Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Reading Data from the Internet

Lesson 6, Java Basics

To read local file streams, a program has to specify the file's location, i.e. "c:\practice\training.html". The same procedure is valid for reading of the remote files: just open the stream over the network. Java has a class URL that will help you to connect to a remote computer on the Internet.

At first, create an instance of the class URL:

try{
  URL xyz = new URL("http://www.xyz.com:80/training.html");
}
catch(MalformedURLException e){
      e.printStackTrace();
}

The MalformedURLException could be thrown if a non-valid URL has been used, for example missed protocol if you forgot to start URL with http://, extra spaces, etc. The MalformedURLException does not indicate that the remote machine has problems - just check the spelling of the URL.

Creation of the URL object does not establish the connection with the remote machine: you'll still need to open a stream to read it. Usually you have to perform the following steps to read a file from the Internet:

Step 1. Create and instance of the class URL

Step 2. Create an instance of the class URLConnection and open a connection using the URL instance from step 1.

Step 3. Get a reference to an input stream of this object by calling the method URLConnection.getInputStream()

Step 4. Read the data from the stream (use the buffered reader to speed up the process).

Since the streams from the package java.io are being used here for the read/write operations, you'll have to handle I/O exceptions.

The server you are trying to connect to has to be up and running and, in case of using http protocol, the special software (Web Server) has to be "listening to" the port that you specified in the URL instance. By default, Web servers are listening to the port number 80.

The program below reads and prints on the system console the content of the file index.html from yahoo.com. Obviously, to test this program your computer has to be connected to the Internet.

import java.net.*;
import java.io.*;
public class WebSiteReader {
  public static void main(String args[]){
       String nextLine;
       URL url = null;
       URLConnection urlConn = null;
       InputStreamReader  inStream = null;
       BufferedReader buff = null;
       try{
          // Create the URL obect that points
          // at the default file index.html
          url  = new URL("http://www.yahoo.com" );
          urlConn = url.openConnection();
         inStream = new InputStreamReader( 
                           urlConn.getInputStream());
           buff= new BufferedReader(inStream);
        
       // Read and print the lines from index.html
        while (true){
            nextLine =buff.readLine();  
            if (nextLine !=null){
                System.out.println(nextLine); 
            }
            else{
               break;
            } 
        }
     } catch(MalformedURLException e){
       System.out.println("Please check the URL:" + 
                                           e.toString() );
     } catch(IOException  e1){
      System.out.println("Can't read  from the Internet: "+ 
                                          e1.toString() ); 
  }
 }
}

The class WebSiteReader explicitly creates the URLConnection object. Strictly speaking we could get away just with the class URL:

URL url = new URL("http://www.yahoo.com");
InputStream in = url.getInputStream();
Buff= new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));

The reason why you may consider using the URLConnection class is that it could give you some additional control over the I/O process. For example, by calling its method setDoInput(true) you could allow (or disallow) downloads.

Connecting Through HTTP Proxy Servers

Most of the companies use firewalls for security reasons and their employees reach the Internet through the HTTP proxy server. Check the settings of your Internet browser to find out the host name and port number of the proxy server. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer check the menu Internet Options | Connections | LAN Setting. Netscape Navigator has proxy settings under Preferences | Advanced | Proxies.

While Java Applets know parameters of the proxy servers because they live inside the browser that has the proper settings, Java applications should set the parameters of the proxy server, for example:

   System.setProperty("http.proxyHost","xyz.com");
   System.setProperty("http.proxyPort", 8080);

If you do not want to hardcode these value, pass them to the program from the command line:

c:\practice>java -Dhttp.proxyHost=xyz.com  -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080  WebSiteReader

If you run this program without specifying the proxy settings, you'll get the UnknownHostException.

How to Download Files From the Internet

By using the class URL with input streams, we should be able to download practically any file (images, music, binary files) from the unsecured Internet site. The trick is in proper opening of the file stream. Let‚s write the class FileDownload that takes a URL and the file name as a command line arguments and copies remote file on your local disk.

import java.io.DataOutputStream;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.DataInputStream;
import java.net.URL;
import java.net.URLConnection;

class FileDownloader{

  public static void main(String args[]){
    if (args.length!=2){
      System.out.println(
        "Proper Usage: java FileDownloader RemoteFileURL LocalFileName");
      System.exit(0);
    }

  DataInputStream in=null;
  DataOutputStream out=null;
  FileOutputStream fOut=null;

  try{
    URL remoteFile=new URL(args[0]);
    URLConnection fileStream=remoteFile.openConnection();

    // Open the input streams for the remote file 
    fOut=new FileOutputStream(args[1]);

    // Open the output streams for saving this file on disk
    out=new DataOutputStream(fOut);

    in=new DataInputStream(fileStream.getInputStream());

    // Read the remote on save save the file
    int data;
    while((data=in.read())!=-1){
         fOut.write(data);
    }  
    System.out.println("Download of " + args[0] + " is complete." );   
  } catch (Exception e){
     e.printStackTrace();
  } finally {
     try{
       in.close();
       fOut.flush(); 
       fOut.close();      
     } catch(Exception e){e.printStackTrace();}
     
    }
 }
}

To download the Yahoo's main page into c:\temp directory start this program as follows:

java FileDownloader http://www.yahoo.com/index.html c:\\temp\\yahoo.html

The Stock Quote Program

In this section we'll write the program that can read stock market quotes from the Internet. There are many Internet sites providing stock market quotes, and 20 minutes delayed quotes are free. Wall Street companies subscribe for the real-time market data feed. One of the popular Internet sites is Yahoo and the URL for getting stock prices is http://finance.yahoo.com Point your Web browser to this site and get the price quote of any stock symbol. Note the URL of the resulting Web page in your browser. For example, if you've selected the symbol IBM, the URL would look like this:

 http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=IBM

Right click on this page and select the View Source from the popup menu to see the HTML contents of this page: you'll see lots of HTML tags and the information about the IBM's trading will be buried somewhere deep inside the file:


...
   Last Trade:</TD><TD class=yfnc_tabledata1><BIG><B>95.32</B>
...

The next step is to modify the URL in our class WebSiteReader to print the content of the page about the symbol IBM:

    url  = new URL("http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=IBM");

You can also store the whole page in a Java String variable instead of printing it. Just change the while loop to look as follows:

        String theWholePage;
        while (txt =buff.readLine() != null ){
             theWholePage=theWholePage + txt;
         }

If you add some smart tokenizing of theWholePage to get rid of all HTML tags and everything but Last Trade value, you can create your own little GUI Stock Quote screen. While this approach is useful to sharpen you tokenizing skills, it may not be the best solution, especially if Yahoo will change the wording of this page. That's why we'll be using another Yahoo's URL that provide stock quotes in a cleaner comma separated values format (CSV).

Here's the URL that should be used for the IBM's symbol:

http://quote.yahoo.com/d/quotes.csv?s=IBM&f=sl1d1t1c1ohgv&e=.csv

This URL would produce a string that looks something like this (the price quotes are not real):

"IBM",95.32,"1/16/2004","5:01pm",+1.30,95.00,95.35,94.71,9305000

The next class StockQuoter prints the price quote for the symbol that is specified as a command line argument.

import java.net.*;
import java.io.*;
import java.util.StringTokenizer;

public class StockQuoter {
       String csvString;
       URL url = null;
       URLConnection urlConn = null;
       InputStreamReader  inStream = null;
       BufferedReader buff = null;

     StockQuoter(String symbol){

       try{
           url  = new              
               URL("http://quote.yahoo.com/d/quotes.csv?s="
                   + symbol + "&f=sl1d1t1c1ohgv&e=.csv" );
           urlConn = url.openConnection();
           inStream = new
               InputStreamReader(urlConn.getInputStream());
           BufferedReader buff= new BufferedReader(inStream);

           // get the quote as a csv string
           csvString =buff.readLine();  

           // parse the csv string
              StringTokenizer tokenizer = new
                          StringTokenizer(csvString, ",");
              String ticker = tokenizer.nextToken();
              String price  = tokenizer.nextToken();
              String tradeDate = tokenizer.nextToken();  
              String tradeTime = tokenizer.nextToken();  

              System.out.println("Symbol: " + ticker + 
                " Price: " + price + " Date: "  + tradeDate 
                + " Time: " + tradeTime);
     } catch(MalformedURLException e){
         System.out.println("Please check the spelling of the URL:" 
         		           + e.toString() );
     } catch(IOException  e1){
      System.out.println("Can't read from the Internet: " + 
                                           e1.toString() ); 
     }
     finally{
         try{
           inStream.close();
           buff.close();   
         }catch(Exception e){
            e.printStackTrace();
         }
     }  
   } 

  public static void main(String args[]){
       if (args.length==0){
          System.out.println(
                     "Sample Usage: java StockQuoter IBM");
          System.exit(0);
       } 
       StockQuoter sq = new StockQuoter(args[0]);
  }

}

To see the latest price of IBM stock start the StockQuoter program as follows:

c:\practice>java StockQuoter IBM

In this lesson I tried to show you that working with the streams over the net may be as simple as dealing with files on your local disk. These days Java runs remote-controlled Mars rovers, and this is not a rocket science anymore - just open a Java stream that points at Mars.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (19) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Dave Mason 10/18/07 03:00:39 AM EDT

Hello Yakov,
how can I read data in real time from java applet for example:
http://www.saxobank.com/?id=911&Lan=EN&Au=1&Grp=5

nitin 11/27/04 02:34:32 AM EST

hi,
can any one tell me how can i read the parameters from URL that has been passed by someone ie id someone send id=123 then how can i get it,how the whole process work & last but the mostimp i want to do whole thing through core java.
Bye

MIchael Behrens 02/08/04 08:17:43 PM EST

Great Article! Keep''m coming!
There is also a good WebCopy implementation at:
http://www.acme.com/java/software/
It makes all the web references local - It does not work on HTTPS - I wish I had all the know-how & code to make an equivalent HTTPS WebSiteReader, which would be very handing for testing our query pages.
Thanks!

Ferruccio Spagna 01/31/04 10:13:33 AM EST

I am very happy with your code, Yakov.
I tried it and everything works very well.
Thanks Ferruccio

Yakov Fain 01/31/04 08:59:53 AM EST

In this lesson I do this using HTTP GET request by attaching parameters to the URL after a question mark separated with an ampersand.

Fo HTTP POST, after getting the URLConnection stream, do something like this:

urlConn.setRequestProperty("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
urlConn.setDoOutput(true);

String myData = "myParam1=" + URLEncoder.encode ("abc") +
"&myParam2=" + URLEncoder.encode ("xyz");

DataOutputStream encodedParams = new DataOutputStream (urlConn.getOutputStream ());

encodedParams.writeBytes (myData);
encodedParams.flush ();
encodedParams.close ();

Ferruccio Spagna 01/31/04 08:29:47 AM EST

Ok. What you say occurs when you have a page with a form. Well known. But my question was: you want to read the stream (see your last article) and perhaps manipulate it. You then use the code:
java.net.URL url = new java.net.URL("http://www.cgi.com");
java.net.URLConnection c = url.openConnection();
java.io.DataInputStream dis = new java.io.DataInputStream(c.getInputStream());
and so on.
How can you give the parameters to the cgi with THESE code lines?

Yakov Fain 01/31/04 08:16:45 AM EST

Well, here''s the sample from my book "The Java Tutorial for the Real World".

1. An HTML form has 2 fields to perform a book search:

Find a book

Enter a word from the book title:

2. The servlet FindBooks runs on the server side, gets the parameters and sends back to the browser a page that reads that this book cost $65:

public class FindBooks extends javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet {

public void doGet(HttpServletRequest req,
HttpServletResponse res)
throws ServletException, IOException {
String title;
PrintWriter out = res.getWriter();
title = req.getParameter("booktitle");
res.setContentType("text/html");

out.println("");

out.println("the book "+title+" costs only $65");

out.println("Please enter your credit card number");

out.println("");
}
}

Ferruccio Spagna 01/31/04 07:33:44 AM EST

Thank you for your answer. I have several good Java books, but I didn''t find how I can read a CGI URL stream passing POST parameters in the calling instruction anywhere. Tell me please in a few words the way, if it is possible.

Yakov Fain 01/30/04 07:38:59 PM EST

Ferruccio,

Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages technologies deal with HTTP Post and Get requests, parameters, etc. Wait for my lesson on servlets, or get a good book if you need to know the answer now.

Ferruccio Spagna 01/30/04 06:10:50 PM EST

I add to my above question: how can I pass the parameter values calling the URL?

Ferruccio Spagna 01/30/04 05:59:24 PM EST

What about reading a CGI URL accepting METHOD=POST parameters?

Yakov Fain 01/29/04 11:27:25 PM EST

Dennis,

You can run on the remote machine one of the following: RMI server, SocketServer, a Servlet,FTP server... that has to create an instance of the class java.io.File that points at your directory. The File.list() will return the list of files in this directory as a String array. Now create instances of File for each of the array elements and call File.lastModify() to check the timestamp. After finding the file with the proper date, send its URL (or a stream reference) to the client for reading.

Dennis Christopher 01/29/04 01:44:43 PM EST

I found the article useful, and above average in clarity.

I am wondering if anyone knows how you set up the
connection to download an (entire) directory of files?
and to check the file dates before doing so?

Josh Davis 01/28/04 12:49:02 PM EST

Yakov,

You should mention that HttpURLConnection may ''hang'' when contacting servers that don''t behave correctly. This can cause a lot of problems in a server side application. The solutions are:
1) Use something other than URL/URLConnection/HttpURLConnection.
2) Set the system properties that control the socket timeouts for the Sun HTTP client.

John Pantone 01/26/04 01:55:42 PM EST

Very useful, clear.

Yakov Fain 01/23/04 09:49:54 PM EST

If the proxy requires authentication, set the following properties:

System.setProperty("http.proxyUser", "JLarkin");
System.setProperty("http.proxyPassword", "YourPassword");

You may also try using the class java.net.Authenticator

John Larkin 01/23/04 11:28:08 AM EST

Our proxy server requires a user_id and password.
I am having trouble finding a method to set these.
Any ideas ? Thanks

Selvan Rajan 01/23/04 10:10:41 AM EST

What would be the case to deal with cookies from some of the web sites? Especially it becomes cumbersome, if there is a redirection involved after setting the cookie.
Any ideas?

Debashish 01/23/04 02:07:51 AM EST

In the following para :
Strictly speaking we could get away just with the class URL:
URL url = new URL("http://www.yahoo.com");
InputStream in = url.getInputStream();
Buff= new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));

I think the second line of code should be :
InputStream in = url.openStream();

@ThingsExpo Stories
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...