Automated Form submission

Discussion in 'Javascript' started by brettev@gmail.com, May 30, 2006.

  1. Guest

    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
    , May 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. Csaba Gabor Guest

    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
    Csaba Gabor, May 30, 2006
    #2
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  3. Warren Sarle Guest

    In article <>,
    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
    SAS Campus Drive are mine and not necessarily
    (919) 677-8000 Cary, NC 27513, USA those of SAS Institute.
    Warren Sarle, May 31, 2006
    #3
  4. brettev Guest

    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 <>,
    > 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
    > SAS Campus Drive are mine and not necessarily
    > (919) 677-8000 Cary, NC 27513, USA those of SAS Institute.
    brettev, Jun 5, 2006
    #4
  5. 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
    Bart Van der Donck, Jun 5, 2006
    #5
  6. brettev Guest

    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:
    > 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
    brettev, Jun 5, 2006
    #6
  7. Bart Van der Donck, Jun 5, 2006
    #7
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