GHads mind

developers thoughts & finds

VBScript read/write binary, encode/decode Base64

with 4 comments

Hi folks,

this time a longer posting, especially the code listing below. Today I’ll show some VBScript sample code on how to read/write a (binary) file and encode/decode it to/from Base64. You may ask why… Okay, this is mainly usefull if you need to call WebServices with byte array parameters when your file lies on disk. BTW: with it’s relativly easy to call WebServices with VBScript and I should really blog an example later. 

Imagine a WebService to convert certain file types, e.g. image formats. With this sample functions (+ PocketSoap) calling it would be no problem and may turns out usefull for thumbnail generation, picture post editing and whatever you want to do with a binary file received by a WebService on server-side…

Okay, enough blabla, now the script, which is blasting fast btw. This should work out-of-the-box on every XP machine (vista untested), should be self-documenting enough to understand and you may use an image file for proof of concept, like I used a little smiley png. And yes, I named the Script “ReadFileEncodeBase64DecodeBase64WriteFile.vbs” (try typing first letters and press TAB when using cmd) as it’s only used for sample purposes. Happy coding!

Greetz, GHad

' Call via cmd: cscript ReadFileEncodeBase64DecodeBase64WriteFile.vbs [pathToFile]
' - Reads file from arg into byte array
' - Encodes byte array to Base64 String
' - Decodes Base64 String to byte array
' - Writes byte array to new file
' Sample WITHOUT any warrenty! Use at own risk! Copyright 2008 Gerhard Balthasar
Option Explicit
' common consts
Const TypeBinary = 1
Const ForReading = 1, ForWriting = 2, ForAppending = 8
' getting file from args (no checks!)
Dim arguments, inFile, outFile
Set arguments = WScript.Arguments
inFile = arguments(0)
outFile = "new_" & inFile
Dim inByteArray, base64Encoded, base64Decoded, outByteArray

inByteArray = readBytes(inFile)
base64Encoded = encodeBase64(inByteArray)
Wscript.echo "Base64 encoded: " + base64Encoded
base64Decoded = decodeBase64(base64Encoded)
writeBytes outFile, base64Decoded
Wscript.echo "Finished!"
private function readBytes(file)
  dim inStream
  ' ADODB stream object used
  set inStream = WScript.CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
  ' open with no arguments makes the stream an empty container 
  inStream.type= TypeBinary
  readBytes = inStream.Read()
end function
private function encodeBase64(bytes)
  dim DM, EL
  Set DM = CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM")
  ' Create temporary node with Base64 data type
  Set EL = DM.createElement("tmp")
  EL.DataType = "bin.base64"
  ' Set bytes, get encoded String
  EL.NodeTypedValue = bytes
  encodeBase64 = EL.Text
end function
private function decodeBase64(base64)
  dim DM, EL
  Set DM = CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM")
  ' Create temporary node with Base64 data type
  Set EL = DM.createElement("tmp")
  EL.DataType = "bin.base64"
  ' Set encoded String, get bytes
  EL.Text = base64
  decodeBase64 = EL.NodeTypedValue
end function
private Sub writeBytes(file, bytes)
  Dim binaryStream
  Set binaryStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
  binaryStream.Type = TypeBinary
  'Open the stream and write binary data
  binaryStream.Write bytes
  'Save binary data to disk
  binaryStream.SaveToFile file, ForWriting
End Sub

Written by ghads

October 17, 2008 at 11:37 pm

4 Responses

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  1. very nice code very usefull, we need to know how it works.


    March 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

    • Thank you, what exactly do you need to know?


      March 25, 2009 at 6:38 pm

  2. good example, thanks, any idea how you would read an image from a database column and store it to a excel file cell. for example this is what i see for the image file in the database 0x5B5068617365204465736372697074696F6E735D0D0A506861736520313D0D0A506861736520323D452F570D0A506861736520333D4E2F530D0A506861736520343D0D0A506861736520353D0D0A506861736520363D0D0A506861736520373D0D0A506861736520383D0D0A506861736520393D0D0A50686173652031303D0D0A50686173652031313D0D0A50686173652031323D0D0A50686173652031333D0D0A50686173652031343D0D0A50686173652031353D0D0A50686173652031363D0D0A0D0A

    the vbscript value changes it to an array of bytes


    April 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  3. […] Yesterday I was updating an HTA (HTML Application) and needed to figure out how to convert an image into a base64 code that could be used in a stylesheet. I needed this to be able to embed an image in the source code instead of referencing an actual image. For this reason I wrote the following function (with the help of this post): […]

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