Http multipart/form-data Upload in Windows Store Apps – Boredom Challenge Day 16

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If a service you want to use does not have an SDK or library for the programming language you are using, chances are you will be using their REST API to interact with the system. REST API works – excluding the technical specifications – by putting our parameters in the http query string and/or the http header and using Http POST, GET, PUT and DELETE methods to tell the API what we wish to do. For example;

This is the code used if we wish to post something in Facebook for .NET SDK:

var postparameters = new
{
    access_token = fbAccessToken,
    message = TextBoxPost.Text
};
dynamic result = await facebookClient.PostTaskAsync("me/feed", postparameters);

Doing the same action RESTfully would be like this:

                       HttpRequestMessage request = new HttpRequestMessage(
                                System.Net.Http.HttpMethod.Post,
                                new Uri(String.Format("https://graph.facebook.com/me/feed?access_token={0}&message={1}", fbAccessToken, WebUtility.HtmlEncode(TextBoxPost.Text))));

                        var response = await client.SendAsync(request);

As you can see, we set our parameters by adding them to the end of our URL. Actually, the former solution wraps the latter one for us, meaning that Facebook for .NET SDK gets the parameters from us and prepares the http requests itself to reduce our work amount.

Anyway, as I’ve said, we usually need to use REST APIs when we don’t have an SDK or library for the service we want to use. Judging from the code example above, it looks easy, right? Well, yes it is. As long as you have the documentation for it, you wouldn’t have any problems. Unless… you wanted to upload a file. Think of it, I said we put the parameters to the URL, but how do we do this with a file?

This is where multipart/form-data comes in, which is a standard way of encoding the files as byte arrays and sending them over with the http request. However, preparing our file as multipart/form-data is far from trivial, because it is very specific and requires you to delve deep into internet standards definitions to understand (if you wonder, try reading it: RFC 2388). And finally, if you wish to use it in Windows Store apps, another difficulty is that since the .NET classes are different for WinRT, the most common solutions on the internet are not usable in Windows Store apps. As of writing this, I was unable to find a working code sample.

Until now, of course. 🙂 In this article, we’ll see how we can prepare an http multipart/form-data request in Windows Store apps and upload a picture to Facebook with this method.

➤ It took me a complete (and very painful) day to put together the working code…

Uploading Photos and Videos to Facebook in Windows Store Apps – Boredom Challenge Day 15

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In this article we’ll be continuing the Facebook integration in Windows Store apps, by looking at how we can upload photos and videos from a Windows Store app to Facebook.

1

Again, we’ll be using Facebook for .NET SDK, and to make things easy I’ll show how this can be done using the example app we’ve created in this article’s part 1. If you wish to follow this article and do it yourself, you can get the first part’s example here. If you don’t, the completed source code is at the end of this article.

➤ You can even tag them with your user’s friends…

Integrating Facebook in Windows Store Apps Part 2 – Boredom Challenge Day 13

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In my previous article, we’ve seen how we can sign in to Facebook, display our user’s data and share status updates in Windows Store apps. In this article, we will take our example app further by reading and displaying the user’s timeline and allowing the user to like/unlike posts, view a post’s comments and also add comments of his/her own.

1

We’ll start with the part 1’s completed app and continue from there. If you wish to go with the article step by step, you can get it here. If you’d rather not, jump to the end of the article for the completed source code. 😉

In this article, we will see how we can create Json classes for Facebook items, how we can read and display our user’s timeline, how we can like/unlike posts and how we can display and add comments. Apparently we have a lot of work to do.

➤ We’re basically making a Facebook client here…

Integrating Facebook in Windows Store Apps Part 1 – Boredom Challenge Day 12

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I believe I don’t even need to tell you why it is a good idea to use Facebook in our applications. 🙂 Apart from the fact that it is the most widely used social media service, we can use it to allow our users to share something from our app (increasing our app’s publicity and usefulness), get posts – pictures – videos about a specific topic for our users (like latest news about a music group), or we can just use it as a user account system (as I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blog posts here). 1 For this purpose, we will use Facebook’s Graph API which allows us to do basically anything we could do on Facebook from inside our apps, and combine it with the Facebook SDK for .NET. Since there is a huge number of different functionalities provided by Graph API, I will be only showing about a handful of them (most used ones), so it is a good idea to keep the documentation for Facebook Graph API and .NET Facebook SDK at your side. 2 I’ve decided to split this article into several parts. In this first part, we will create a Windows Store app that signs the user in with a Facebook account, gets and displays our user’s information and finally allows our user to publish a status update. We’ll also see how we can get a long term access token from Facebook to keep our user signed in even after our app is closed.

➤ After these articles, just please don’t send tons of application requests to others…