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Web requests with HTTP


SFML provides a simple HTTP client class which you can use to communicate with HTTP servers. "Simple" means that it supports the most basic features of HTTP: POST, GET and HEAD request types, accessing HTTP header fields, and reading/writing the pages body.

If you need more advanced features, such as secured HTTP (HTTPS) for example, you're better off using a true HTTP library, like libcurl or cpp-netlib.

For basic interaction between your program and an HTTP server, it should be enough.


To communicate with an HTTP server you must use the sf::Http class.

#include <SFML/Network.hpp>

sf::Http http;

// or
sf::Http http("http://www.some-server.org/");

Note that setting the host doesn't trigger any connection. A temporary connection is created for each request.

The only other function in sf::Http, sends requests. This is basically all that the class does.

sf::Http::Request request;
// fill the request...
sf::Http::Response response = http.sendRequest(request);


An HTTP request, represented by the sf::Http::Request class, contains the following information:

sf::Http::Request request;
request.setHttpVersion(1, 1); // HTTP 1.1
request.setField("From", "me");
request.setField("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");

sf::Http::Response response = http.sendRequest(request);

SFML automatically fills mandatory header fields, such as "Host", "Content-Length", etc. You can send your requests without worrying about them. SFML will do its best to make sure they are valid.


If the sf::Http class could successfully connect to the host and send the request, a response is sent back and returned to the user, encapsulated in an instance of the sf::Http::Response class. Responses contain the following members:

sf::Http::Response response = http.sendRequest(request);
std::cout << "status: " << response.getStatus() << std::endl;
std::cout << "HTTP version: " << response.getMajorHttpVersion() << "." << response.getMinorHttpVersion() << std::endl;
std::cout << "Content-Type header:" << response.getField("Content-Type") << std::endl;
std::cout << "body: " << response.getBody() << std::endl;

The status code can be used to check whether the request was successfully processed or not: codes 2xx represent success, codes 3xx represent a redirection, codes 4xx represent client errors, codes 5xx represent server errors, and codes 10xx represent SFML specific errors which are not part of the HTTP standard.

Example: sending scores to an online server

Here is a short example that demonstrates how to perform a simple task: Sending a score to an online database.

#include <SFML/Network.hpp>
#include <sstream>

void sendScore(int score, const std::string& name)
    // prepare the request
    sf::Http::Request request("/send-score.php", sf::Http::Request::Post);

    // encode the parameters in the request body
    std::ostringstream stream;
    stream << "name=" << name << "&score=" << score;

    // send the request
    sf::Http http("http://www.myserver.com/");
    sf::Http::Response response = http.sendRequest(request);

    // check the status
    if (response.getStatus() == sf::Http::Response::Ok)
        // check the contents of the response
        std::cout << response.getBody() << std::endl;
        std::cout << "request failed" << std::endl;

Of course, this is a very simple way to handle online scores. There's no protection: Anybody could easily send a false score. A more robust approach would probably involve an extra parameter, like a hash code that ensures that the request was sent by the program. That is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

And finally, here is a very simple example of what the PHP page on server might look like.

    $name = $_POST['name'];
    $score = $_POST['score'];
    if (write_to_database($name, $score)) // this is not a PHP tutorial :)
        echo "name and score added!";
        echo "failed to write name and score to database...";