Filling Out Webforms (1 Viewer)

RogerCooper

Registered User
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
166
I often need to fill out webforms when I ship customers. I create access queries which contain the information, but I still need to type (or paste) it in by hand.

I would like to automate this process more. I am currently using a program called Clipboard Master which allows me to imbed tabs in the clipboard string which allows me to move from field to field on webform when pasting. Clipboard Master does not support other special characters or mouse clicks.

Does anyone know if any products which allow automated data entry from the clipboard or a text file? I deal with many different customer websites, so I need some sort of generic method. I vary the queries for each customer.
 

The_Doc_Man

Happy Retired Curmudgeon
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
15,596
I am not sure from the way you asked your question whether you are taking data from a web page and putting it into Access or taking data from Access and putting it into a web page.

The problem with web sites is that they are in HTML, XML, and a dozen other markup variants, with styles defined by the individual site designers. If you had 25 such sites, it would not surprise me to find that you have 25 different design styles and at least three or four variant source languages.

Since you are not dealing with uniform web designs, I understand the difficulties. The first question has to be whether there are enough similarities in the web pages that you can make any kind of generalized statements about structure or layout.

If everything you want to extract is from a tabular layout, you might be able to do something by saving the page and then text-parsing it. If not, then we need to know a lot more about the pages and what (specifically) you want to do about them.
 

RogerCooper

Registered User
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
166
I am not sure from the way you asked your question whether you are taking data from a web page and putting it into Access or taking data from Access and putting it into a web page.
I am taking data from Access and putting it on a website. So I need some method of turning arbitrary data into typing & clicking on a screen.

I found a good website for doing the reverse, scraping information off websites and putting them into CSV's, called Data-Miner.io. However their ability to operate in the reverse direction is very limited.

There must be some way of doing this. There are bots that create 1000's of fake social media accounts a day.
 

The_Doc_Man

Happy Retired Curmudgeon
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
15,596
The difficulty is to find a tool that exposes some type of COM interface to your web browser, and after doing some online searches, I cannot say I'm impressed with anything I saw. There are a few commercially available tools but none of them seem to be very likely to do anything other than web scraping, which you have already found.

I have very limited experience with this kind of work, though, and have to defer to my colleagues. If any of them know of a web browser COM interface, they might be able to point the way. I cannot. Sorry.
 

Lightwave

Ad astra
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
1,426
I've had some very limited experience with this.

I did manage to use VBA to navigate to multiple websites and enter a planning application in a field and then submit that for a search. I am guessing it could be adapted for more significant input and submission.

Have a look at this

Navigate to a website directly from MS Access and enter some information into a field

And here are a few tips on navigation through websites using VBA

MS Access Code Snippets for Navigating using Internet Explorer

You can also use something like AutoHotKey which is a key logger. The following example does the same as my first link but uses AutoHotKey instead. What I am doing in this link is I am taking a variable from MS Access and passing it into a variable and then calling the AHK script that I have referenced and passing the variable to it. The variable is called 1 this is then aliased to Application and then it goes through and passes that variable to a field and hits a submit button to do the search. This was my first iteration before I realised I could control everything through VBA.

Navigating using AHK

I have only implemented very simple simple searches where only one variable is passed to a field and then a search button is pressed.

You might want to investigate API calls - they are the recommended way I believe of doing this stuff. Every API from every website is different and you will have to seek documentation from the website owner. Not every website has implemented API or even if they have sometimes they don't officially release any documenation or require API keys.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/50892027/how-to-submit-post-request-via-api

It would be very easy to automatically generate such statements from your MS Access application by writing to a text file.

Here's an example where I create a HTML file but same could be done with an API post.
Write out a text file using VBA this could be used to write out thousands of POST api calls

And here's a youtube video on someone using curl
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f9DfgRGOBo

Incidentally the Key logger often works much better with desktop applications. I've used VBA to create AHK scripts to enter thousands of records for a vendor that was going to charge us loads of money to do some simple sql append and update queries between systems. Key loggers still require a lot of monitoring.

I would say this comes into the more advanced VBA as you are going to have to be familiar with recordsets and be confident with passing variables about the place.
 
Last edited:

RogerCooper

Registered User
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
166
Your suggestions are interesting. I have tried using AutoHotKey, but I had trouble keeping focused on the web page. The IE application object might work for me. I don't see that my customers will give me the API calls.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom