How to save / receive jpg image or any binary data in C# Web Api 2

Searched all through the web for a simple way to save / receive binary data or image file using Web Api 2. Solutions range from very complex to complex:

  • using JSON (30% overhead?)
  • BSON (looks nice, but not widely supported –
  • Multipart MIME (why multi-part, if we have only one file?)
  • Complex Web Api / MVC controllers encapsulated by enterprise classess, etc.

They all are missing the simplest form — POST binary data, receive binary data… all in one line of code

HttpContext.Current.Request.SaveAs(filename, false);

Yes! That’s it! One line and data from Binary HTTP POST response is saved.

In case you are looking for the simple way to send binary data using the same Web Api, here is a code we are using.

HttpResponseMessage response = new HttpResponseMessage(HttpStatusCode.OK);
byte[] binaryData = File.ReadAllBytes(@"C:\full\path\to\image\photo.jpg");

if (binaryData == null) throw new FileNotFoundException("something bad happened!");
response.Content = new ByteArrayContent(binaryData);
response.Content.Headers.ContentType = new MediaTypeHeaderValue("image/jpeg");
return response;

//if your are using IHttpActionResult, use return ResponseMessage(response);

And as always, your comments are welcome! Registration is not required.