UriTemplate 101

I talked at a high level about the new System.UriTemplate API in my post last week on the Zen of the Web Programming Model but there's definitely more to drill into.

As a start, here's some more extensive sample code that shows the basics of Bind() and Match():

using System;
using System.Collections.Specialized;

//To run this sample locally, create a new Console Application Project and
//add a reference to Microsoft.ServiceModel.Web.dll
public class BasicUriTemplate
    public static void Main()
        Uri prefix = new Uri("http://localhost/");

        //A UriTemplate is a "URI with holes". It describes a set of URI's that
        //are structurally similar. This UriTemplate might be used for organizing
        //weather reports:
        UriTemplate template = new UriTemplate("weather/{state}/{city}");

        //You can convert a UriTemplate into a Uri by filling
        //the holes in the template with parameters.

        //BindByPosition moves left-to-right across the template
        Uri positionalUri = template.BindByPosition(prefix, "Washington", "Redmond");

        Console.WriteLine("Calling BindyByPosition...");

        //BindByName takes a NameValueCollection of parameters.
        //Each parameter gets substituted into the UriTemplate "hole"
        //that has the same name as the parameter.
        NameValueCollection parameters = new NameValueCollection();
        parameters.Add("state", "Washington");
        parameters.Add("city", "Redmond");

        Uri namedUri = template.BindByName(prefix, parameters);

        Console.WriteLine("Calling BindyByName...");

        //The inverse operation of Bind is Match(), which extrudes a URI
        //through the template to produce a set of name/value pairs.
        Uri fullUri = new Uri("http://localhost/weather/Washington/Redmond");
        UriTemplateMatch results = template.Match(prefix, fullUri);

        Console.WriteLine(String.Format("Matching {0} to {1}", template.ToString(), fullUri.ToString()));

        if (results != null)
            foreach (string variableName in results.BoundVariables.Keys)
                Console.WriteLine(String.Format("   {0}: {1}", variableName, results.BoundVariables[variableName]));


Of the two, Match() is my personal favorite. Here's the output from this program:

Calling BindyByPosition...

Calling BindyByName...

Matching weather/{state}/{city} to http://localhost/weather/Washington/Redmond
   state: washington
   city: redmond

More on the template syntax next time when we talk about Match().


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#1 Marc Brooks on 6.21.2007 at 4:34 PM

For those that wonder about an implementation of this you can use right now, I've written a simple opne-source implementation for .Net (1.1 or 2.0) that can read about here musingmarc.blogspot.com/.../uritemplate-pro