I recently wrote a small plugin for Windows Live Writer, which allowed you to enter a Bible reference, and it would either create a link to Bible Gateway, or insert the text in the English Standard Version.
To get the ESV text, I needed to call a web service in C#. It was the first time I had done this, and it turned out to be surprisingly simple. First I needed to construct the URL to call. This was simply a case of constructing the ESV Web Service API documentation. The only slight complication is the need to add a reference to System.Web so you can call HttpUtility.UrlEncode.
StringBuilder url = new StringBuilder(); url.Append("http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/share/get/"); url.Append("?key=IP"); url.Append("&passage="); url.Append(System.Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(reference)); url.Append("&action=doPassageQuery"); url.Append("&include-passage-references=false"); url.Append("&include-audio-reference=false"); url.Append("&include-footnotes=false"); url.Append("&include-subheadings=false"); url.Append("&include-headings=false");
Once you have the URL with the search parameters, then you simply pass it to a web request, get its ResponseStream() and read it to the end.
WebRequest request = WebRequest.Create(url.ToString()); StreamReader responseStream = new StreamReader(request.GetResponse().GetResponseStream()); String response = responseStream.ReadToEnd(); responseStream.Close(); return response.ToString();
Obviously there are more complicated types of web service than this, which require construction and parsing of XML, but I was still impressed with how few lines of code were actually involved in my first web service call.