Quickstart: Search the web using the Bing Web Search REST API and Java

Use this quickstart to make your first call to the Bing Web Search API and receive the JSON response. This Java application sends a search request to the API, and shows the response. While this application is written in Java, the API is a RESTful Web service compatible with most programming languages.


Here are a few things that you'll need before running this quickstart:

This quickstart requires an Azure Cognitive Services account with Bing Search APIs. If you don't have an account, you can use the free trial to get a subscription key.

Create a project and import dependencies

Create a new Java project in your favorite IDE or editor and import the following libraries. Gson is required to convert Java Objects into JSON.

import java.net.*;
import java.util.*;
import java.io.*;
import javax.net.ssl.HttpsURLConnection;
import com.google.gson.Gson;
import com.google.gson.GsonBuilder;
import com.google.gson.JsonObject;
import com.google.gson.JsonParser;

Declare Gson in the Maven POM file

If you're using Maven, declare Gson in the POM.xml. Skip this step if you've installed Gson locally.


Declare the BingWebSearch class

Declare the BingWebSearch class. It will include most of the code we review in this quickstart including the main method.

public class BingWebSearch {

// The code in the following sections goes here.


Define variables

This code sets the subscriptionKey, host, path, and searchTerm. Confirm that the endpoint is correct and replace the subscriptionKey value with a valid subscription key from your Azure account. Feel free to customize the search query by replacing the value for searchTerm. Remember to add this code to the BingWebSearch class as noted above.

// Enter a valid subscription key.
static String subscriptionKey = "enter key here";

 * If you encounter unexpected authorization errors, double-check these values
 * against the endpoint for your Bing Web search instance in your Azure
 * dashboard.
static String host = "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com";
static String path = "/bing/v7.0/search";
static String searchTerm = "Microsoft Cognitive Services";

Construct a request

This method, which lives in the BingWebSearch class, constructs the url, receives and parses the response, and extracts Bing-related HTTP headers.

public static SearchResults SearchWeb (String searchQuery) throws Exception {
    // Construct the URL.
    URL url = new URL(host + path + "?q=" +  URLEncoder.encode(searchQuery, "UTF-8"));

    // Open the connection.
    HttpsURLConnection connection = (HttpsURLConnection)url.openConnection();
    connection.setRequestProperty("Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key", subscriptionKey);

    // Receive the JSON response body.
    InputStream stream = connection.getInputStream();
    String response = new Scanner(stream).useDelimiter("\\A").next();

    // Construct the result object.
    SearchResults results = new SearchResults(new HashMap<String, String>(), response);

    // Extract Bing-related HTTP headers.
    Map<String, List<String>> headers = connection.getHeaderFields();
    for (String header : headers.keySet()) {
        if (header == null) continue;      // may have null key
        if (header.startsWith("BingAPIs-") || header.startsWith("X-MSEdge-")){
            results.relevantHeaders.put(header, headers.get(header).get(0));
    return results;

Handle the response

Use Gson to parse and reserialize the response.

public static String prettify(String json_text) {
    JsonParser parser = new JsonParser();
    JsonObject json = parser.parse(json_text).getAsJsonObject();
    Gson gson = new GsonBuilder().setPrettyPrinting().create();
    return gson.toJson(json);

Declare the main method

This method is required and is the first method invoked when the program is started. In this application, it includes code that validates the subscriptionKey, makes a request, and prints the JSON response.

public static void main (String[] args) {
    // Confirm the subscriptionKey is valid.
    if (subscriptionKey.length() != 32) {
        System.out.println("Invalid Bing Search API subscription key!");
        System.out.println("Please paste yours into the source code.");

    // Call the SearchWeb method and print the response.
    try {
        System.out.println("Searching the Web for: " + searchTerm);
        SearchResults result = SearchWeb(searchTerm);
        System.out.println("\nRelevant HTTP Headers:\n");
        for (String header : result.relevantHeaders.keySet())
        System.out.println(header + ": " + result.relevantHeaders.get(header));
        System.out.println("\nJSON Response:\n");
    catch (Exception e) {

Create a container class for search results

The SearchResults container class is outside of the BingWebSearch class. It includes relevant headers and JSON data for the response.

class SearchResults{
    HashMap<String, String> relevantHeaders;
    String jsonResponse;
    SearchResults(HashMap<String, String> headers, String json) {
        relevantHeaders = headers;
        jsonResponse = json;

Put it all together

The last step is to compile your code and run it! Here are the commands:

javac BingWebSearch.java -classpath ./gson-2.8.5.jar -encoding UTF-8
java -cp ./gson-2.8.5.jar BingWebSearch

If you'd like to compare your code with ours, sample code is available on GitHub.

Sample response

Responses from the Bing Web Search API are returned as JSON. This sample response has been truncated to show a single result.

  "_type": "SearchResponse",
  "queryContext": {
    "originalQuery": "Microsoft Cognitive Services"
  "webPages": {
    "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=Microsoft+cognitive+services",
    "totalEstimatedMatches": 22300000,
    "value": [
        "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#WebPages.0",
        "name": "Microsoft Cognitive Services",
        "url": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services",
        "displayUrl": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services",
        "snippet": "Knock down barriers between you and your ideas. Enable natural and contextual interaction with tools that augment users' experiences via the power of machine-based AI. Plug them in and bring your ideas to life.",
        "deepLinks": [
            "name": "Face API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/face/",
            "snippet": "Add facial recognition to your applications to detect, identify, and verify faces using a Face API from Microsoft Azure. ... Cognitive Services; Face API;"
            "name": "Text Analytics",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/text-analytics/",
            "snippet": "Cognitive Services; Text Analytics API; Text Analytics API . Detect sentiment, ... you agree that Microsoft may store it and use it to improve Microsoft services, ..."
            "name": "Computer Vision API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/computer-vision/",
            "snippet": "Extract the data you need from images using optical character recognition and image analytics with Computer Vision APIs from Microsoft Azure."
            "name": "Emotion",
            "url": "https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services/en-us/emotion-api",
            "snippet": "Cognitive Services Emotion API - microsoft.com"
            "name": "Bing Speech API",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/speech/",
            "snippet": "Add speech recognition to your applications, including text to speech, with a speech API from Microsoft Azure. ... Cognitive Services; Bing Speech API;"
            "name": "Get Started for Free",
            "url": "https://azure.microsoft.com/services/cognitive-services/",
            "snippet": "Add vision, speech, language, and knowledge capabilities to your applications using intelligence APIs and SDKs from Cognitive Services."
  "relatedSearches": {
    "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#RelatedSearches",
    "value": [
        "text": "microsoft bot framework",
        "displayText": "microsoft bot framework",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+bot+framework"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services youtube",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services youtube",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+youtube"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services search api",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services search api",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+search+api"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services news",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services news",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+news"
        "text": "ms cognitive service",
        "displayText": "ms cognitive service",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=ms+cognitive+service"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services text analytics",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services text analytics",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+text+analytics"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services toolkit",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services toolkit",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+toolkit"
        "text": "microsoft cognitive services api",
        "displayText": "microsoft cognitive services api",
        "webSearchUrl": "https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+cognitive+services+api"
  "rankingResponse": {
    "mainline": {
      "items": [
          "answerType": "WebPages",
          "resultIndex": 0,
          "value": {
            "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#WebPages.0"
    "sidebar": {
      "items": [
          "answerType": "RelatedSearches",
          "value": {
            "id": "https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/api/v7/#RelatedSearches"

Next steps

See also