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Automated Form submission

 
 
brettev@gmail.com
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      05-30-2006
World,
I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system and
click radio buttons in a form to input final grades. i would like to
automate this by doing some sort of automated form submission that
grabs the information from the excel sheet and selects the correct
radio button and then submits the form. does anyone have any idea on
how to get me started on this? is javascript even a possible solution?
would other languages do it better?

Brett

 
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Csaba Gabor
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      05-30-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> World,
> I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
> grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
> an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system and
> click radio buttons in a form to input final grades. i would like to
> automate this by doing some sort of automated form submission that
> grabs the information from the excel sheet and selects the correct
> radio button and then submits the form. does anyone have any idea on
> how to get me started on this? is javascript even a possible solution?
> would other languages do it better?
>
> Brett


Brett, you have not been clear about what resides where: is the system
to input grades for assignments a local program producing a local
output (the excel file), or is the excel file remote. If not, how is
the remote excel file obtained. What is the "different system" - does
it mean web page (I'm guessing yes since you mention radio buttons and
submitting a form), a local program, an excel program or what? - and
where do the web pages come in? And is the operating system windows,
linux, or something else?

So, here is my "shoot from the hip" response. Yes, I assume your task
can be automated, but I would go with (client side) PHP or VBScript or
something that supports automation (I assume a windows based system
since you mention Excel). Specifically, using either VBScript (which
has more documentation on this type of thing) or PHP, you can automate
excel to open and extract the information into your VBScript (or PHP)
program. Then you can bring up an instance of IE, have IE alter the
form, and then submit it.

I suggest researching the microsoft.public.scripting.vbscript usenet
group in pursuing your goal.

Good luck,
Csaba Gabor from Vienna

 
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Warren Sarle
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      05-30-2006

In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>,
(E-Mail Removed) writes:
> I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
> grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
> an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system


What kind of "system"?

> and click radio buttons in a form to input final grades.


What kind of form? An HTML form in a web page? Do you maintain
this form? Is the form protected by any security features?

> i would like to automate this by doing some sort of automated
> form submission that grabs the information from the excel sheet
> and selects the correct radio button and then submits the form.


Do you want this automated form filler to run a web server or be
a downloadable script or executable of some sort or what?

> does anyone have any idea on how to get me started on this?
> is javascript even a possible solution?


There are numerous possibilities depending on the answers above.

For example, you might write a script (in whatever language you
prefer) that runs on the client and uses the COM interface to
Internet Explorer to fill out a form on a web page. You might
write a server-side application that uploads the excel sheet and
sends direct HTTP POSTs to a web page. Perhaps you might use
Javascript with XMLHTTPRequest, but since I've never tried that,
I don't know for sure.

--

Warren S. Sarle SAS Institute Inc. The opinions expressed here
(E-Mail Removed) SAS Campus Drive are mine and not necessarily
(919) 677-8000 Cary, NC 27513, USA those of SAS Institute.
 
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brettev
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      06-05-2006
to clarify, the system that generates the excel file is on one server
that is out of my control. it is a web based system where the
professors can export their grades to the excel file. assume you can't
do anything to that system.
secondly, the system to input grades is on a separate web server, run
by a different group, who also refuses to add the functionality of
adding grades via excel file. assume you can't change anything there.
it is a web form with radio buttons, etc.
i need a client or script that pulls the data from the excel file and
fills out the web form intelligently.
having said that, would javascript be a viable solution? i think a
client side language is going to work better here. also, i need
something that will work with the forms fairly well and easily.
having said that, any more advice??

Brett Evanson

Warren Sarle wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>,
> (E-Mail Removed) writes:
> > I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
> > grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
> > an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system

>
> What kind of "system"?
>
> > and click radio buttons in a form to input final grades.

>
> What kind of form? An HTML form in a web page? Do you maintain
> this form? Is the form protected by any security features?
>
> > i would like to automate this by doing some sort of automated
> > form submission that grabs the information from the excel sheet
> > and selects the correct radio button and then submits the form.

>
> Do you want this automated form filler to run a web server or be
> a downloadable script or executable of some sort or what?
>
> > does anyone have any idea on how to get me started on this?
> > is javascript even a possible solution?

>
> There are numerous possibilities depending on the answers above.
>
> For example, you might write a script (in whatever language you
> prefer) that runs on the client and uses the COM interface to
> Internet Explorer to fill out a form on a web page. You might
> write a server-side application that uploads the excel sheet and
> sends direct HTTP POSTs to a web page. Perhaps you might use
> Javascript with XMLHTTPRequest, but since I've never tried that,
> I don't know for sure.
>
> --
>
> Warren S. Sarle SAS Institute Inc. The opinions expressed here
> (E-Mail Removed) SAS Campus Drive are mine and not necessarily
> (919) 677-8000 Cary, NC 27513, USA those of SAS Institute.


 
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Bart Van der Donck
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      06-05-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
> grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
> an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system and
> click radio buttons in a form to input final grades. i would like to
> automate this by doing some sort of automated form submission that
> grabs the information from the excel sheet and selects the correct
> radio button and then submits the form. does anyone have any idea on
> how to get me started on this? is javascript even a possible solution?
> would other languages do it better?


Perl could do all this for you:
- read the Excel file
- tie Excel's fields to variables
- fire off http request using GET or POST with the variables as values
of the form names

Hope this helps,

--
Bart

 
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brettev
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      06-05-2006
Any suggestions as to some classes or functions that would be extremely
useful? i haven't coded in perl much.


Bart Van der Donck wrote:
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> > I work at a university where the professors have a system to input
> > grades for assignments and calculate final grades, which is output to
> > an excel file. they are then required to get on a different system and
> > click radio buttons in a form to input final grades. i would like to
> > automate this by doing some sort of automated form submission that
> > grabs the information from the excel sheet and selects the correct
> > radio button and then submits the form. does anyone have any idea on
> > how to get me started on this? is javascript even a possible solution?
> > would other languages do it better?

>
> Perl could do all this for you:
> - read the Excel file
> - tie Excel's fields to variables
> - fire off http request using GET or POST with the variables as values
> of the form names
>
> Hope this helps,
>
> --
> Bart


 
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Bart Van der Donck
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      06-05-2006
brettev wrote:

> Any suggestions as to some classes or functions that would be extremely
> useful? i haven't coded in perl much.


Then you will probably have a hard time.

The Excel part:
http://search.cpan.org/dist/Spreadsh.../ParseExcel.pm

The HTTP part:
http://cpan.uwinnipeg.ca/htdocs/libw...UserAgent.html

This has nothing to do with javascript though, please move to
comp.lang.perl.misc for Perl related discussions.

--
Bart

 
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