How do I encode and decode a base64 string? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How do I encode and decode a base64 string?” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

  1. How do I return a base64 encoded string given a string?

  2. How do I decode a base64 encoded string into a string?

ANSWER:

One liner code:

Note: Use System and System.Text directives.

Encode:

string encodedStr = Convert.ToBase64String(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("inputStr"));

Decode:

string inputStr = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Convert.FromBase64String(encodedStr));

ANSWER:

Encode

public static string Base64Encode(string plainText) {
  var plainTextBytes = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(plainText);
  return System.Convert.ToBase64String(plainTextBytes);
}

Decode

public static string Base64Decode(string base64EncodedData) {
  var base64EncodedBytes = System.Convert.FromBase64String(base64EncodedData);
  return System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(base64EncodedBytes);
}

ANSWER:

Based on the answers by Andrew Fox and Cebe, I turned it around and made them string extensions instead of Base64String extensions.

public static class StringExtensions
{
    public static string ToBase64(this string text)
    {
        return ToBase64(text, Encoding.UTF8);
    }

    public static string ToBase64(this string text, Encoding encoding)
    {
        if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(text))
        {
            return text;
        }

        byte[] textAsBytes = encoding.GetBytes(text);
        return Convert.ToBase64String(textAsBytes);
    }

    public static bool TryParseBase64(this string text, out string decodedText)
    {
        return TryParseBase64(text, Encoding.UTF8, out decodedText);
    }

    public static bool TryParseBase64(this string text, Encoding encoding, out string decodedText)
    {
        if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(text))
        {
            decodedText = text;
            return false;
        }

        try
        {
            byte[] textAsBytes = Convert.FromBase64String(text);
            decodedText = encoding.GetString(textAsBytes);
            return true;
        }
        catch (Exception)
        {
            decodedText = null;
            return false;
        }
    }
}

ANSWER:

I’m sharing my implementation with some neat features:

  • uses Extension Methods for Encoding class. Rationale is that someone may need to support different types of encodings (not only UTF8).
  • Another improvement is failing gracefully with null result for null entry – it’s very useful in real life scenarios and supports equivalence for X=decode(encode(X)).

Remark: Remember that to use Extension Method you have to (!) import the namespace with using keyword (in this case using MyApplication.Helpers.Encoding).

Code:

namespace MyApplication.Helpers.Encoding
{
    public static class EncodingForBase64
    {
        public static string EncodeBase64(this System.Text.Encoding encoding, string text)
        {
            if (text == null)
            {
                return null;
            }

            byte[] textAsBytes = encoding.GetBytes(text);
            return System.Convert.ToBase64String(textAsBytes);
        }

        public static string DecodeBase64(this System.Text.Encoding encoding, string encodedText)
        {
            if (encodedText == null)
            {
                return null;
            }

            byte[] textAsBytes = System.Convert.FromBase64String(encodedText);
            return encoding.GetString(textAsBytes);
        }
    }
}

Usage example:

using MyApplication.Helpers.Encoding; // !!!

namespace ConsoleApplication1
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Test1();
            Test2();
        }

        static void Test1()
        {
            string textEncoded = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.EncodeBase64("test1...");
            System.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert(textEncoded == "dGVzdDEuLi4=");

            string textDecoded = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.DecodeBase64(textEncoded);
            System.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert(textDecoded == "test1...");
        }

        static void Test2()
        {
            string textEncoded = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.EncodeBase64(null);
            System.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert(textEncoded == null);

            string textDecoded = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.DecodeBase64(textEncoded);
            System.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert(textDecoded == null);
        }
    }
}