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Web Server Information using .NET

, 31 Aug 2010 CPOL
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This articles explains about a tool which can be used to get web server information using WebClient in .NET
webinfo.jpg

Introduction

This article is about a tool which you can use to get information like encoding, cookie details, web server name, server language, their version numbers, etc.

Are They Accurate?

We cannot guarantee as it is possible for the server guys to fake/disable parameters if they wish.

About WebClient

WebClient belongs to System.Net.WebClient. You can find the MSDN page here.

WebClient provides common methods for sending data to and receiving data from a resource identified by a URI.

This feature is available from .NET Framework version 2.0. I have made use of this feature for building this handy tool.

Using the Code

This is the heart code of this tool which gets data from the server and displays the parameters to a textbox.

WebClient wc = new WebClient();
// This line adds a user agent string to header of Web Client.
// user agent is optional but some websites/servers use this string
// to verify whether you are a bot or browser. We use this to act our tool 
// like a browser.
// More info about user agent here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_agent

wc.Headers.Add("user-agent", "Mozilla/4.0 
	(compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.2; .NET CLR 1.0.3705;)"); 

// Below line reads information from the server of specified website.
// OpenRead() method returns the contents of the file, but since we do not need
// it for our tool, I am not reading it to a variable.
wc.OpenRead(site); 

// wc.ResponseHeaders contents all the header responses from server.
// I am adding those information to a StringBuilder variable with some formatting.
// wc.ResponseHeaders.Count returns number of keys/values available. 
// Count varies from website to website
for (int i = 0; i < wc.ResponseHeaders.Count; i++)
{
     sb.Append((i + 1).ToString() + ". [" + wc.ResponseHeaders.AllKeys[i] + "] => " 
     + wc.ResponseHeaders[i] + Environment.NewLine + Environment.NewLine);
}

// Finally, the formatted string is passed to the multi-line textbox
textBox1.Text = sb.ToString();

WebClient.ResponseHeaders is the property which brings our necessary parameters from the server.

Who Can Benefit from this Tool?

Well, technology enthusiasts, I would say. If somebody is interested to know which website runs on which server/language, then this tool is for them.

Some of my observations with this tool here:

  • google.com - gws (Google Web Server)
  • codeproject.com - IIS6, ASP.NET 4.0
  • microsoft.com - IIS 7.5/ASP.NET 4.0
  • msdn - IIS 7.5/ASP.NET 2.0
  • php.net - Apache 1.3/PHP 5.2
  • apache.org - Apache 2.3
  • python.org - Apache 2.3/Python 2.5
  • gmail - GSE (Google Search Extension)
  • oracle.com - Oracle Application Server
  • java.com - Sun Java System Web Server
  • wikipedia.org - Apache

History

  • Monday, 30 August 2010 - Initial version

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Praveen Nair (NinethSense)
Architect ORION INDIA SYSTEMS
India India
Praveen.V.Nair - aka NinethSense - PMP, Microsoft MVP - is working as a Head of Technology and Architecture at Orion India Systems, Kochi, India. He has been playing with electronics from the age of 10 and with computers from the age of 14. He usually blogs at http://blog.ninethsense.com/.
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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 2 [modified] Pinmemberroybrew7-Sep-10 4:06 
Almost pointless for my current needs since WebClient apparently can't deal with redirections or multiple redirections. If it could deal with that, it would be a more interesting tool.

modified on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 9:57 AM

GeneralRe: My vote of 2 PinmemberNinethSense7-Sep-10 23:04 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 Pinmemberroybrew8-Sep-10 3:46 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 PinmemberNinethSense8-Sep-10 4:04 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 Pinmemberroybrew8-Sep-10 4:15 
Generalnice one Pinmemberrondevis30-Aug-10 23:36 
GeneralRe: nice one PinmemberNinethSense31-Aug-10 0:58 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pinmemberkarabax30-Aug-10 7:36 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 PinmemberNinethSense30-Aug-10 19:05 

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