I'm trying to build a C# console application to automate grabbing certain files from our website, mostly to save myself clicks and - frankly - just to have done it. But I've hit a snag that for which I've been unable to find a working solution.

The website I'm trying to which I'm trying to connect uses ASP.Net forms authorization, and I cannot figure out how to authenticate myself with it. This application is a complete hack so I can hard code my username and password or any other needed auth info, and the solution itself doesn't need to be something that is viable enough to release to general users. In other words, if the only possible solution is a hack, I'm fine with that.

Basically, I'm trying to use HttpWebRequest to pull the site that has the list of files, iterating through that list and then downloading what I need. So the actual work on the site is fairly trivial once I can get the website to consider me authorized.


-Eric Sipple

+1  A: 

This page should get you started. You need to first make a request to the page, and then saving the cookie to a container that you include in all later request. That should keep you logged in, and able to retrieve the files.

Hope this helps

+1  A: 

I have dealt with something similar, and the hardest part is figuring out exactly what you needed to "fake" to get authorized. In my case it was authorizing into some Lotus Notes webservice, but the details are unimportant, the method is the same.

Essentially, we need to record a regular user session. I would recommend Fiddler but if you're on linux or something, then you'll need to use wireshark to figure some of the things out. Not sure if there is a firefox plugin that could be used.

Anyway, start up IE, then start up Fiddler. Complete the login process.
Stop what you're doing. Switch to the fiddler pane, and examine the recorded sessions in detail. It should give you exactly what you need to fake using WebRequests.