; set; }
    }
}

The secret field needs to be hidden from this app, but an administrative app could choose to expose it.

Verify you can post and get the secret field.

Create a DTO model:

public class TodoItemDTO
{
    public long Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
}

Update the TodoItemsController to use TodoItemDTO:

// GET: api/TodoItems
[HttpGet]
public async Task<ActionResult<IEnumerable<TodoItemDTO>>> GetTodoItems()
{
    return await _context.TodoItems
        .Select(x => ItemToDTO(x))
        .ToListAsync();
}

[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItemDTO>> GetTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return ItemToDTO(todoItem);
}

[HttpPut("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> UpdateTodoItem(long id, TodoItemDTO todoItemDTO)
{
    if (id != todoItemDTO.Id)
    {
        return BadRequest();
    }

    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);
    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    todoItem.Name = todoItemDTO.Name;
    todoItem.IsComplete = todoItemDTO.IsComplete;

    try
    {
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync();
    }
    catch (DbUpdateConcurrencyException) when (!TodoItemExists(id))
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return NoContent();
}

[HttpPost]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItemDTO>> CreateTodoItem(TodoItemDTO todoItemDTO)
{
    var todoItem = new TodoItem
    {
        IsComplete = todoItemDTO.IsComplete,
        Name = todoItemDTO.Name
    };

    _context.TodoItems.Add(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return CreatedAtAction(
        nameof(GetTodoItem),
        new { id = todoItem.Id },
        ItemToDTO(todoItem));
}

[HttpDelete("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> DeleteTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    _context.TodoItems.Remove(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return NoContent();
}

private bool TodoItemExists(long id) =>
     _context.TodoItems.Any(e => e.Id == id);

private static TodoItemDTO ItemToDTO(TodoItem todoItem) =>
    new TodoItemDTO
    {
        Id = todoItem.Id,
        Name = todoItem.Name,
        IsComplete = todoItem.IsComplete
    };

Verify you can't post or get the secret field.

Call the web API with JavaScript

See Tutorial: Call an ASP.NET Core web API with JavaScript.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a web API project.
  • Add a model class and a database context.
  • Scaffold a controller with CRUD methods.
  • Configure routing, URL paths, and return values.
  • Call the web API with Postman.

At the end, you have a web API that can manage "to-do" items stored in a database.

Overview

This tutorial creates the following API:

API Description Request body Response body
GET /api/TodoItems Get all to-do items None Array of to-do items
GET /api/TodoItems/{id} Get an item by ID None To-do item
POST /api/TodoItems Add a new item To-do item To-do item
PUT /api/TodoItems/{id} Update an existing item   To-do item None
DELETE /api/TodoItems/{id}     Delete an item     None None

The following diagram shows the design of the app.

The client is represented by a box on the left. It submits a request and receives a response from the application, a box drawn on the right. Within the application box, three boxes represent the controller, the model, and the data access layer. The request comes into the application's controller, and read/write operations occur between the controller and the data access layer. The model is serialized and returned to the client in the response.

Prerequisites

Create a web project

  • From the File menu, select New > Project.
  • Select the ASP.NET Core Web Application template and click Next.
  • Name the project TodoApi and click Create.
  • In the Create a new ASP.NET Core Web Application dialog, confirm that .NET Core and ASP.NET Core 3.1 are selected. Select the API template and click Create.

VS new project dialog

Test the API

The project template creates a WeatherForecast API. Call the Get method from a browser to test the app.

Press Ctrl+F5 to run the app. Visual Studio launches a browser and navigates to https://localhost:<port>/WeatherForecast, where <port> is a randomly chosen port number.

If you get a dialog box that asks if you should trust the IIS Express certificate, select Yes. In the Security Warning dialog that appears next, select Yes.

JSON similar to the following is returned:

[
    {
        "date": "2019-07-16T19:04:05.7257911-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 52,
        "temperatureF": 125,
        "summary": "Mild"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-17T19:04:05.7258461-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 36,
        "temperatureF": 96,
        "summary": "Warm"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-18T19:04:05.7258467-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 39,
        "temperatureF": 102,
        "summary": "Cool"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-19T19:04:05.7258471-06:00",
        "temperatureC": 10,
        "temperatureF": 49,
        "summary": "Bracing"
    },
    {
        "date": "2019-07-20T19:04:05.7258474-06:00",
        "temperatureC": -1,
        "temperatureF": 31,
        "summary": "Chilly"
    }
]

Add a model class

A model is a set of classes that represent the data that the app manages. The model for this app is a single TodoItem class.

  • In Solution Explorer, right-click the project. Select Add > New Folder. Name the folder Models.

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoItem and select Add.

  • Replace the template code with the following code:

public class TodoItem
{
    public long Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
}

The Id property functions as the unique key in a relational database.

Model classes can go anywhere in the project, but the Models folder is used by convention.

Add a database context

The database context is the main class that coordinates Entity Framework functionality for a data model. This class is created by deriving from the Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.DbContext class.

Add NuGet packages

  • From the Tools menu, select NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solution.
  • Select the Browse tab, and then enter Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer in the search box.
  • Select Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.SqlServer in the left pane.
  • Select the Project check box in the right pane and then select Install.
  • Use the preceding instructions to add the Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.InMemory NuGet package.

NuGet Package Manager

Add the TodoContext database context

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoContext and click Add.
  • Enter the following code:

    using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
    
    namespace TodoApi.Models
    {
        public class TodoContext : DbContext
        {
            public TodoContext(DbContextOptions<TodoContext> options)
                : base(options)
            {
            }
    
            public DbSet<TodoItem> TodoItems { get; set; }
        }
    }
    

Register the database context

In ASP.NET Core, services such as the DB context must be registered with the dependency injection (DI) container. The container provides the service to controllers.

Update Startup.cs with the following highlighted code:

// Unused usings removed
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
using TodoApi.Models;

namespace TodoApi
{
    public class Startup
    {
        public Startup(IConfiguration configuration)
        {
            Configuration = configuration;
        }

        public IConfiguration Configuration { get; }

        public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
        {
            services.AddDbContext<TodoContext>(opt =>
               opt.UseInMemoryDatabase("TodoList"));
            services.AddControllers();
        }

        public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
        {
            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
            }

            app.UseHttpsRedirection();

            app.UseRouting();

            app.UseAuthorization();

            app.UseEndpoints(endpoints =>
            {
                endpoints.MapControllers();
            });
        }
    }
}

The preceding code:

  • Removes unused using declarations.
  • Adds the database context to the DI container.
  • Specifies that the database context will use an in-memory database.

Scaffold a controller

  • Right-click the Controllers folder.

  • Select Add > New Scaffolded Item.

  • Select API Controller with actions, using Entity Framework, and then select Add.

  • In the Add API Controller with actions, using Entity Framework dialog:

    • Select TodoItem (TodoApi.Models) in the Model class.
    • Select TodoContext (TodoApi.Models) in the Data context class.
    • Select Add.

The generated code:

  • Marks the class with the [ApiController] attribute. This attribute indicates that the controller responds to web API requests. For information about specific behaviors that the attribute enables, see Create web APIs with ASP.NET Core.
  • Uses DI to inject the database context (TodoContext) into the controller. The database context is used in each of the CRUD methods in the controller.

The ASP.NET Core templates for:

  • Controllers with views include [action] in the route template.
  • API controllers don't include [action] in the route template.

When the [action] token isn't in the route template, the action name is excluded from the route. That is, the action's associated method name isn't used in the matching route.

Examine the PostTodoItem create method

Replace the return statement in the PostTodoItem to use the nameof operator:

// POST: api/TodoItems
[HttpPost]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> PostTodoItem(TodoItem todoItem)
{
    _context.TodoItems.Add(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    //return CreatedAtAction("GetTodoItem", new { id = todoItem.Id }, todoItem);
    return CreatedAtAction(nameof(GetTodoItem), new { id = todoItem.Id }, todoItem);
}

The preceding code is an HTTP POST method, as indicated by the [HttpPost] attribute. The method gets the value of the to-do item from the body of the HTTP request.

For more information, see Attribute routing with Http[Verb] attributes.

The CreatedAtAction method:

  • Returns an HTTP 201 status code if successful. HTTP 201 is the standard response for an HTTP POST method that creates a new resource on the server.
  • Adds a Location header to the response. The Location header specifies the URI of the newly created to-do item. For more information, see 10.2.2 201 Created.
  • References the GetTodoItem action to create the Location header's URI. The C# nameof keyword is used to avoid hard-coding the action name in the CreatedAtAction call.

Install Postman

This tutorial uses Postman to test the web API.

  • Install Postman
  • Start the web app.
  • Start Postman.
  • Disable SSL certificate verification
    • From File > Settings (General tab), disable SSL certificate verification.

      Warning

      Re-enable SSL certificate verification after testing the controller.

Test PostTodoItem with Postman

  • Create a new request.

  • Set the HTTP method to POST.

  • Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems.

  • Select the Body tab.

  • Select the raw radio button.

  • Set the type to JSON (application/json).

  • In the request body enter JSON for a to-do item:

    {
      "name":"walk dog",
      "isComplete":true
    }
    
  • Select Send.

    Postman with create request

Test the location header URI with Postman

  • Select the Headers tab in the Response pane.

  • Copy the Location header value:

    Headers tab of the Postman console

  • Set the HTTP method to GET.

  • Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems/1. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1.

  • Select Send.

Examine the GET methods

These methods implement two GET endpoints:

  • GET /api/TodoItems
  • GET /api/TodoItems/{id}

Test the app by calling the two endpoints from a browser or Postman. For example:

  • https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems
  • https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1

A response similar to the following is produced by the call to GetTodoItems:

[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Item1",
    "isComplete": false
  }
]

Test Get with Postman

  • Create a new request.
  • Set the HTTP method to GET.
  • Set the request URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems.
  • Set Two pane view in Postman.
  • Select Send.

This app uses an in-memory database. If the app is stopped and started, the preceding GET request will not return any data. If no data is returned, POST data to the app.

Routing and URL paths

The [HttpGet] attribute denotes a method that responds to an HTTP GET request. The URL path for each method is constructed as follows:

  • Start with the template string in the controller's Route attribute:

    [Route("api/[controller]")]
    [ApiController]
    public class TodoItemsController : ControllerBase
    {
        private readonly TodoContext _context;
    
        public TodoItemsController(TodoContext context)
        {
            _context = context;
        }
    
  • Replace [controller] with the name of the controller, which by convention is the controller class name minus the "Controller" suffix. For this sample, the controller class name is TodoItemsController, so the controller name is "TodoItems". ASP.NET Core routing is case insensitive.

  • If the [HttpGet] attribute has a route template (for example, [HttpGet("products")]), append that to the path. This sample doesn't use a template. For more information, see Attribute routing with Http[Verb] attributes.

In the following GetTodoItem method, "{id}" is a placeholder variable for the unique identifier of the to-do item. When GetTodoItem is invoked, the value of "{id}" in the URL is provided to the method in its id parameter.

// GET: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> GetTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return todoItem;
}

Return values

The return type of the GetTodoItems and GetTodoItem methods is ActionResult<T> type. ASP.NET Core automatically serializes the object to JSON and writes the JSON into the body of the response message. The response code for this return type is 200, assuming there are no unhandled exceptions. Unhandled exceptions are translated into 5xx errors.

ActionResult return types can represent a wide range of HTTP status codes. For example, GetTodoItem can return two different status values:

  • If no item matches the requested ID, the method returns a 404 NotFound error code.
  • Otherwise, the method returns 200 with a JSON response body. Returning item results in an HTTP 200 response.

The PutTodoItem method

Examine the PutTodoItem method:

// PUT: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpPut("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> PutTodoItem(long id, TodoItem todoItem)
{
    if (id != todoItem.Id)
    {
        return BadRequest();
    }

    _context.Entry(todoItem).State = EntityState.Modified;

    try
    {
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync();
    }
    catch (DbUpdateConcurrencyException)
    {
        if (!TodoItemExists(id))
        {
            return NotFound();
        }
        else
        {
            throw;
        }
    }

    return NoContent();
}

PutTodoItem is similar to PostTodoItem, except it uses HTTP PUT. The response is 204 (No Content). According to the HTTP specification, a PUT request requires the client to send the entire updated entity, not just the changes. To support partial updates, use HTTP PATCH.

If you get an error calling PutTodoItem, call GET to ensure there's an item in the database.

Test the PutTodoItem method

This sample uses an in-memory database that must be initialized each time the app is started. There must be an item in the database before you make a PUT call. Call GET to ensure there's an item in the database before making a PUT call.

Update the to-do item that has Id = 1 and set its name to "feed fish":

  {
    "id":1,
    "name":"feed fish",
    "isComplete":true
  }

The following image shows the Postman update:

Postman console showing 204 (No Content) response

The DeleteTodoItem method

Examine the DeleteTodoItem method:

// DELETE: api/TodoItems/5
[HttpDelete("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> DeleteTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);
    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    _context.TodoItems.Remove(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return todoItem;
}

Test the DeleteTodoItem method

Use Postman to delete a to-do item:

  • Set the method to DELETE.
  • Set the URI of the object to delete (for example https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/1).
  • Select Send.

Prevent over-posting

Currently the sample app exposes the entire TodoItem object. Production apps typically limit the data that's input and returned using a subset of the model. There are multiple reasons behind this and security is a major one. The subset of a model is usually referred to as a Data Transfer Object (DTO), input model, or view model. DTO is used in this article.

A DTO may be used to:

  • Prevent over-posting.
  • Hide properties that clients are not supposed to view.
  • Omit some properties in order to reduce payload size.
  • Flatten object graphs that contain nested objects. Flattened object graphs can be more convenient for clients.

To demonstrate the DTO approach, update the TodoItem class to include a secret field:

public class TodoItem
{
    public long Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
    public string Secret { get; set; }
}

The secret field needs to be hidden from this app, but an administrative app could choose to expose it.

Verify you can post and get the secret field.

Create a DTO model:

public class TodoItemDTO
{
    public long Id { get; set; }
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
}

Update the TodoItemsController to use TodoItemDTO:

    [HttpGet]
    public async Task<ActionResult<IEnumerable<TodoItemDTO>>> GetTodoItems()
    {
        return await _context.TodoItems
            .Select(x => ItemToDTO(x))
            .ToListAsync();
    }

    [HttpGet("{id}")]
    public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItemDTO>> GetTodoItem(long id)
    {
        var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

        if (todoItem == null)
        {
            return NotFound();
        }

        return ItemToDTO(todoItem);
    }

    [HttpPut("{id}")]
    public async Task<IActionResult> UpdateTodoItem(long id, TodoItemDTO todoItemDTO)
    {
        if (id != todoItemDTO.Id)
        {
            return BadRequest();
        }

        var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);
        if (todoItem == null)
        {
            return NotFound();
        }

        todoItem.Name = todoItemDTO.Name;
        todoItem.IsComplete = todoItemDTO.IsComplete;

        try
        {
            await _context.SaveChangesAsync();
        }
        catch (DbUpdateConcurrencyException) when (!TodoItemExists(id))
        {
            return NotFound();
        }

        return NoContent();
    }

    [HttpPost]
    public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItemDTO>> CreateTodoItem(TodoItemDTO todoItemDTO)
    {
        var todoItem = new TodoItem
        {
            IsComplete = todoItemDTO.IsComplete,
            Name = todoItemDTO.Name
        };

        _context.TodoItems.Add(todoItem);
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

        return CreatedAtAction(
            nameof(GetTodoItem),
            new { id = todoItem.Id },
            ItemToDTO(todoItem));
    }

    [HttpDelete("{id}")]
    public async Task<IActionResult> DeleteTodoItem(long id)
    {
        var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

        if (todoItem == null)
        {
            return NotFound();
        }

        _context.TodoItems.Remove(todoItem);
        await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

        return NoContent();
    }

    private bool TodoItemExists(long id) =>
         _context.TodoItems.Any(e => e.Id == id);

    private static TodoItemDTO ItemToDTO(TodoItem todoItem) =>
        new TodoItemDTO
        {
            Id = todoItem.Id,
            Name = todoItem.Name,
            IsComplete = todoItem.IsComplete
        };       
}

Verify you can't post or get the secret field.

Call the web API with JavaScript

See Tutorial: Call an ASP.NET Core web API with JavaScript.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a web API project.
  • Add a model class and a database context.
  • Add a controller.
  • Add CRUD methods.
  • Configure routing and URL paths.
  • Specify return values.
  • Call the web API with Postman.
  • Call the web API with JavaScript.

At the end, you have a web API that can manage "to-do" items stored in a relational database.

Overview 2.1

This tutorial creates the following API:

API Description Request body Response body
GET /api/TodoItems Get all to-do items None Array of to-do items
GET /api/TodoItems/{id} Get an item by ID None To-do item
POST /api/TodoItems Add a new item To-do item To-do item
PUT /api/TodoItems/{id} Update an existing item   To-do item None
DELETE /api/TodoItems/{id}     Delete an item     None None

The following diagram shows the design of the app.

The client is represented by a box on the left. It submits a request and receives a response from the application, a box drawn on the right. Within the application box, three boxes represent the controller, the model, and the data access layer. The request comes into the application's controller, and read/write operations occur between the controller and the data access layer. The model is serialized and returned to the client in the response.

Prerequisites 2.1

Warning

If you use Visual Studio 2017, see dotnet/sdk issue #3124 for information about .NET Core SDK versions that don't work with Visual Studio.

Create a web project 2.1

  • From the File menu, select New > Project.
  • Select the ASP.NET Core Web Application template and click Next.
  • Name the project TodoApi and click Create.
  • In the Create a new ASP.NET Core Web Application dialog, confirm that .NET Core and ASP.NET Core 2.2 are selected. Select the API template and click Create. Don't select Enable Docker Support.

VS new project dialog

Test the API 2.1

The project template creates a values API. Call the Get method from a browser to test the app.

Press Ctrl+F5 to run the app. Visual Studio launches a browser and navigates to https://localhost:<port>/api/values, where <port> is a randomly chosen port number.

If you get a dialog box that asks if you should trust the IIS Express certificate, select Yes. In the Security Warning dialog that appears next, select Yes.

The following JSON is returned:

["value1","value2"]

Add a model class 2.1

A model is a set of classes that represent the data that the app manages. The model for this app is a single TodoItem class.

  • In Solution Explorer, right-click the project. Select Add > New Folder. Name the folder Models.

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoItem and select Add.

  • Replace the template code with the following code:

namespace TodoApi.Models
{
    public class TodoItem
    {
        public long Id { get; set; }
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public bool IsComplete { get; set; }
    }
}

The Id property functions as the unique key in a relational database.

Model classes can go anywhere in the project, but the Models folder is used by convention.

Add a database context 2.1

The database context is the main class that coordinates Entity Framework functionality for a data model. This class is created by deriving from the Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore.DbContext class.

  • Right-click the Models folder and select Add > Class. Name the class TodoContext and click Add.
  • Replace the template code with the following code:

    using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
    
    namespace TodoApi.Models
    {
        public class TodoContext : DbContext
        {
            public TodoContext(DbContextOptions<TodoContext> options)
                : base(options)
            {
            }
    
            public DbSet<TodoItem> TodoItems { get; set; }
        }
    }
    

Register the database context 2.1

In ASP.NET Core, services such as the DB context must be registered with the dependency injection (DI) container. The container provides the service to controllers.

Update Startup.cs with the following highlighted code:

// Unused usings removed
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using TodoApi.Models;

namespace TodoApi
{
    public class Startup
    {
        public Startup(IConfiguration configuration)
        {
            Configuration = configuration;
        }

        public IConfiguration Configuration { get; }

        // This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to add services to the 
        //container.
        public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)
        {
            services.AddDbContext<TodoContext>(opt =>
                opt.UseInMemoryDatabase("TodoList"));
            services.AddMvc().SetCompatibilityVersion(CompatibilityVersion.Version_2_2);
        }

        // This method gets called by the runtime. Use this method to configure the HTTP 
        //request pipeline.
        public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env)
        {
            if (env.IsDevelopment())
            {
                app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
            }
            else
            {
                // The default HSTS value is 30 days. You may want to change this for 
                // production scenarios, see https://aka.ms/aspnetcore-hsts.
                app.UseHsts();
            }

            app.UseHttpsRedirection();
            app.UseMvc();
        }
    }
}

The preceding code:

  • Removes unused using declarations.
  • Adds the database context to the DI container.
  • Specifies that the database context will use an in-memory database.

Add a controller 2.1

  • Right-click the Controllers folder.

  • Select Add > New Item.

  • In the Add New Item dialog, select the API Controller Class template.

  • Name the class TodoController, and select Add.

    Add new Item dialog with controller in search box and web api controller selected

  • Replace the template code with the following code:

    using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
    using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Threading.Tasks;
    using TodoApi.Models;
    
    namespace TodoApi.Controllers
    {
        [Route("api/[controller]")]
        [ApiController]
        public class TodoController : ControllerBase
        {
            private readonly TodoContext _context;
    
            public TodoController(TodoContext context)
            {
                _context = context;
    
                if (_context.TodoItems.Count() == 0)
                {
                    // Create a new TodoItem if collection is empty,
                    // which means you can't delete all TodoItems.
                    _context.TodoItems.Add(new TodoItem { Name = "Item1" });
                    _context.SaveChanges();
                }
            }
        }
    }
    

The preceding code:

  • Defines an API controller class without methods.
  • Marks the class with the [ApiController] attribute. This attribute indicates that the controller responds to web API requests. For information about specific behaviors that the attribute enables, see Create web APIs with ASP.NET Core.
  • Uses DI to inject the database context (TodoContext) into the controller. The database context is used in each of the CRUD methods in the controller.
  • Adds an item named Item1 to the database if the database is empty. This code is in the constructor, so it runs every time there's a new HTTP request. If you delete all items, the constructor creates Item1 again the next time an API method is called. So it may look like the deletion didn't work when it actually did work.

Add Get methods 2.1

To provide an API that retrieves to-do items, add the following methods to the TodoController class:

// GET: api/Todo
[HttpGet]
public async Task<ActionResult<IEnumerable<TodoItem>>> GetTodoItems()
{
    return await _context.TodoItems.ToListAsync();
}

// GET: api/Todo/5
[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> GetTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return todoItem;
}

These methods implement two GET endpoints:

  • GET /api/todo
  • GET /api/todo/{id}

Stop the app if it's still running. Then run it again to include the latest changes.

Test the app by calling the two endpoints from a browser. For example:

  • https://localhost:<port>/api/todo
  • https://localhost:<port>/api/todo/1

The following HTTP response is produced by the call to GetTodoItems:

[
  {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Item1",
    "isComplete": false
  }
]

Routing and URL paths 2.1

The [HttpGet] attribute denotes a method that responds to an HTTP GET request. The URL path for each method is constructed as follows:

  • Start with the template string in the controller's Route attribute:

    namespace TodoApi.Controllers
    {
        [Route("api/[controller]")]
        [ApiController]
        public class TodoController : ControllerBase
        {
            private readonly TodoContext _context;
    
  • Replace [controller] with the name of the controller, which by convention is the controller class name minus the "Controller" suffix. For this sample, the controller class name is TodoController, so the controller name is "todo". ASP.NET Core routing is case insensitive.

  • If the [HttpGet] attribute has a route template (for example, [HttpGet("products")]), append that to the path. This sample doesn't use a template. For more information, see Attribute routing with Http[Verb] attributes.

In the following GetTodoItem method, "{id}" is a placeholder variable for the unique identifier of the to-do item. When GetTodoItem is invoked, the value of "{id}" in the URL is provided to the method in itsid parameter.

// GET: api/Todo/5
[HttpGet("{id}")]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> GetTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    return todoItem;
}

Return values 2.1

The return type of the GetTodoItems and GetTodoItem methods is ActionResult<T> type. ASP.NET Core automatically serializes the object to JSON and writes the JSON into the body of the response message. The response code for this return type is 200, assuming there are no unhandled exceptions. Unhandled exceptions are translated into 5xx errors.

ActionResult return types can represent a wide range of HTTP status codes. For example, GetTodoItem can return two different status values:

  • If no item matches the requested ID, the method returns a 404 NotFound error code.
  • Otherwise, the method returns 200 with a JSON response body. Returning item results in an HTTP 200 response.

Test the GetTodoItems method 2.1

This tutorial uses Postman to test the web API.

  • Install Postman.
  • Start the web app.
  • Start Postman.
  • Disable SSL certificate verification.
  • From File > Settings (General tab), disable SSL certificate verification.

Warning

Re-enable SSL certificate verification after testing the controller.

  • Create a new request.
    • Set the HTTP method to GET.
    • Set the request URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/todo. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/todo.
  • Set Two pane view in Postman.
  • Select Send.

Postman with Get request

Add a Create method 2.1

Add the following PostTodoItem method inside of Controllers/TodoController.cs:

// POST: api/Todo
[HttpPost]
public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> PostTodoItem(TodoItem item)
{
    _context.TodoItems.Add(item);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return CreatedAtAction(nameof(GetTodoItem), new { id = item.Id }, item);
}

The preceding code is an HTTP POST method, as indicated by the [HttpPost] attribute. The method gets the value of the to-do item from the body of the HTTP request.

The CreatedAtAction method:

  • Returns an HTTP 201 status code, if successful. HTTP 201 is the standard response for an HTTP POST method that creates a new resource on the server.

  • Adds a Location header to the response. The Location header specifies the URI of the newly created to-do item. For more information, see 10.2.2 201 Created.

  • References the GetTodoItem action to create the Location header's URI. The C# nameof keyword is used to avoid hard-coding the action name in the CreatedAtAction call.

    // GET: api/Todo/5
    [HttpGet("{id}")]
    public async Task<ActionResult<TodoItem>> GetTodoItem(long id)
    {
        var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);
    
        if (todoItem == null)
        {
            return NotFound();
        }
    
        return todoItem;
    }
    

Test the PostTodoItem method 2.1

  • Build the project.

  • In Postman, set the HTTP method to POST.

  • Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItem. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItem.

  • Select the Body tab.

  • Select the raw radio button.

  • Set the type to JSON (application/json).

  • In the request body enter JSON for a to-do item:

    {
      "name":"walk dog",
      "isComplete":true
    }
    
  • Select Send.

    Postman with create request

    If you get a 405 Method Not Allowed error, it's probably the result of not compiling the project after adding the PostTodoItem method.

Test the location header URI 2.1

  • Select the Headers tab in the Response pane.

  • Copy the Location header value:

    Headers tab of the Postman console

  • Set the method to GET. * Set the URI to https://localhost:<port>/api/TodoItems/2. For example, https://localhost:5001/api/TodoItems/2.

  • Select Send.

Add a PutTodoItem method 2.1

Add the following PutTodoItem method:

// PUT: api/Todo/5
[HttpPut("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> PutTodoItem(long id, TodoItem item)
{
    if (id != item.Id)
    {
        return BadRequest();
    }

    _context.Entry(item).State = EntityState.Modified;
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return NoContent();
}

PutTodoItem is similar to PostTodoItem, except it uses HTTP PUT. The response is 204 (No Content). According to the HTTP specification, a PUT request requires the client to send the entire updated entity, not just the changes. To support partial updates, use HTTP PATCH.

If you get an error calling PutTodoItem, call GET to ensure there's an item in the database.

Test the PutTodoItem method 2.1

This sample uses an in-memory database that must be initialized each time the app is started. There must be an item in the database before you make a PUT call. Call GET to ensure there's an item in the database before making a PUT call.

Update the to-do item that has Id = 1 and set its name to "feed fish":

  {
    "id":1,
    "name":"feed fish",
    "isComplete":true
  }

The following image shows the Postman update:

Postman console showing 204 (No Content) response

Add a DeleteTodoItem method 2.1

Add the following DeleteTodoItem method:

// DELETE: api/Todo/5
[HttpDelete("{id}")]
public async Task<IActionResult> DeleteTodoItem(long id)
{
    var todoItem = await _context.TodoItems.FindAsync(id);

    if (todoItem == null)
    {
        return NotFound();
    }

    _context.TodoItems.Remove(todoItem);
    await _context.SaveChangesAsync();

    return NoContent();
}

The DeleteTodoItem response is 204 (No Content).

Test the DeleteTodoItem method 2.1

Use Postman to delete a to-do item:

  • Set the method to DELETE.
  • Set the URI of the object to delete (for example, https://localhost:5001/api/todo/1).
  • Select Send.

The sample app allows you to delete all the items. However, when the last item is deleted, a new one is created by the model class constructor the next time the API is called.

Call the web API with JavaScript 2.1

In this section, an HTML page is added that uses JavaScript to call the web API. jQuery initiates the request. JavaScript updates the page with the details from the web API's response.

Configure the app to serve static files and enable default file mapping by updating Startup.cs with the following highlighted code:

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env)
{
    if (env.IsDevelopment())
    {
        app.UseDeveloperExceptionPage();
    }
    else
    {
        // The default HSTS value is 30 days. You may want to change this for 
        // production scenarios, see https://aka.ms/aspnetcore-hsts.
        app.UseHsts();
    }

    app.UseDefaultFiles();
    app.UseStaticFiles();
    app.UseHttpsRedirection();
    app.UseMvc();
}

Create a wwwroot folder in the project directory.

Add an HTML file named index.html to the wwwroot directory. Replace its contents with the following markup:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>To-do CRUD</title>
    <style>
        input[type='submit'], button, [aria-label] {
            cursor: pointer;
        }

        #spoiler {
            display: none;
        }

        table {
            font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
            border: 1px solid;
            border-collapse: collapse;
        }

        th {
            background-color: #0066CC;
            color: white;
        }

        td {
            border: 1px solid;
            padding: 5px;
        }
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <h1>To-do CRUD</h1>
    <h3>Add</h3>
    <form action="javascript:void(0);" method="POST" onsubmit="addItem()">
        <input type="text" id="add-name" placeholder="New to-do">
        <input type="submit" value="Add">
    </form>

    <div id="spoiler">
        <h3>Edit</h3>
        <form class="my-form">
            <input type="hidden" id="edit-id">
            <input type="checkbox" id="edit-isComplete">
            <input type="text" id="edit-name">
            <input type="submit" value="Save">
            <a onclick="closeInput()" aria-label="Close">&#10006;</a>
        </form>
    </div>

    <p id="counter"></p>

    <table>
        <tr>
            <th>Is Complete</th>
            <th>Name</th>
            <th></th>
            <th></th>
        </tr>
        <tbody id="todos"></tbody>
    </table>

    <script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.3.1.min.js"
            integrity="sha256-FgpCb/KJQlLNfOu91ta32o/NMZxltwRo8QtmkMRdAu8="
            crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
    <script src="site.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

Add a JavaScript file named site.js to the wwwroot directory. Replace its contents with the following code:

const uri = "api/todo";
let todos = null;
function getCount(data) {
  const el = $("#counter");
  let name = "to-do";
  if (data) {
    if (data > 1) {
      name = "to-dos";
    }
    el.text(data + " " + name);
  } else {
    el.text("No " + name);
  }
}

$(document).ready(function() {
  getData();
});

function getData() {
  $.ajax({
    type: "GET",
    url: uri,
    cache: false,
    success: function(data) {
      const tBody = $("#todos");

      $(tBody).empty();

      getCount(data.length);

      $.each(data, function(key, item) {
        const tr = $("<tr></tr>")
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<input/>", {
                type: "checkbox",
                disabled: true,
                checked: item.isComplete
              })
            )
          )
          .append($("<td></td>").text(item.name))
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<button>Edit</button>").on("click", function() {
                editItem(item.id);
              })
            )
          )
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<button>Delete</button>").on("click", function() {
                deleteItem(item.id);
              })
            )
          );

        tr.appendTo(tBody);
      });

      todos = data;
    }
  });
}

function addItem() {
  const item = {
    name: $("#add-name").val(),
    isComplete: false
  };

  $.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    accepts: "application/json",
    url: uri,
    contentType: "application/json",
    data: JSON.stringify(item),
    error: function(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {
      alert("Something went wrong!");
    },
    success: function(result) {
      getData();
      $("#add-name").val("");
    }
  });
}

function deleteItem(id) {
  $.ajax({
    url: uri + "/" + id,
    type: "DELETE",
    success: function(result) {
      getData();
    }
  });
}

function editItem(id) {
  $.each(todos, function(key, item) {
    if (item.id === id) {
      $("#edit-name").val(item.name);
      $("#edit-id").val(item.id);
      $("#edit-isComplete")[0].checked = item.isComplete;
    }
  });
  $("#spoiler").css({ display: "block" });
}

$(".my-form").on("submit", function() {
  const item = {
    name: $("#edit-name").val(),
    isComplete: $("#edit-isComplete").is(":checked"),
    id: $("#edit-id").val()
  };

  $.ajax({
    url: uri + "/" + $("#edit-id").val(),
    type: "PUT",
    accepts: "application/json",
    contentType: "application/json",
    data: JSON.stringify(item),
    success: function(result) {
      getData();
    }
  });

  closeInput();
  return false;
});

function closeInput() {
  $("#spoiler").css({ display: "none" });
}

A change to the ASP.NET Core project's launch settings may be required to test the HTML page locally:

  • Open Properties\launchSettings.json.
  • Remove the launchUrl property to force the app to open at index.html—the project's default file.

This sample calls all of the CRUD methods of the web API. Following are explanations of the calls to the API.

Get a list of to-do items 2.1

jQuery sends an HTTP GET request to the web API, which returns JSON representing an array of to-do items. The success callback function is invoked if the request succeeds. In the callback, the DOM is updated with the to-do information.

$(document).ready(function() {
  getData();
});

function getData() {
  $.ajax({
    type: "GET",
    url: uri,
    cache: false,
    success: function(data) {
      const tBody = $("#todos");

      $(tBody).empty();

      getCount(data.length);

      $.each(data, function(key, item) {
        const tr = $("<tr></tr>")
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<input/>", {
                type: "checkbox",
                disabled: true,
                checked: item.isComplete
              })
            )
          )
          .append($("<td></td>").text(item.name))
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<button>Edit</button>").on("click", function() {
                editItem(item.id);
              })
            )
          )
          .append(
            $("<td></td>").append(
              $("<button>Delete</button>").on("click", function() {
                deleteItem(item.id);
              })
            )
          );

        tr.appendTo(tBody);
      });

      todos = data;
    }
  });
}

Add a to-do item 2.1

jQuery sends an HTTP POST request with the to-do item in the request body. The accepts and contentType options are set to application/json to specify the media type being received and sent. The to-do item is converted to JSON by using JSON.stringify. When the API returns a successful status code, the getData function is invoked to update the HTML table.

function addItem() {
  const item = {
    name: $("#add-name").val(),
    isComplete: false
  };

  $.ajax({
    type: "POST",
    accepts: "application/json",
    url: uri,
    contentType: "application/json",
    data: JSON.stringify(item),
    error: function(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {
      alert("Something went wrong!");
    },
    success: function(result) {
      getData();
      $("#add-name").val("");
    }
  });
}

Update a to-do item 2.1

Updating a to-do item is similar to adding one. The url changes to add the unique identifier of the item, and the type is PUT.

$.ajax({
  url: uri + "/" + $("#edit-id").val(),
  type: "PUT",
  accepts: "application/json",
  contentType: "application/json",
  data: JSON.stringify(item),
  success: function(result) {
    getData();
  }
});

Delete a to-do item 2.1

Deleting a to-do item is accomplished by setting the type on the AJAX call to DELETE and specifying the item's unique identifier in the URL.

$.ajax({
  url: uri + "/" + id,
  type: "DELETE",
  success: function(result) {
    getData();
  }
});

Add authentication support to a web API 2.1

ASP.NET Core Identity adds user interface (UI) login functionality to ASP.NET Core web apps. To secure web APIs and SPAs, use one of the following:

IdentityServer4 is an OpenID Connect and OAuth 2.0 framework for ASP.NET Core. IdentityServer4 enables the following security features:

  • Authentication as a Service (AaaS)
  • Single sign-on/off (SSO) over multiple application types
  • Access control for APIs
  • Federation Gateway

For more information, see Welcome to IdentityServer4.

Additional resources 2.1

View or download sample code for this tutorial. See how to download.

For more information, see the following resources: