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Best way to get database images from Web Service

Posted on 2010-08-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-07
I'm working on a mobile web site and web service where the images are stored in the database. For the web site, I'm using the following markup to display a stored image:
<img id="MyImage" runat="server" EnableViewState="false"
    src='<%# Eval("ImageFileID", "~/HttpHandlers/DBImageHandler.ashx?fileid={0}") %>' alt=""
/>

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But other web sites may call my web service and need access to the stored images. Should I just have the web method return the ResolveURL value of "~/HttpHandlers/DBImageHandler.ashx?fileid={0}" or is there a better way?

Or is it sufficient if I just return the ImageFileID and document how the caller should make use of that information?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:ZekeLA
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MlandaT earned 125 total points
ID: 33548343
Should I just have the web method return the ResolveURL value of "~/HttpHandlers/DBImageHandler.ashx?fileid={0}" or is there a better way?
I think yes... however... remember that other sites WILL NOT BE ABLE to use the "~/HttpHandlers" as it refers to your machine... pretty much like 'localhost'... so perhaps rather return the full url including the domain name e.g. http://www.mydomain.com/HttpHandlers/DBImageHandler.ashx?fileid=1
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Expert Comment

by:Vikram Singh Saini
ID: 33548810
Hi,

Why don't you create a WebMethod in WebService which takes the Id from client to retrieve image from database. And then return the byte array of the image back to the client. And on the client side in your web application use those byte array values in MemoryStream to retrieve image from the same.

Why ? Because no need of providing clients the URL as some of malicious user can misuse them. (It's my assumption only, your choice to accept it or not).

Regards,
VSS
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Author Comment

by:ZekeLA
ID: 33549492
That's what I meant to say MlandaT when i said I would use ResolveURL. I realize I have to give them the rendered URL. I appreciate the confirmation.

VSS, that's what the handler does. But the client could be almost anything; it won't necessarily be be .NET. How well can other platforms take an array of bytes back and convert it into an image?
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Author Comment

by:ZekeLA
ID: 33549503
My other issue was making the web method result small. Returning just the FileID is less than providing the entire url. But it requires the client to create the image's url. And it isn't flexible if our website organization changes. I could always put the base url in a returned soap header so it only gets sent once per call.
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Assisted Solution

by:Vikram Singh Saini
Vikram Singh Saini earned 125 total points
ID: 33549547
Hi,

I agree with comment at ID:33549492. I was thinking that in .Net context. But for comment at ID:33549503 you said that if our website organization changes. For that you can save your images url in database along with file id. And so when you changes organization update those url values in database.

Regards,
VSS
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