WebApiToSwaggerGenerator

Rico Suter edited this page Sep 6, 2018 · 128 revisions

The WebApiToSwaggerGenerator class is used to generate a Swagger specification from ASP.NET Web API controllers:

var settings = new WebApiToSwaggerGeneratorSettings 
{ 
    DefaultUrlTemplate = "api/{controller}/{action}/{id}" 
};
var generator = new WebApiToSwaggerGenerator(settings);
var document = await generator.GenerateForControllerAsync<PersonsController>();
var swaggerSpecification = document.ToJson();

The generator internally uses the JsonSchemaGenerator class (NJsonSchema project) to generate the JSON Schemas of the request and response DTO types.

To generate the Swagger specification for Web API controllers in an external .NET assembly, use the WebApiAssemblyToSwaggerGenerator class.

ASP.NET Core

Important: This reflection based generator will eventually be deprecated by the new APi Explorer based generator AspNetCoreToSwaggerGenerator!

When generating a Swagger specification for an ASP.NET Core application, set the IsAspNetCore setting to true.

Supported ASP.NET Web API attributes

  • Controller classes:
    • RoutePrefixAttribute on the controller class
    • DescriptionAttribute on the controller class (used to fill the Swagger 'Summary')
  • Action methods:
    • RouteAttribute and ActionNameAttribute on the action method, with support for Route constraints (e.g. [Route("users/{id:int}"])
    • DescriptionAttribute on the action method (used as Swagger operation 'Description')
    • One or more ProducesResponseTypeAttribute on the action method
    • HTTP verb attributes:
      • AcceptVerbsAttribute
      • HttpGetAttribute
      • HttpPostAttribute
      • HttpPutAttribute
      • HttpDeleteAttribute
      • HttpOptionsAttribute
  • Action method parameters:
    • FromBodyAttribute on the action method parameter
    • ModelBinderAttribute

The generator also supports data annotations, check out this page for more information.

Additionally supported attributes

  • Package: NSwag.Annotations

SwaggerResponseAttribute(httpAction, type)

Defines the response type of a Web API action method and HTTP action. See Specify the response type of an action.

SwaggerDefaultResponseAttribute()

Adds the default response (HTTP 200/204) based on the return type of the operation method. This can be used in conjunction with the SwaggerResponseAttribute or another response defining attribute (ProducesResponseTypeAttribute, etc.). This is needed because if one of these attributes is available, you have to define all responses and the default response is not automatically added. If an HTTP 200/204 response is already defined then the attribute is ignored (useful if the attribute is defined on the controller or the base class).

SwaggerIgnoreAttribute()

Excludes a Web API method from the Swagger specification.

SwaggerOperationAttribute(operationId)

Defines a custom operation ID for a Web API action method.

SwaggerTagsAttribute(tags)

Defines the operation tags. See Specify the operation tags.

SwaggerExtensionDataAttribute()

Adds extension data to the document (when applied to a controller class), an operation or parameter.

  • Package: NJsonSchema

NotNullAttribute and CanBeNullAttribute

Can be defined on DTO properties (handled by NJsonSchema), operation parameters and the return type with:

[return: NotNull]
public string GetName()

The default behavior can be changed with the WebApiToSwaggerGeneratorSettings.DefaultReferenceTypeNullHandling setting (default: Null).

Specify the response type of an action

Sometimes, the response type of an action method cannot be determined using reflection. As an example, this is the case when a method returns an HttpResponseMessage or IActionResult. To define the response type for the Swagger generator, you can add the SwaggerResponseAttribute to the action method (or the ASP.NET Core built-in attribute ProducesResponseTypeAttribute):

[SwaggerResponse(typeof(Person))]
public HttpResponseMessage Get(int id)
{
    ...
}

You can use the attribute from the System.Web.Http.Description namespace or the NSwag.Annotations NuGet package. If you use the latter attribute, you can also define result types per HTTP status code:

[SwaggerResponse("200", typeof(Person))]
[SwaggerResponse("500", typeof(PersonNotFoundException))]
public HttpResponseMessage Get(int id)
{
    ...
}

The SwaggerResponseAttribute with the HTTP status code parameter can be found in the NSwag.Annotations NuGet package, or can implemented in your own project (it just needs the same class name and properties). The implementation can be copied here (the namespace can be changed).

To define an operation without a response (i.e. HTTP 204 or 404), use the SwaggerResponseAttribute attribute and typeof(void):

[SwaggerResponse(typeof(void))]
[SwaggerResponse(404, typeof(void))]
public HttpResponseMessage Save(Person person)
{
    ...
}

If the response type cannot be determined, the type of generated response will be file:

"responses": {
	"200": {
		"schema": {
			"type": "file"
		}
	}
}

To force a file response, specify the response type with the SwaggerResponseAttribute:

[SwaggerResponse(typeof(IActionResult))]
public HttpResponseMessage DownloadFile(string name)
{
    ....
}

Working with HTTP status codes and exceptions

We recommend to catch exceptions and return them with a custom HTTP status code. Sample Web API action:

[HttpPost]
[SwaggerResponse(200, typeof(int))]
[SwaggerResponse(500, typeof(LocationNotFoundException))]
public async Task<ActionResult> Create([FromBody]Person person)
{
    try
    {
        var location = await _geoService.FindLocationAsync(person.Location);
        person.LocationLatitude = location.Latitude;
        person.LocationLongitude = location.Longitude;
    }
    catch (LocationNotFoundException locationNotFoundException)
    {
        return StatusCode(500, locationNotFoundException);
    }

    await _dataContext.SaveChangesAsync();
    return Ok(person.Id);
}

In order to correctly serialize the custom exception, just add the JsonExceptionConverter from the NSwag.Annotations NuGet package (or use the JsonExceptionFilterAttribute):

[JsonConverter(typeof(JsonExceptionConverter))]
public class LocationNotFoundException : Exception
{
    [JsonProperty("location")]
    public string Location { get;  }

    public LocationNotFoundException(string location, Exception exception)
        : base("The location could not be found.", exception)
    {
        Location = location;
    }
}

Specify the operation tags

With the SwaggerTagsAttribute you can specify the Swagger tags for a Web API action method:

[SwaggerTags("foo", "bar")]
public void MyActionMethod() 
{
	...
}

If the attribute is not available, the controller name is added to the list of operation tags.

File uploads

An operation parameter is treated as form file upload if it is/inherits/implements one of the following types (or a collection of it):

  • IFormFile
  • HttpPostedFile
  • HttpPostedFileBase

You can also add the SwaggerFileAttribute to a parameter or a class (implemented in the NSwag.Annotations package):

public void MyOperation([SwaggerFile] MyClass myParameter)
{
    ...
}

Serve the Swagger specification from a Web API action

You should use the OWIN middlewares to serve a Swagger specifications via HTTP.

You can serve the Swagger specification by running the Swagger generator in a Web API action method:

[RoutePrefix("api/MyWebApi")]
public class MyWebApiController : ApiController
{
    // TODO: Add action methods here

    private static readonly Lazy<string> _swagger = new Lazy<string>(() =>
    {
        var settings = new WebApiToSwaggerGeneratorSettings
        {
            DefaultUrlTemplate = "api/{controller}/{action}/{id}"
        };

        var generator = new WebApiToSwaggerGenerator(settings);
        var document = Task.Run(async () => await generator.GenerateForControllerAsync<MyWebApiController>())
            .GetAwaiter().GetResult();

        return document.ToJson();
    });

    [SwaggerIgnore]
    [HttpGet, Route("swagger/docs/v1")]
    public HttpResponseMessage Swagger()
    {
        var response = new HttpResponseMessage();
        response.StatusCode = HttpStatusCode.OK;
        response.Content = new StringContent(_swagger.Value, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json");
        return response;
    }
}

The Swagger specification can now be accessed via the path http://myhost/api/MyWebApi/swagger/docs/v1.

The following code shows how to implemented a controller which serves the Swagger specification for multiple controllers:

public class SwaggerController : Controller
{
    private static readonly Lazy<string> _swagger = new Lazy<string>(() =>
    {
        var controllers = new[] { typeof(FooController), typeof(BarController) };
        var settings = new WebApiToSwaggerGeneratorSettings
        {
            DefaultUrlTemplate = "api/{controller}/{action}/{id}"
        };

        var generator = new WebApiToSwaggerGenerator(settings);
        var document = Task.Run(async () => await generator.GenerateForControllersAsync(controllers))
            .GetAwaiter().GetResult();

        return document.ToJson();
    });

    [SwaggerIgnore]
    [HttpGet, Route("swagger/docs/v1")]
    public HttpResponseMessage Swagger()
    {
        var response = new HttpResponseMessage();
        response.StatusCode = HttpStatusCode.OK;
        response.Content = new StringContent(_swagger.Value, Encoding.UTF8, "application/json");
        return response;
    }
}

ASP.NET Core MVC

Known issues:

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