How to build a query string for a URL in C#?

Boaz Source

A common task when calling web resources from a code is building a query string to including all the necessary parameters. While by all means no rocket science, there are some nifty details you need to take care of like, appending an & if not the first parameter, encoding the parameters etc.

The code to do it is very simple, but a bit tedious:

StringBuilder SB = new StringBuilder();
if (NeedsToAddParameter A) 
{ 
  SB.Append("A="); SB.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfA")); 
}

if (NeedsToAddParameter B) 
{
  if (SB.Length>0) SB.Append("&"); 
  SB.Append("B="); SB.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfB")); }
}

This is such a common task one would expect a utility class to exist that makes it more elegant and readable. Scanning MSDN, I failed to find one—which brings me to the following question:

What is the most elegant clean way you know of doing the above?

c#.neturlquery-string

Answers

answered 9 years ago Nick Allen #1

Untested, but I think something along these lines would work quite nicely

public class QueryString
{
    private Dictionary<string,string> _Params = new Dictionary<string,string>();

    public overide ToString()
    {
        List<string> returnParams = new List<string>();

        foreach (KeyValuePair param in _Params)
        {
            returnParams.Add(String.Format("{0}={1}", param.Key, param.Value));
        }

        // return String.Format("?{0}", String.Join("&", returnParams.ToArray())); 

        // credit annakata
        return "?" + String.Join("&", returnParams.ToArray());
    }

    public void Add(string key, string value)
    {
        _Params.Add(key, HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value));
    }
}

QueryString query = new QueryString();

query.Add("param1", "value1");
query.Add("param2", "value2");

return query.ToString();

answered 9 years ago annakata #2

If you look under the hood the QueryString property is a NameValueCollection. When I've done similar things I've usually been interested in serialising AND deserialising so my suggestion is to build a NameValueCollection up and then pass to:

using System.Web;
using System.Collections.Specialized;

private string ToQueryString(NameValueCollection nvc)
{
    var array = (from key in nvc.AllKeys
        from value in nvc.GetValues(key)
        select string.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value)))
        .ToArray();
    return "?" + string.Join("&", array);
}

Possibly I could've formatted that better :)

I imagine there's a super elegant way to do this in LINQ too...

answered 9 years ago JonnyBoats #3

EDIT - as pointed out in the comments, this is not the way to go.

There is such a class - the URI Class. "Provides an object representation of a uniform resource identifier (URI) and easy access to the parts of the URI." (Microsoft docs).

The following example creates an instance of the Uri class and uses it to create a WebRequest instance.

C# example

Uri siteUri = new Uri("http://www.contoso.com/");

WebRequest wr = WebRequest.Create(siteUri);

Check it out, there are lots of methods on this class.

answered 9 years ago Martin Harris #4

A quick extension method based version:

class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        var parameters = new List<KeyValuePair<string, string>>
                             {
                                 new KeyValuePair<string, string>("A", "AValue"),
                                 new KeyValuePair<string, string>("B", "BValue")
                             };

        string output = "?" + string.Join("&", parameters.ConvertAll(param => param.ToQueryString()).ToArray());
    }
}

public static class KeyValueExtensions
{
    public static string ToQueryString(this KeyValuePair<string, string> obj)
    {
        return obj.Key + "=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(obj.Value);
    }
}

You could use a where clause to select which parameters get added to the string.

answered 9 years ago Igal Tabachnik #5

I answered a similar question a while ago. Basically, the best way would be to use the class HttpValueCollection, which ASP.NET's Request.QueryString property actually is, unfortunately it is internal in the .NET framework. You could use Reflector to grab it (and place it into your Utils class). This way you could manipulate the query string like a NameValueCollection, but with all the url encoding/decoding issues taken care for you.

HttpValueCollection extends NameValueCollection, and has a constructor that takes an encoded query string (ampersands and question marks included), and it overrides a ToString() method to later rebuild the query string from the underlying collection.

Example:

  var coll = new HttpValueCollection();

  coll["userId"] = "50";
  coll["paramA"] = "A";
  coll["paramB"] = "B";      

  string query = coll.ToString(true); // true means use urlencode

  Console.WriteLine(query); // prints: userId=50&paramA=A&paramB=B

answered 9 years ago LukeH #6

How about creating extension methods that allow you to add the parameters in a fluent style like this?

string a = "http://www.somedomain.com/somepage.html"
    .AddQueryParam("A", "TheValueOfA")
    .AddQueryParam("B", "TheValueOfB")
    .AddQueryParam("Z", "TheValueOfZ");

string b = new StringBuilder("http://www.somedomain.com/anotherpage.html")
    .AddQueryParam("A", "TheValueOfA")
    .AddQueryParam("B", "TheValueOfB")
    .AddQueryParam("Z", "TheValueOfZ")
    .ToString(); 

Here's the overload that uses a string:

public static string AddQueryParam(
    this string source, string key, string value)
{
    string delim;
    if ((source == null) || !source.Contains("?"))
    {
        delim = "?";
    }
    else if (source.EndsWith("?") || source.EndsWith("&"))
    {
        delim = string.Empty;
    }
    else
    {
        delim = "&";
    }

    return source + delim + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key)
        + "=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value);
}

And here's the overload that uses a StringBuilder:

public static StringBuilder AddQueryParam(
    this StringBuilder source, string key, string value)
{
    bool hasQuery = false;
    for (int i = 0; i < source.Length; i++)
    {
        if (source[i] == '?')
        {
            hasQuery = true;
            break;
        }
    }

    string delim;
    if (!hasQuery)
    {
        delim = "?";
    }
    else if ((source[source.Length - 1] == '?')
        || (source[source.Length - 1] == '&'))
    {
        delim = string.Empty;
    }
    else
    {
        delim = "&";
    }

    return source.Append(delim).Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key))
        .Append("=").Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value));
}

answered 9 years ago Thomas Bratt #7

Assuming that you want to reduce dependencies to other assemblies and to keep things simple, you can do:

var sb = new System.Text.StringBuilder();

sb.Append("a=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfA") + "&");
sb.Append("b=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfB") + "&");
sb.Append("c=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfC") + "&");
sb.Append("d=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode("TheValueOfD") + "&");

sb.Remove(sb.Length-1, 1); // Remove the final '&'

string result = sb.ToString();

This works well with loops too. The final ampersand removal needs to go outside of the loop.

Note that the concatenation operator is used to improve readability. The cost of using it compared to the cost of using a StringBuilder is minimal (I think Jeff Atwood posted something on this topic).

answered 9 years ago Mike Cole #8

I added the following method to my PageBase class.

protected void Redirect(string url)
    {
        Response.Redirect(url);
    }
protected void Redirect(string url, NameValueCollection querystrings)
    {
        StringBuilder redirectUrl = new StringBuilder(url);

        if (querystrings != null)
        {
            for (int index = 0; index < querystrings.Count; index++)
            {
                if (index == 0)
                {
                    redirectUrl.Append("?");
                }

                redirectUrl.Append(querystrings.Keys[index]);
                redirectUrl.Append("=");
                redirectUrl.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(querystrings[index]));

                if (index < querystrings.Count - 1)
                {
                    redirectUrl.Append("&");
                }
            }
        }

        this.Redirect(redirectUrl.ToString());
    }

To call:

NameValueCollection querystrings = new NameValueCollection();    
querystrings.Add("language", "en");
querystrings.Add("id", "134");
this.Redirect("http://www.mypage.com", querystrings);

answered 9 years ago John Bledsoe #9

You can create a new writeable instance of HttpValueCollection by calling System.Web.HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(string.Empty), and then use it as any NameValueCollection. Once you have added the values you want, you can call ToString on the collection to get a query string, as follows:

NameValueCollection queryString = System.Web.HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(string.Empty);

queryString["key1"] = "value1";
queryString["key2"] = "value2";

return queryString.ToString(); // Returns "key1=value1&key2=value2", all URL-encoded

The HttpValueCollection is internal and so you cannot directly construct an instance. However, once you obtain an instance you can use it like any other NameValueCollection. Since the actual object you are working with is an HttpValueCollection, calling ToString method will call the overridden method on HttpValueCollection, which formats the collection as a URL-encoded query string.

After searching SO and the web for an answer to a similar issue, this is the most simple solution I could find.

.NET Core

If you're working in .NET Core, you can use the Microsoft.AspNetCore.WebUtilities.QueryHelpers class, which simplifies this greatly.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/aspnet/core/api/microsoft.aspnetcore.webutilities.queryhelpers

answered 9 years ago blak3r #10

Here is an implementation which uses very basic language features. It's part of a class which we have to port and maintain in Objective C so we choose to have more lines of code but easier to port and understand by a programmer that isn't very familiar with C#.

        /// <summary>
        /// Builds a complete http url with query strings.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="pHostname"></param>
        /// <param name="pPort"></param>
        /// <param name="pPage">ex "/index.html" or index.html</param>
        /// <param name="pGetParams">a Dictionary<string,string> collection containing the key value pairs.  Pass null if there are none.</param>
        /// <returns>a string of the form: http://[pHostname]:[pPort/[pPage]?key1=val1&key2=val2...</returns>

  static public string buildURL(string pHostname, int pPort, string pPage, Dictionary<string,string> pGetParams)
        {
            StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(200);
            sb.Append("http://");
            sb.Append(pHostname);
            if( pPort != 80 ) {
                sb.Append(pPort);
            }
            // Allows page param to be passed in with or without leading slash.
            if( !pPage.StartsWith("/") ) {
                sb.Append("/");
            }
            sb.Append(pPage);

            if (pGetParams != null && pGetParams.Count > 0)
            {
                sb.Append("?");
                foreach (KeyValuePair<string, string> kvp in pGetParams)
                {
                    sb.Append(kvp.Key);
                    sb.Append("=");
                    sb.Append( System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Value) );
                    sb.Append("&");
                }
                sb.Remove(sb.Length - 1, 1); // Remove the final '&'
            }
            return sb.ToString();
        }

answered 9 years ago fredeckbert #11

public string UrlQueryStr(object data)
{
    if (data == null)
        return string.Empty;

    object val;
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

    foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(data))
    {
        if ((val = prop.GetValue(data)) != null)
        {
            sb.AppendFormat("{0}{1}={2}", sb.Length == 0 ? '?' : '&',
                HttpUtility.UrlEncode(prop.Name), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(val.ToString()));
        }
    }
    return sb.ToString();
}

answered 8 years ago Jay Douglass #12

    public static string ToQueryString(this Dictionary<string, string> source)
    {
        return String.Join("&", source.Select(kvp => String.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Value))).ToArray());
    }

    public static string ToQueryString(this NameValueCollection source)
    {
        return String.Join("&", source.Cast<string>().Select(key => String.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(source[key]))).ToArray());
    }

answered 7 years ago DSO #13

Here's my late entry. I didn't like any of the others for various reasons, so I wrote my own.

This version features:

  • Use of StringBuilder only. No ToArray() calls or other extension methods. It doesn't look as pretty as some of the other responses, but I consider this a core function so efficiency is more important than having "fluent", "one-liner" code which hide inefficiencies.

  • Handles multiple values per key. (Didn't need it myself but just to silence Mauricio ;)

    public string ToQueryString(NameValueCollection nvc)
    {
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder("?");
    
        bool first = true;
    
        foreach (string key in nvc.AllKeys)
        {
            foreach (string value in nvc.GetValues(key))
            {
                if (!first)
                {
                    sb.Append("&");
                }
    
                sb.AppendFormat("{0}={1}", Uri.EscapeDataString(key), Uri.EscapeDataString(value));
    
                first = false;
            }
        }
    
        return sb.ToString();
    }
    

Example Usage

        var queryParams = new NameValueCollection()
        {
            { "x", "1" },
            { "y", "2" },
            { "foo", "bar" },
            { "foo", "baz" },
            { "special chars", "? = &" },
        };

        string url = "http://example.com/stuff" + ToQueryString(queryParams);

        Console.WriteLine(url);

Output

http://example.com/stuff?x=1&y=2&foo=bar&foo=baz&special%20chars=%3F%20%3D%20%26

answered 7 years ago kroehre #14

[Also late entry]

Chain-able wrapper class for HttpValueCollection:

namespace System.Web.Mvc {
    public class QueryStringBuilder {
        private NameValueCollection collection;
        public QueryStringBuilder() {
            collection = System.Web.HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(string.Empty);
        }
        public QueryStringBuilder Add(string key, string value) {
            collection.Add(key, value);
            return this;
        }
        public QueryStringBuilder Remove(string key) {
            collection.Remove(key);
            return this;
        }
        public string this[string key] {
            get { return collection[key]; }
            set { collection[key] = value; }
        }
        public string ToString() {
            return collection.ToString();
        }
    }
}

Example usage:

QueryStringBuilder parameters = new QueryStringBuilder()
    .Add("view", ViewBag.PageView)
    .Add("page", ViewBag.PageNumber)
    .Add("size", ViewBag.PageSize);
string queryString = parameters.ToString();

answered 7 years ago LOAS #15

I wrote a helper for my razor project using some of the hints from other answers.

The ParseQueryString business is necessary because we are not allowed to tamper with the QueryString object of the current request.

@helper GetQueryStringWithValue(string key, string value) {
    var queryString = System.Web.HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(HttpContext.Current.Request.QueryString.ToString());
    queryString[key] = value;
    @Html.Raw(queryString.ToString())
}

I use it like this:

location.search = '[email protected]("var-name", "var-value")';

If you want it to take more than one value, just change the parameters to a Dictionary and add the pairs to the query string.

answered 7 years ago Alfred #16

Here's a fluent/lambda-ish way as an extension method (combining concepts in previous posts) that supports multiple values for the same key. My personal preference is extensions over wrappers for discover-ability by other team members for stuff like this. Note that there's controversy around encoding methods, plenty of posts about it on Stack Overflow (one such post) and MSDN bloggers (like this one).

public static string ToQueryString(this NameValueCollection source)
{
    return String.Join("&", source.AllKeys
        .SelectMany(key => source.GetValues(key)
            .Select(value => String.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value))))
        .ToArray());
}

edit: with null support, though you'll probably need to adapt it for your particular situation

public static string ToQueryString(this NameValueCollection source, bool removeEmptyEntries)
{
    return source != null ? String.Join("&", source.AllKeys
        .Where(key => !removeEmptyEntries || source.GetValues(key)
            .Where(value => !String.IsNullOrEmpty(value))
            .Any())
        .SelectMany(key => source.GetValues(key)
            .Where(value => !removeEmptyEntries || !String.IsNullOrEmpty(value))
            .Select(value => String.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), value != null ? HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value) : string.Empty)))
        .ToArray())
        : string.Empty;
}

answered 7 years ago ccook #17

I wrote some extension methods that I have found very useful when working with QueryStrings. Often I want to start with the current QueryString and modify before using it. Something like,

var res = Request.QueryString.Duplicate()
  .ChangeField("field1", "somevalue")
  .ChangeField("field2", "only if following is true", true)
  .ChangeField("id", id, id>0)
  .WriteLocalPathWithQuery(Request.Url)); //Uses context to write the path

For more and the source: http://www.charlesrcook.com/archive/2008/07/23/c-extension-methods-for-asp.net-query-string-operations.aspx

It's basic, but I like the style.

answered 6 years ago Vedran #18

With the inspiration from Roy Tinker's comment, I ended up using a simple extension method on the Uri class that keeps my code concise and clean:

using System.Web;

public static class HttpExtensions
{
    public static Uri AddQuery(this Uri uri, string name, string value)
    {
        var httpValueCollection = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(uri.Query);

        httpValueCollection.Remove(name);
        httpValueCollection.Add(name, value);

        var ub = new UriBuilder(uri);
        ub.Query = httpValueCollection.ToString();

        return ub.Uri;
    }
}

Usage:

Uri url = new Uri("http://localhost/rest/something/browse").
          AddQuery("page", "0").
          AddQuery("pageSize", "200");

Edit - Standards compliant variant

As several people pointed out, httpValueCollection.ToString() encodes Unicode characters in a non-standards-compliant way. This is a variant of the same extension method that handles such characters by invoking HttpUtility.UrlEncode method instead of the deprecated HttpUtility.UrlEncodeUnicode method.

using System.Web;

public static Uri AddQuery(this Uri uri, string name, string value)
{
    var httpValueCollection = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(uri.Query);

    httpValueCollection.Remove(name);
    httpValueCollection.Add(name, value);

    var ub = new UriBuilder(uri);

    // this code block is taken from httpValueCollection.ToString() method
    // and modified so it encodes strings with HttpUtility.UrlEncode
    if (httpValueCollection.Count == 0)
        ub.Query = String.Empty;
    else
    {
        var sb = new StringBuilder();

        for (int i = 0; i < httpValueCollection.Count; i++)
        {
            string text = httpValueCollection.GetKey(i);
            {
                text = HttpUtility.UrlEncode(text);

                string val = (text != null) ? (text + "=") : string.Empty;
                string[] vals = httpValueCollection.GetValues(i);

                if (sb.Length > 0)
                    sb.Append('&');

                if (vals == null || vals.Length == 0)
                    sb.Append(val);
                else
                {
                    if (vals.Length == 1)
                    {
                        sb.Append(val);
                        sb.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(vals[0]));
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        for (int j = 0; j < vals.Length; j++)
                        {
                            if (j > 0)
                                sb.Append('&');

                            sb.Append(val);
                            sb.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(vals[j]));
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }

        ub.Query = sb.ToString();
    }

    return ub.Uri;
}

answered 6 years ago Chris S #19

The code below is taken off the HttpValueCollection implementation of ToString, via ILSpy, which gives you a name=value querystring.

Unfortunately HttpValueCollection is an internal class which you only ever get back if you use HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(). I removed all the viewstate parts to it, and it encodes by default:

public static class HttpExtensions
{
    public static string ToQueryString(this NameValueCollection collection)
    {
        // This is based off the NameValueCollection.ToString() implementation
        int count = collection.Count;
        if (count == 0)
            return string.Empty;

        StringBuilder stringBuilder = new StringBuilder();

        for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
        {
            string text = collection.GetKey(i);
            text = HttpUtility.UrlEncodeUnicode(text);
            string value = (text != null) ? (text + "=") : string.Empty;
            string[] values = collection.GetValues(i);
            if (stringBuilder.Length > 0)
            {
                stringBuilder.Append('&');
            }
            if (values == null || values.Length == 0)
            {
                stringBuilder.Append(value);
            }
            else
            {
                if (values.Length == 1)
                {
                    stringBuilder.Append(value);
                    string text2 = values[0];
                    text2 = HttpUtility.UrlEncodeUnicode(text2);
                    stringBuilder.Append(text2);
                }
                else
                {
                    for (int j = 0; j < values.Length; j++)
                    {
                        if (j > 0)
                        {
                            stringBuilder.Append('&');
                        }
                        stringBuilder.Append(value);
                        string text2 = values[j];
                        text2 = HttpUtility.UrlEncodeUnicode(text2);
                        stringBuilder.Append(text2);
                    }
                }
            }
        }

        return stringBuilder.ToString();
    }
}

answered 5 years ago ThisGuy #20

This is the identical to the accepted answer except slightly more compact:

private string ToQueryString(NameValueCollection nvc)
{
    return "?" + string.Join("&", nvc.AllKeys.Select(k => string.Format("{0}={1}", 
        HttpUtility.UrlEncode(k), 
        HttpUtility.UrlEncode(nvc[k]))));
}

answered 5 years ago Stefan Steiger #21

Just for those that need the VB.NET version of the top-answer:

Public Function ToQueryString(nvc As System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection) As String
    Dim array As String() = nvc.AllKeys.SelectMany(Function(key As String) nvc.GetValues(key), Function(key As String, value As String) String.Format("{0}={1}", System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value))).ToArray()
    Return "?" + String.Join("&", array)
End Function

And the version without LINQ:

Public Function ToQueryString(nvc As System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection) As String
    Dim lsParams As New List(Of String)()

    For Each strKey As String In nvc.AllKeys
        Dim astrValue As String() = nvc.GetValues(strKey)

        For Each strValue As String In astrValue
            lsParams.Add(String.Format("{0}={1}", System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(strKey), System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(strValue)))
        Next ' Next strValue
    Next ' strKey
    Dim astrParams As String() = lsParams.ToArray()
    lsParams.Clear()
    lsParams = Nothing

    Return "?" + String.Join("&", astrParams)
End Function ' ToQueryString

And the C# version without LINQ:

    public static string ToQueryString(System.Collections.Specialized.NameValueCollection nvc)
    {
        List<string> lsParams = new List<string>();

        foreach (string strKey in nvc.AllKeys)
        {
            string[] astrValue = nvc.GetValues(strKey);

            foreach (string strValue in astrValue)
            {
                lsParams.Add(string.Format("{0}={1}", System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(strKey), System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(strValue)));
            } // Next strValue

        } // Next strKey

        string[] astrParams =lsParams.ToArray();
        lsParams.Clear();
        lsParams = null;

        return "?" + string.Join("&", astrParams);
    } // End Function ToQueryString

answered 5 years ago Gian Marco Gherardi #22

Add this class to your project

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;

public class QueryStringBuilder
{
    private readonly List<KeyValuePair<string, object>> _list;

    public QueryStringBuilder()
    {
        _list = new List<KeyValuePair<string, object>>();
    }

    public void Add(string name, object value)
    {
        _list.Add(new KeyValuePair<string, object>(name, value));
    }

    public override string ToString()
    {
        return String.Join("&", _list.Select(kvp => String.Concat(Uri.EscapeDataString(kvp.Key), "=", Uri.EscapeDataString(kvp.Value.ToString()))));
    }
}

And use it like this:

var actual = new QueryStringBuilder {
    {"foo", 123},
    {"bar", "val31"},
    {"bar", "val32"}
};

actual.Add("a+b", "c+d");

actual.ToString(); // "foo=123&bar=val31&bar=val32&a%2bb=c%2bd"

answered 5 years ago mpen #23

Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents:

public static class HttpClientExt
{
    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, string query)
    {
        var ub = new UriBuilder(uri);
        ub.Query = string.IsNullOrEmpty(uri.Query) ? query : string.Join("&", uri.Query.Substring(1), query);
        return ub.Uri;
    }

    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, IEnumerable<string> query)
    {
        return uri.AddQueryParams(string.Join("&", query));
    } 

    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, string key, string value)
    {
        return uri.AddQueryParams(string.Join("=", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value)));
    }

    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, params KeyValuePair<string,string>[] kvps)
    {
        return uri.AddQueryParams(kvps.Select(kvp => string.Join("=", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Value))));
    }

    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, IDictionary<string, string> kvps)
    {
        return uri.AddQueryParams(kvps.Select(kvp => string.Join("=", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(kvp.Value))));
    }

    public static Uri AddQueryParams(this Uri uri, NameValueCollection nvc)
    {
        return uri.AddQueryParams(nvc.AllKeys.SelectMany(nvc.GetValues, (key, value) => string.Join("=", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value))));
    }
}

The docs say that uri.Query will start with a ? if it's non-empty and you should trim it off if you're going to modify it.

Note that HttpUtility.UrlEncode is found in System.Web.

Usage:

var uri = new Uri("https://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/suggest").AddQueryParam("url","http://stackoverflow.com")

answered 5 years ago dav_i #24

My offering:

public static Uri AddQuery(this Uri uri, string name, string value)
{
    // this actually returns HttpValueCollection : NameValueCollection
    // which uses unicode compliant encoding on ToString()
    var query = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(uri.Query);

    query.Add(name, value);

    var uriBuilder = new UriBuilder(uri)
    {
        Query = query.ToString()
    };

    return uriBuilder.Uri;
}

Usage:

var uri = new Uri("http://stackoverflow.com").AddQuery("such", "method")
                                             .AddQuery("wow", "soFluent");

// http://stackoverflow.com?such=method&wow=soFluent

answered 5 years ago Todd Menier #25

Flurl [disclosure: I'm the author] supports building query strings via anonymous objects (among other ways):

var url = "http://www.some-api.com".SetQueryParams(new
{
    api_key = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["SomeApiKey"],
    max_results = 20,
    q = "Don't worry, I'll get encoded!"
});

The optional Flurl.Http companion lib allows you to do HTTP calls right off the same fluent call chain, extending it into a full-blown REST client:

T result = await "https://api.mysite.com"
    .AppendPathSegment("person")
    .SetQueryParams(new { ap_key = "my-key" })
    .WithOAuthBearerToken("MyToken")
    .PostJsonAsync(new { first_name = firstName, last_name = lastName })
    .ReceiveJson<T>();

The full package is available on NuGet:

PM> Install-Package Flurl.Http

or just the stand-alone URL builder:

PM> Install-Package Flurl

answered 5 years ago hIpPy #26

Works for multiple values per key in NameValueCollection.

ex: { {"k1", "v1"}, {"k1", "v1"} } => ?k1=v1&k1=v1

/// <summary>
/// Get query string for name value collection.
/// </summary>
public static string ToQueryString(this NameValueCollection collection,
    bool prefixQuestionMark = true)
{
    collection.NullArgumentCheck();
    if (collection.Keys.Count == 0)
    {
        return "";
    }
    var buffer = new StringBuilder();
    if (prefixQuestionMark)
    {
        buffer.Append("?");
    }
    var append = false;
    for (int i = 0; i < collection.Keys.Count; i++)
    {
        var key = collection.Keys[i];
        var values = collection.GetValues(key);
        key.NullCheck();
        values.NullCheck();
        foreach (var value in values)
        {
            if (append)
            {
                buffer.Append("&");
            }
            append = true;
            buffer.AppendFormat("{0}={1}", key.UrlEncode(), value.UrlEncode());
        }
    }
    return buffer.ToString();
}

answered 4 years ago Tomino #27

Same as accepted solution, but transfred to "dot" LINQ syntax...

private string ToQueryString(NameValueCollection nvc)
{
    if (nvc == null) return String.Empty;
    var queryParams = 
          string.Join("&", nvc.AllKeys.Select(key => 
              string.Join("&", nvc.GetValues(key).Select(v => string.Format("{0}={1}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(v))))));
    return "?" + queryParams;
}

answered 4 years ago hortman #28

I needed to solve the same problem for a portable class library (PCL) that I'm working on. In this case, I don't have access to System.Web so I can't use ParseQueryString.

Instead I used System.Net.Http.FormUrlEncodedContent like so:

var url = new UriBuilder("http://example.com");

url.Query = new FormUrlEncodedContent(new Dictionary<string,string>()
{
    {"param1", "val1"},
    {"param2", "val2"},
    {"param3", "val3"},
}).ReadAsStringAsync().Result;

answered 3 years ago T-moty #29

This is another (maybe redundant :-]) way for do that.

The conceptuals are the same of the Vedran answer in this page (take a look here).

But this class is more efficient, because it iterate through all Keys only one time: when ToString is invoked.

The formatting code is also semplified and improved.

Hope that could be helpful.

public sealed class QueryStringBuilder
{
    public QueryStringBuilder()
    {
        this.inner = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(string.Empty);
    }

    public QueryStringBuilder(string queryString)
    {
        this.inner = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(queryString);
    }

    public QueryStringBuilder(string queryString, Encoding encoding)
    {
        this.inner = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(queryString, encoding);
    }

    private readonly NameValueCollection inner;

    public QueryStringBuilder AddKey(string key, string value)
    {
        this.inner.Add(key, value);
        return this;
    }

    public QueryStringBuilder RemoveKey(string key)
    {
        this.inner.Remove(key);
        return this;
    }

    public QueryStringBuilder Clear()
    {
        this.inner.Clear();
        return this;
    }

    public override String ToString()
    {
        if (this.inner.Count == 0)
            return string.Empty;

        var builder = new StringBuilder();

        for (int i = 0; i < this.inner.Count; i++)
        {
            if (builder.Length > 0)
                builder.Append('&');

            var key = this.inner.GetKey(i);
            var values = this.inner.GetValues(i);

            if (key == null || values == null || values.Length == 0)
                continue;

            for (int j = 0; j < values.Length; j++)
            {
                if (j > 0)
                    builder.Append('&');

                builder.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(key));
                builder.Append('=');
                builder.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(values[j]));
            }
        }

        return builder.ToString();
    }
}

answered 2 years ago Luis Perez #30

Combined the top answers to create an anonymous object version:

var queryString = HttpUtility2.BuildQueryString(new
{
    key2 = "value2",
    key1 = "value1",
});

That generates this:

key2=value2&key1=value1

Here's the code:

public static class HttpUtility2
{
    public static string BuildQueryString<T>(T obj)
    {
        var queryString = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(string.Empty);

        foreach (var property in TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(typeof(T)).Cast<PropertyDescriptor>())
        {
            var value = (property.GetValue(obj) ?? "").ToString();
            queryString.Add(property.Name, value);
        }

        return queryString.ToString();
    }
}

answered 2 years ago Andrew Gray #31

While not elegant, I opted for a simpler version that doesn't use NameValueCollecitons - just a builder pattern wrapped around StringBuilder.

public class UrlBuilder
{
    #region Variables / Properties

    private readonly StringBuilder _builder;

    #endregion Variables / Properties

    #region Constructor

    public UrlBuilder(string urlBase)
    {
        _builder = new StringBuilder(urlBase);
    }

    #endregion Constructor

    #region Methods

    public UrlBuilder AppendParameter(string paramName, string value)
    {
        if (_builder.ToString().Contains("?"))
            _builder.Append("&");
        else
            _builder.Append("?");

        _builder.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(paramName));
        _builder.Append("=");
        _builder.Append(HttpUtility.UrlEncode(value));

        return this;
    }

    public override string ToString()
    {
        return _builder.ToString();
    }

    #endregion Methods
}

Per existing answers, I made sure to use HttpUtility.UrlEncode calls. It's used like so:

string url = new UrlBuilder("http://www.somedomain.com/")
             .AppendParameter("a", "true")
             .AppendParameter("b", "muffin")
             .AppendParameter("c", "muffin button")
             .ToString();
// Result: http://www.somedomain.com?a=true&b=muffin&c=muffin%20button

answered 2 years ago Şafak Gür #32

I have an extension method for Uri that:

  • Accepts anonymous objects: uri.WithQuery(new { name = "value" })
  • Accepts collections of string/string pairs (e.g. Dictionary`2).
  • Accepts collections of string/object pairs (e.g. RouteValueDictionary).
  • Accepts NameValueCollections.
  • Sorts the query values by key so the same values produce equal URIs.
  • Supports multiple values per key, preserving their original order.

The documented version can be found here.

The extension:

public static Uri WithQuery(this Uri uri, object values)
{
    if (uri == null)
        throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(uri));

    if (values != null)
    {
        var query = string.Join(
            "&", from p in ParseQueryValues(values)
                 where !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(p.Key)
                 let k = HttpUtility.UrlEncode(p.Key.Trim())
                 let v = HttpUtility.UrlEncode(p.Value)
                 orderby k
                 select string.IsNullOrEmpty(v) ? k : $"{k}={v}");

        if (query.Length != 0 || uri.Query.Length != 0)
            uri = new UriBuilder(uri) { Query = query }.Uri;
    }

    return uri;
}

The query parser:

private static IEnumerable<KeyValuePair<string, string>> ParseQueryValues(object values)
{
    // Check if a name/value collection.
    var nvc = values as NameValueCollection;
    if (nvc != null)
        return from key in nvc.AllKeys
               from val in nvc.GetValues(key)
               select new KeyValuePair<string, string>(key, val);

    // Check if a string/string dictionary.
    var ssd = values as IEnumerable<KeyValuePair<string, string>>;
    if (ssd != null)
        return ssd;

    // Check if a string/object dictionary.
    var sod = values as IEnumerable<KeyValuePair<string, object>>;
    if (sod == null)
    {
        // Check if a non-generic dictionary.
        var ngd = values as IDictionary;
        if (ngd != null)
            sod = ngd.Cast<dynamic>().ToDictionary<dynamic, string, object>(
                p => p.Key.ToString(), p => p.Value as object);

        // Convert object properties to dictionary.
        if (sod == null)
            sod = new RouteValueDictionary(values);
    }

    // Normalize and return the values.
    return from pair in sod
           from val in pair.Value as IEnumerable<string>
            ?? new[] { pair.Value?.ToString() }
           select new KeyValuePair<string, string>(pair.Key, val);
}

Here are the tests:

var uri = new Uri("https://stackoverflow.com/yo?oldKey=oldValue");

// Test with a string/string dictionary.
var q = uri.WithQuery(new Dictionary<string, string>
{
    ["k1"] = string.Empty,
    ["k2"] = null,
    ["k3"] = "v3"
});

Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?k1&k2&k3=v3"));

// Test with a string/object dictionary.
q = uri.WithQuery(new Dictionary<string, object>
{
    ["k1"] = "v1",
    ["k2"] = new[] { "v2a", "v2b" },
    ["k3"] = null
});

Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?k1=v1&k2=v2a&k2=v2b&k3"));

// Test with a name/value collection.
var nvc = new NameValueCollection()
{
    ["k1"] = string.Empty,
    ["k2"] = "v2a"
};

nvc.Add("k2", "v2b");

q = uri.WithQuery(nvc);
Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?k1&k2=v2a&k2=v2b"));

// Test with any dictionary.
q = uri.WithQuery(new Dictionary<int, HashSet<string>>
{
    [1] = new HashSet<string> { "v1" },
    [2] = new HashSet<string> { "v2a", "v2b" },
    [3] = null
});

Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?1=v1&2=v2a&2=v2b&3"));

// Test with an anonymous object.
q = uri.WithQuery(new
{
    k1 = "v1",
    k2 = new[] { "v2a", "v2b" },
    k3 = new List<string> { "v3" },
    k4 = true,
    k5 = null as Queue<string>
});

Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?k1=v1&k2=v2a&k2=v2b&k3=v3&k4=True&k5"));

// Keep existing query using a name/value collection.
nvc = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(uri.Query);
nvc.Add("newKey", "newValue");

q = uri.WithQuery(nvc);
Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?newKey=newValue&oldKey=oldValue"));

// Merge two query objects using the RouteValueDictionary.
var an1 = new { k1 = "v1" };
var an2 = new { k2 = "v2" };

q = uri.WithQuery(
    new RouteValueDictionary(an1).Concat(
        new RouteValueDictionary(an2)));

Debug.Assert(q == new Uri(
    "https://stackoverflow.com/yo?k1=v1&k2=v2"));

answered 1 year ago Demetris Leptos #33

// USAGE
[TestMethod]
public void TestUrlBuilder()
{
    Console.WriteLine(
        new UrlBuilder("http://www.google.com?A=B")
            .AddPath("SomePathName")
            .AddPath("AnotherPathName")
            .SetQuery("SomeQueryKey", "SomeQueryValue")
            .AlterQuery("A", x => x + "C"));
}

Output:

http://www.google.com/SomePathName/AnotherPathName?A=BC&SomeQueryKey=SomeQueryValue

The code; you can all thank me somewhere, somehow :D

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;

// By Demetris Leptos
namespace TheOperator.Foundation.Web
{
    public class UrlBuilder
    {
        public string Scheme { get; set; }

        public string Host { get; set; }

        public int? Port { get; set; }

        public List<string> Paths { get; set; }

        public SortedDictionary<string, string> QueryPairs { get; set; }

        public UrlBuilder(string url)
        {
            this.Paths = new List<string>();
            this.QueryPairs = new SortedDictionary<string, string>();

            string path = null;
            string query = null;
            Uri relativeUri = null;
            if (!Uri.TryCreate(url, UriKind.Relative, out relativeUri))
            {
                var uriBuilder = new UriBuilder(url);
                this.Scheme = uriBuilder.Scheme;
                this.Host = uriBuilder.Host;
                this.Port = uriBuilder.Port;
                path = uriBuilder.Path;
                query = uriBuilder.Query;
            }
            else
            {
                var queryIndex = url.IndexOf('?');
                if (queryIndex >= 0)
                {
                    path = url.Substring(0, queryIndex);
                    query = url.Substring(queryIndex + 1);
                }
                else
                {
                    path = url;
                }
            }
            this.Paths.AddRange(path.Split(new char[] { '/' }, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries));
            if (query != null)
            {
                var queryKeyValuePairs = HttpUtility.ParseQueryString(query);
                foreach (var queryKey in queryKeyValuePairs.AllKeys)
                {
                    this.QueryPairs[queryKey] = queryKeyValuePairs[queryKey];
                }
            }
        }

        public UrlBuilder AddPath(string value)
        {
            this.Paths.Add(value);
            return this;
        }

        public UrlBuilder SetQuery(string key, string value)
        {
            this.QueryPairs[key] = value;
            return this;
        }

        public UrlBuilder RemoveQuery(string key)
        {
            this.QueryPairs.Remove(key);
            return this;
        }

        public UrlBuilder AlterQuery(string key, Func<string, string> alterMethod, bool removeOnNull = false)
        {
            string value;
            this.QueryPairs.TryGetValue(key, out value);
            value = alterMethod(value);
            if (removeOnNull && value == null)
            {
                return this.RemoveQuery(key);
            }
            else
            {
                return this.SetQuery(key, value);
            }
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            var path = !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(this.Host)
                ? string.Join("/", this.Host, string.Join("/", this.Paths))
                : string.Join("/", this.Paths);
            var query = string.Join("&", this.QueryPairs.Select(x => string.Concat(x.Key, "=", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(x.Value))));
            return string.Concat(
                !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(this.Scheme) ? string.Concat(this.Scheme, "://") : null,
                path,
                !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(query) ? string.Concat("?", query) : null);
        }
    }
}

answered 1 year ago Ticus #34

I went with the solution proposed by DSO (answered on Aug 2 '11 at 7:29), his solution does not require using HttpUtility. However, as per an article posted in Dotnetpearls, using a Dictionary is faster (in performance) than using NameValueCollection. Here is DSO's solution modified to use Dictionary in place of NameValueCollection.

    public static Dictionary<string, string> QueryParametersDictionary()
    {
        var dictionary = new Dictionary<string, string>();
        dictionary.Add("name", "John Doe");
        dictionary.Add("address.city", "Seattle");
        dictionary.Add("address.state_code", "WA");
        dictionary.Add("api_key", "5352345263456345635");

        return dictionary;
    }

    public static string ToQueryString(Dictionary<string, string> nvc)
    {
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

        bool first = true;

        foreach (KeyValuePair<string, string> pair in nvc)
        {
                if (!first)
                {
                    sb.Append("&");
                }

                sb.AppendFormat("{0}={1}", Uri.EscapeDataString(pair.Key), Uri.EscapeDataString(pair.Value));

                first = false;
        }

        return sb.ToString();
    }

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