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Struct Support for RESTful Requests Using Protocol Buffers in .NET Client

This example shows how to send MATLAB® structures (struct (MATLAB)) represented as arrays of .NET objects as input when you make a synchronous request using the .NET client API, MATLAB Production Server™ RESTful API for MATLAB Function Execution, and protocol buffers (protobuf). The example provides and explains a sample Java® client, SortStudentsSyncREST.cs, for evaluating a MATLAB function deployed on the server.

To use protobuf when making a request to the server, set the HTTP Content-Type request header to application/x-google-protobuf in the client code. The MathWorks.MATLAB.ProductionServer.Client.REST namespace in the .NET client library provides helper classes to internally create protobuf messages based on a proto format and returns the corresponding byte array. Use this byte array in the HTTP request body. The .NET client library provides methods and classes to deserialize the protobuf responses.

In synchronous request execution, after a client posts a request, the server blocks all further requests until it has completed processing the original request. After processing is complete, the server automatically returns a response to the client. For more information, see Synchronous Execution.

To use the .NET client API, you must add a reference to the MathWorks.MATLAB.ProductionServer.Client.dll file in your C# project. For more information on preparing your Microsoft® Visual Studio® environment for your project, see Prepare Your Microsoft Visual Studio Environment.

In an on-premises MATLAB Production Server installation, the client APIs are located in $MPS_INSTALL/client, where $MPS_INSTALL is the MATLAB Production Server installation location. The client APIs are also available for download at MATLAB Production Server Client Libraries. The Java client API is also hosted in a Maven™ repository at

Deploy MATLAB function to server

Write a MATLAB function sortstudents that takes an array of structures containing student information as input and returns a sorted array of students based on their score. Student name, score and grade form the fields of the input structure. Deploy this function on the server. The example assumes that the server instance is running at http://localhost:9910.

For information on how to deploy, see Create Deployable Archive for MATLAB Production Server.

Code for a sample MATLAB struct S and the MATLAB function sortstudents follows. = 'Ed Plum';
S.score = 83;
S.grade = 'B+' 
function sorted = sortstudents(unsorted)

scores = {unsorted.score};
scores = cell2mat(scores);
[s i] = sort(scores);
sorted = unsorted(i);

Create helper classes

Create .NET classes to marshal data to and from the MATLAB struct.

  1. Create a .NET class Student with the same data members as the input structure.

    class Student
        public string name;
        private string gr;
        private int sc;
        public string grade
            get { return gr; }
            set { gr = value; }
        public int score
            get { return sc; }
            set { sc = value; }
        public override string ToString()
            return name + " : " + grade + " : " + score;
  2. Create a .NET class StudentMarshaller that extends the interface MWDefaultMarshalingRules. Since .NET does not natively support structs, extending the MWDefaultMarshalingRules interface lets you implement a new set of marshaling rules for the list of classes being marshaled, serialize .NET objects to structs and deserialize structs to .NET objects. Set the StructTypes property to return the type Student.

    class StudentMarshaler : MWDefaultMarshalingRules
        public override IList<Type> StructTypes
                return new List<Type> { typeof(Student) };
  3. Create an array of type Student that you want to sort.

    Student s1 = new Student(); = "Tony Miller";
    s1.score = 90;
    s1.grade = "A";
    Student s2 = new Student(); = "Ed Plum";
    s2.score = 80;
    s2.grade = "B+";
    Student s3 = new Student(); = "Mark Jones";
    s3.score = 85;
    s3.grade = "A-";
    Student[] unsorted = new Student[] { s1, s2, s3 };

Make Synchronous Request to Server

In the C# client code, use the POST Synchronous Request to make the initial request to the server. For more information about synchronous request execution in MATLAB Production Server, see Synchronous Execution.

  1. Create the request.

    Create a POST Synchronous Request using the .NET WebRequest.Create method.

    The request URL comprises the address of the server instance (http://localhost:9910), the name of the deployed archive (sortstudents), and the name of the MATLAB function to evaluate (sortstudents). Set the HTTP request method to POST. Set the HTTP Content-Type request header to application/x-google-protobuf, as the API returns a byte array of protocol buffer messages.

    String mpsBaseUrl = "http://localhost:9910";
    var firstRequest = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(mpsBaseUrl + "/sortstudents/sortstudents");
    firstRequest.Method = "POST";
    firstRequest.ContentType = "application/x-google-protobuf";

  2. Send the request to the server.

    Send the request to the server using the .NET WebRequest.getResponse method.

    Use the Create(arg1, arg2, arg3, arg4) method defined in the MATLABParams class of the MATLAB Production Server .NET client API to build the protocol buffer message. The Create method takes as input the expected number of output arguments for the deployed function, the expected output type, an object of type MWDefaultMarshalingRules, and an array of objects representing the inputs to the deployed function. Since the deployed sortstudents function returns a single array of structs, set arg1 to 1 and arg2 to new List<Type> { typeof(Student[]) }. Set arg3 to new StudentMarshaler(), and arg4 to new object[] { unsorted }, which is the input to the sortstudents function.

    MATLABParams mlParams = MATLABParams.Create(1, new List<Type> { typeof(Student[]) }, new StudentMarshaler(), new object[] { unsorted });
    var response = (HttpWebResponse)firstRequest.GetResponse();

For more information on the WebRequest class, see Microsoft documentation.

Receive and Interpret Server Response

On successful execution of the POST Synchronous Request, the server responds with a protocol buffer message. Parse the protocol buffer message using methods from the MATLABResult class to get the result of the request. To create a MATLABResult object, pass the MATLABParams mlParams object and the response body of the POST Synchronous Request to the Create method. Set the return type of the MATLABResult mlResult to Student[].

If an error occurs when the deployed MATLAB function executes, the call to the Result method throws a MATLABException that contains the error message from MATLAB.

MATLABResult mlResult;
mlResult = MATLABResult.Create(mlParams, response.GetResponseStream());
    Student[] result = mlResult.Result<Student[]>();
    Console.WriteLine("Printing the sorted Student array...\n");
catch (MATLABException e)

The example uses a helper method PrintStudent that takes as input the response body of the POST Synchronous Request and prints the corresponding sorted list of students.

static void PrintStudent(Student[] students)
    foreach (Student s in students)

Running the application generates the following output.

Printing the sorted Student array...

Ed Plum : B+ : 80
Mark Jones : A- : 85
Tony Miller : A : 90

Sample code for the SortStudentsSyncREST.cs C# client follows.



See Also

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