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public interface: HttpEntity [javadoc | source] An entity that can be sent or received with an HTTP message. Entities can be found in some requests and in responses , where they are optional.

There are three distinct types of entities in HttpCore, depending on where their content originates:

This distinction is important for connection management with incoming entities. For entities that are created by an application and only sent using the HTTP components framework, the difference between streamed and self-contained is of little importance. In that case, it is suggested to consider non-repeatable entities as streamed, and those that are repeatable (without a huge effort) as self-contained.
Method from org.apache.http.HttpEntity Summary:
consumeContent,   getContent,   getContentEncoding,   getContentLength,   getContentType,   isChunked,   isRepeatable,   isStreaming,   writeTo
Method from org.apache.http.HttpEntity Detail:
 public  void consumeContent() throws IOException
    TODO: The name of this method is misnomer. It will be renamed to #finish() in the next major release.
    This method is called to indicate that the content of this entity is no longer required. All entity implementations are expected to release all allocated resources as a result of this method invocation. Content streaming entities are also expected to dispose of the remaining content, if any. Wrapping entities should delegate this call to the wrapped entity.
    This method is of particular importance for entities being received from a connection . The entity needs to be consumed completely in order to re-use the connection with keep-alive.
 public InputStream getContent() throws IOException, IllegalStateException
    Creates a new InputStream object of the entity. It is a programming error to return the same InputStream object more than once. Entities that are not repeatable will throw an exception if this method is called multiple times.
 public Header getContentEncoding()
    Obtains the Content-Encoding header, if known. This is the header that should be used when sending the entity, or the one that was received with the entity. Wrapping entities that modify the content encoding should adjust this header accordingly.
 public long getContentLength()
    Tells the length of the content, if known.
 public Header getContentType()
    Obtains the Content-Type header, if known. This is the header that should be used when sending the entity, or the one that was received with the entity. It can include a charset attribute.
 public boolean isChunked()
    Tells about chunked encoding for this entity. The primary purpose of this method is to indicate whether chunked encoding should be used when the entity is sent. For entities that are received, it can also indicate whether the entity was received with chunked encoding.
    The behavior of wrapping entities is implementation dependent, but should respect the primary purpose.
 public boolean isRepeatable()
    Tells if the entity is capable of producing its data more than once. A repeatable entity's getContent() and writeTo(OutputStream) methods can be called more than once whereas a non-repeatable entity's can not.
 public boolean isStreaming()
    Tells whether this entity depends on an underlying stream. Streamed entities should return true until the content has been consumed, false afterwards. Self-contained entities should return false. Wrapping entities should delegate this call to the wrapped entity.
    The content of a streamed entity is consumed when the stream returned by getContent has been read to EOF, or after consumeContent has been called. If a streamed entity can not detect whether the stream has been read to EOF, it should return true until consumeContent is called.
 public  void writeTo(OutputStream outstream) throws IOException
    Writes the entity content to the output stream.