Invoke-WebRequest is a Windows PowerShell command that allows users to send HTTP and HTTPS requests to a web page or web service. It is used to retrieve content from the web, such as HTML, XML, JSON, and images. It can also be used to submit form data and download files. Invoke-WebRequest is a powerful tool for automating web requests and making web scraping easier.

Introduction to Invoke-WebRequest

Invoke-WebRequest is a command in the Windows PowerShell scripting language that allows users to send HTTP and HTTPS requests to a web page or web service. It can be used to retrieve content from the web, such as HTML, XML, JSON, and images. It can also be used to submit form data and download files. Invoke-WebRequest is a powerful tool for automating web requests and making web scraping easier.

Syntax and Parameters

The syntax for Invoke-WebRequest is as follows:

Invoke-WebRequest [-Uri] <Uri> [-Method <WebRequestMethod>] [-Body <Object>] [-Headers <IDictionary>] [-ContentType <String>] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-UseDefaultCredentials] [-TimeoutSec <Int32>] [-MaximumRedirection <Int32>] [-Proxy <Uri>] [-ProxyCredential <PSCredential>] [-ProxyUseDefaultCredentials] [-SessionVariable <String>] [-WebSession <WebRequestSession>] [-CertificateThumbprint <String>] [-Certificate <X509Certificate>] [-AllowUnencryptedAuthentication] [-DisableKeepAlive] [-MaximumRetryCount <Int32>] [-MaximumRetryWaitMilliseconds <Int32>] [-RetryIntervalMilliseconds <Int32>] [-InFile <String>] [-OutFile <String>] [-PassThru] [-InformationAction <ActionPreference>] [-InformationVariable <String>] [ <CommonParameters>]

The parameters for Invoke-WebRequest are:

  • Uri – The URI of the web page or web service to request.
  • Method – The HTTP method to use for the request, such as GET or POST.
  • Body – The body of the request, such as a JSON string or XML document.
  • Headers – A dictionary of HTTP headers to include in the request.
  • ContentType – The content type of the request, such as application/json.
  • Credential – A PSCredential object containing credentials to use for the request.
  • UseDefaultCredentials – A switch parameter to use the default credentials for the request.
  • TimeoutSec – The number of seconds to wait for the request to complete.
  • MaximumRedirection – The maximum number of redirects to follow.
  • Proxy – The URI of the proxy server to use for the request.
  • ProxyCredential – A PSCredential object containing credentials to use for the proxy server.
  • ProxyUseDefaultCredentials – A switch parameter to use the default credentials for the proxy server.
  • SessionVariable – The name of a variable to store the web session in.
  • WebSession – A WebRequestSession object to use for the request.
  • CertificateThumbprint – The thumbprint of an X.509 certificate to use for the request.
  • Certificate – An X.509 certificate to use for the request.
  • AllowUnencryptedAuthentication – A switch parameter to allow unencrypted authentication.
  • DisableKeepAlive – A switch parameter to disable the keep-alive feature.
  • MaximumRetryCount – The maximum number of retries to attempt.
  • MaximumRetryWaitMilliseconds – The maximum number of milliseconds to wait between retries.
  • RetryIntervalMilliseconds – The number of milliseconds to wait between retries.
  • InFile – The path to a file to use as the request body.
  • OutFile – The path to a file to save the response body to.
  • PassThru – A switch parameter to return the response object.
  • InformationAction – The action to take when displaying information.
  • InformationVariable – The name of a variable to store information in.

Inputs and Outputs

Invoke-WebRequest takes a URI as its input, and returns a WebResponse object as its output. The WebResponse object contains the response from the web page or web service, including the status code, response headers, and response body.

Examples

Here are some examples of how to use Invoke-WebRequest:

  • To retrieve the HTML of a web page:
    $response = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://example.com
  • To submit a form with POST data:
    $response = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://example.com -Method POST -Body '{"username":"user","password":"pass"}'
  • To download a file:
    Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://example.com/file.zip -OutFile C:\file.zip

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for using Invoke-WebRequest:

  • To use basic authentication, use the Credential parameter.
  • To use a proxy server, use the Proxy and ProxyCredential parameters.
  • To save the response body to a file, use the OutFile parameter.
  • To store the web session in a variable, use the SessionVariable parameter.
  • To use an X.509 certificate for authentication, use the CertificateThumbprint or Certificate parameters.
  • To set a timeout, use the TimeoutSec parameter.
  • To retry failed requests, use the MaximumRetryCount, MaximumRetryWaitMilliseconds, and RetryIntervalMilliseconds parameters.

Conclusion

Invoke-WebRequest is a powerful command in the Windows PowerShell scripting language that allows users to send HTTP and HTTPS requests to a web page or web service. It can be used to retrieve content from the web, such as HTML, XML, JSON, and images. It can also be used to submit form data and download files. Invoke-WebRequest is a powerful tool for automating web requests and making web scraping easier.

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