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Making HTTP POST request of JSON using Apache's HttpClient

21 Jan. 2013 Posted by joe666 in Programming

Another way of implementing a REST talk to a remote API using Java and JSON.

Instead of making a URL encoded request or using a chunk one of binary data here is an example of simply posting a straight JSON string to an HTTP API Server

package somepackage;
import org.apache.http.client.HttpClient;
import org.apache.http.client.methods.HttpPost;
import org.apache.http.entity.StringEntity;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultHttpClient;
import org.apache.http.entity.ContentType;
import org.apache.http.HttpResponse;
import org.json.simple.parser.JSONParser;
import org.json.simple.JSONObject;
import org.json.simple.parser.ParseException;
import java.util.Map;
 * @author joe666
public class SimpleHTTPPOSTRequester {
    private String apiusername;
    private String apipassword;
    private String apiURL;
    public SimpleHTTPPOSTRequester(String apiusername, String apipassword, String apiURL) {        
        this.apiURL = apiURL;
        this.apiusername = apiusername;
        this.apipassword = apipassword;
    public void makeHTTPPOSTRequest() {
        try {
            HttpClient c = new DefaultHttpClient();        
            HttpPost p = new HttpPost(this.apiURL);        
            p.setEntity(new StringEntity("{\"username\":\"" + this.apiusername + "\",\"password\":\"" + this.apipassword + "\"}", 
            HttpResponse r = c.execute(p);
            BufferedReader rd = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(r.getEntity().getContent()));
            String line = "";
            while ((line = rd.readLine()) != null) {
               //Parse our JSON response               
               JSONParser j = new JSONParser();
               JSONObject o = (JSONObject)j.parse(line);
               Map response = (Map)o.get("response");
        catch(ParseException e) {
        catch(IOException e) {

In this very basic example we send a JSON string to the API server, like:

   "username": "myusername",
   "password": "mypassword"

And we parse a JSON response from the server, like:

   "response": {
      "somevalue" : "value"

The example uses libraries from Apache HttpComponents. We also use the json-simple library to make the JSON parsing for the response.