I came across a website which seems simple enough that I was pretty confident that I will be able to read its data using HttpWebRequest and will be able to do the GET and POST requests. The GET requests are working fine. POST request also not generating any error but still the posted form data has no effect on the results which are returned. The form data posted have fields to filter the data as per dates but regardless the fact that every required data is posted the data returned is not filtered. I have added every header, form data and also added cookies with the request.

The url for the webpage is http://www.bseindia.com/corporates/Insider_Trading_new.aspx?expandable=0

This seems like a very ordinary website but as it is an aspx page and involves ViewState and Event Validation hence this was expected not to be very easy.

My first step was to analyze the site's GET and POST using Fiddler and this amazes me because Fiddler is not capturing any traffic for this url. I have tried Charles but that itself is not capturing this url. Other then this Url Fiddler and Charles both are capturing everything else. I also like to mention that when I called the Url from a console application using HttpWebRequest then both Fiddler and Charles captured it but they are not capturing it from Chrome, FireFox and Internet Explorer 11.

So I analyzed the Network activity using Developer tool in FireFox and everything was visible which includes (Headers, Parameters and Cookies). In Chrome no cookies were present. When I inspect the cookies by creating HttpWebRequest and got the response there were no cookies present. So something is really strange going o with this website.

I have somehow managed to create a simple function to create the request and get the response. What I am doing is that I am creating a GET request first and get the Website string and extract Viewstate, EventValidation etc from it. I use this information to be used in second HttpWebRequest which is a post. Now everything works fine and I get the response but not as expected. I want the records between two give dates and I have specified these dates in the form data but still the POST request does not return the filtered data. I have mentioned the function that I have created below and I will really appreciate any suggestions that why is this happening and how to handle this. To understand this has become a challenge to me as I cannot understand why this simple website is not showing up in Fiddler. (This uses Javascript Postback)

The code may look long and scary but rather it is very simple and straight forward.

Try

        ' First GET Request to obtain Viewstate, Eventvalidation etc
        Dim objRequest2 As Net.HttpWebRequest = DirectCast(HttpWebRequest.Create("http://www.bseindia.com/corporates/Insider_Trading_new.aspx?expandable=0"), HttpWebRequest)
        objRequest2.Method = "GET"
        objRequest2.Accept = "text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8"
        objRequest2.Headers.Add("Accept-Encoding", "gzip, deflate")
        objRequest2.Headers.Add("Accept-Language", "en-GB,en-US;q=0.8,en;q=0.6,ur;q=0.4")
        objRequest2.KeepAlive = True
        objRequest2.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
        objRequest2.Host = "www.bseindia.com"
        objRequest2.UserAgent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/47.0.2526.106 Safari/537.36"

        objRequest2.AutomaticDecompression = DecompressionMethods.Deflate Or DecompressionMethods.GZip

        Dim LoginRes2 As Net.HttpWebResponse
        Dim sr2 As IO.StreamReader
        LoginRes2 = objRequest2.GetResponse()

        sr2 = New IO.StreamReader(LoginRes2.GetResponseStream)
        Dim getString As String = sr2.ReadToEnd()
        Dim getCookieCollection = objRequest2.CookieContainer

        ' get the page ViewState                
        Dim viewStateFlag As String = "id=""__VIEWSTATE"" value="""
        Dim i As Integer = getString.IndexOf(viewStateFlag) + viewStateFlag.Length
        Dim j As Integer = getString.IndexOf("""", i)
        Dim viewState As String = getString.Substring(i, j - i)

        ' get page EventValidation                
        Dim eventValidationFlag As String = "id=""__EVENTVALIDATION"" value="""
        i = getString.IndexOf(eventValidationFlag) + eventValidationFlag.Length
        j = getString.IndexOf("""", i)
        Dim eventValidation As String = getString.Substring(i, j - i)

        ' get page EventValidation                
        Dim viewstateGeneratorFlag As String = "id=""__VIEWSTATEGENERATOR"" value="""
        i = getString.IndexOf(viewstateGeneratorFlag) + viewstateGeneratorFlag.Length
        j = getString.IndexOf("""", i)
        Dim viewStateGenerator As String = getString.Substring(i, j - i)

        viewState = System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(viewState)
        eventValidation = System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(eventValidation)

        Dim LoginRes As Net.HttpWebResponse
        Dim sr As IO.StreamReader
        Dim objRequest As Net.HttpWebRequest

        ' Second POST request to post the form data along with cookies
        objRequest = DirectCast(HttpWebRequest.Create("http://www.bseindia.com/corporates/Insider_Trading_new.aspx?expandable=0"), HttpWebRequest)

        Dim formDataCollection As New NameValueCollection

        formDataCollection.Add("__EVENTTARGET", "")
        formDataCollection.Add("__EVENTARGUMENT", "")
        formDataCollection.Add("__VIEWSTATE", viewState)
        formDataCollection.Add("__VIEWSTATEGENERATOR", viewStateGenerator)
        formDataCollection.Add("__EVENTVALIDATION", eventValidation)
        formDataCollection.Add("fmdate", "20160104")
        formDataCollection.Add("eddate", "20160204")
        formDataCollection.Add("hidCurrentDate", "2016/02/04")
        formDataCollection.Add("ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_hdnCode", "")
        formDataCollection.Add("txtDate", "04/01/2016")
        formDataCollection.Add("ddlCalMonthDiv3", "1")
        formDataCollection.Add("ddlCalYearDiv3", "2016")
        formDataCollection.Add("txtTodate", "04/02/2016")
        formDataCollection.Add("ddlCalMonthDiv4", "2")
        formDataCollection.Add("ddlCalYearDiv4", "2016")
        formDataCollection.Add("Hidden1", "")
        formDataCollection.Add("ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_GetQuote1_smartSearch", "Enter Security Name / Code / ID")
        formDataCollection.Add("btnSubmit.x", "44")
        formDataCollection.Add("btnSubmit.y", "2")

        Dim strFormdata As String = formDataCollection.ToString()
        Dim encoding As New ASCIIEncoding
        Dim postBytes As Byte() = encoding.GetBytes(strFormdata)

        objRequest.Method = "POST"
        objRequest.Accept = "text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,*/*;q=0.8"
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Accept-Encoding", "gzip, deflate")
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Accept-Language", "en-GB,en-US;q=0.8,en;q=0.6,ur;q=0.4")
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Cache-Control", "private, max-age=60")
        objRequest.KeepAlive = True
        objRequest.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
        objRequest.Host = "www.bseindia.com"
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Origin", "http://www.bseindia.com")
        objRequest.Referer = "http://www.bseindia.com/corporates/Insider_Trading_new.aspx?expandable=0"
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Upgrade-Insecure-Requests", "1")
        objRequest.UserAgent = "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/47.0.2526.106 Safari/537.36"

        objRequest.ContentType = "text/html; charset=utf-8"
        objRequest.Date = "Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:42:04 GMT"
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Server", "Microsoft-IIS/8.0")
        objRequest.Headers.Add("Vary", "Accept-Encoding")
        objRequest.Headers.Add("X-AspNet-Version", "2.0.50727")
        objRequest.Headers.Add("ASP.NET", "ASP.NET")

        objRequest.AutomaticDecompression = DecompressionMethods.Deflate Or DecompressionMethods.GZip

        Dim gaCookies As New CookieContainer()

        Dim cookie1 As New Cookie("__asc", "f673f0d5152a823bc335f575d34")
        cookie1.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie1.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie1)

        Dim cookie2 As New Cookie("__auc", "f673f0d5152a823bc335f575d34")
        cookie2.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie2.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie2)

        Dim cookie3 As New Cookie("__utma", "253454874.280640365.1454519857.1454519865.1454519865.1")
        cookie3.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie3.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie3)

        Dim cookie4 As New Cookie("__utmb", "253454874.1.10.1454519865")
        cookie4.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie4.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie4)

        Dim cookie5 As New Cookie("__utmc", "253454874")
        cookie5.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie5.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie5)

        Dim cookie6 As New Cookie("__utmt", "1")
        cookie6.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie6.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie6)

        Dim cookie7 As New Cookie("__utmz", "253454874.1454519865.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)")
        cookie7.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie7.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie7)

        Dim cookie8 As New Cookie("_ga", "GA1.2.280640365.1454519857")
        cookie8.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie8.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie8)

        Dim cookie9 As New Cookie("_gat", "1")
        cookie9.Domain = ".bseindia.com"
        cookie9.Path = "/"
        gaCookies.Add(cookie9)

        Dim postStream As Stream = objRequest.GetRequestStream()
        postStream.Write(postBytes, 0, postBytes.Length)
        postStream.Flush()
        postStream.Close()

        LoginRes = objRequest.GetResponse()
        sr = New IO.StreamReader(LoginRes.GetResponseStream)

        ReadWebsite = sr.ReadToEnd()

        sr.Close()
        sr = Nothing
        LoginRes.Close()
        LoginRes = Nothing
        objRequest = Nothing
        Exit Function

    Catch ex As Exception
        ReadWebsite = Nothing
    End Try

Note: (Raw form data for dates without viewstate and eventvalidation)

fmdate:20160130 eddate:20160205 hidCurrentDate:2016/02/05 ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_hdnCode: txtDate:04/01/2016 ddlCalMonthDiv3:1 ddlCalYearDiv3:2016 txtTodate:04/02/2016 ddlCalMonthDiv4:2 ddlCalYearDiv4:2016 Hidden1: ctl00_ContentPlaceHolder1_GetQuote1_smartSearch:Enter Security Name / Code / ID btnSubmit.x:55 btnSubmit.y:13

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