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.http Files in Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2022's .http file editor provides an easy and convenient way to test Web APIs directly in Visual Studio without having to switch to another tool. The editor provides a UI that allows you to send http requests and preview request/response details in Visual Studio. For this you need to install version 17.6 or later.

The .http files are plain text files that contain HTTP requests. They can be used to send requests to web servers directly from the text editor, which is very handy for testing APIs. We can also add information about like HTTP method (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE etc), url headers, parameters and request body.

Before we start with the demonstration we need to install REST Client Extenstion from Visual Studio. Then we can create an .http file (for example requests .http).

For convenience, we can use the Endpoint Explorer option, which can directly generate the requests for us and add them to the .http file.

Once we have generated the queries, we can export to the url where the endpoint is located for convenience and reuse.

When we want to define an http request we first need to add ### above the request, we can also add some description. Here is an example of a completed request:

All we have to do is click Send request and send the request. Here is the result:

Let's take a look at what a POST request would look like and submit a model:

Advantages of using .http files:

  • Convenience: HTTP requests can be sent directly from the text editor.

  • Easily manage and view multiple requests in one file.

  • Speed: Quickly test and debug APIs without the need for additional tools.

  • Compatibility: .http files can be shared between team members, making collaboration easier.

Here are some advantages compared to Swagger:

  1. Ease of use:

  • .http files are plain text files that can be easily created and edited in any text editor or IDE like Visual Studio.

  • They allow you to quickly send HTTP requests and view the responses directly in the editor.

2. Speed in testing:

  • Allow easy testing of various scenarios with HTTP requests including GET, POST, PUT and DELETE.

  • Support splitting different requests in the same file using delimiters (###).

3. Independence:

  • Do not depend on specific infrastructure or servers, making them suitable for local testing and development.


The use of .http files in Visual Studio provides a powerful tool for developers to facilitate API testing and development. With them, you can quickly and easily send requests and see the results directly in the IDE. This is especially useful when developing RESTful services and when testing different scenarios.

Amexis Team

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