In this article, we explain the embedded browser controls for .NET: what they are and what they are good for.

What is an embedded browser? 

It is a fully functional web browser inside your software that you control with code. An embedded browser doesn’t have an address bar, tabs, or other attributes of a regular browser. In fact, it may not be on the screen at all.

But when it’s on the screen, it looks like a rectangle with a web page inside.

DotNetBrowser in WPF

DotNetBrowser in WPF

What are the use cases? 

A browser has many capabilities you won’t find in the standard library or a desktop toolkit. An embedded browser brings those capabilities to your application.

This section describes some of the challenges made easy by DotNetBrowser.

Automation and scraping 

Many web systems don’t have an API and are designed to be used by people. Working with such systems means manually repeating monotonous operations — a perfect job for a computer.

DotNetBrowser provides capabilities to simulate user actions and retrieve any information from the page, including pictures. With that, one can automate their work with any website, including single-page applications.

Integrating third-party apps 

The software infrastructure of an organization can become convoluted with time.

For example, when processing a patient’s request, a hospital employee may need to see their medical and insurance records. This data can be spread across multiple applications from different vendors — which the employee uses simultaneously.

A single WPF or WinForms window can accommodate multiple DotNetBrowser controls, each of which hosts an application. Then, you can interconnect the browsers and exchange information between them automatically.

Generating PDF 

Generating nice-looking PDF files is a tricky task. However, with the browser, it’s simple to generate a PDF document: design a web page, open and print it as PDF.

With DotNetBrowser, you get the rendering capabilities of Chromium and rich API with full control over printing settings.

How to get started? 

Get your free license and choose one of our getting started guides. It takes 5 minutes to start using DotNetBrowser: