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Reading information from a web-server

Andy Brown
Andy Brown asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have an Access database, that needs to pull a value in from a web-server.  At present I haven't configured the data-source on the webserver (i can be fairly flexible here).  I just need to know if it can be done.  
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Most Valuable Expert 2011
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Commented:
What value?  From what server?  If you explain a little more maybe we can give some concrete help.

Standing by, ~Ray
Andy BrownDeveloper

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Commented:
Cheers Ray (sorry, I've just realised that I should have also added this to the Access zone)

Anyhow - We have a database that is on different sites around the country.  

In this case it is about licensing.  I periodically want the front-end to check a web-server and see if they are still allowed access to run that front-end.  For example, we put a tick box as a field on the server's database (whatever that may be) and if ticked, the front-end will run until the next period.  

This is just one example (and is a very crude explanation) - but it gives you and ideas as to what I want to achieve.

I have a web server, which is hosted for us - and that's about it at present.

I just need a pointer in the right direction.

Thanks again.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Author of the Year 2014

Commented:
Understood.  What you want to learn about is called the RESTful interface for web services.  Representational State Transfer can be made way complicated by some of the writers on the subject, so let me explain and show you how to find an example.

In a REST query, you put all the information about the query in the URL GET string, including an API KEY that is used as your "password" to use the web service.  You get back a string of information, usually CSV or XML data.  Yahoo has a good example in their GeoCoder manual.
http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/rest/V1/geocode.html

This is different from SOAP, and IMHO much simpler to write and debug.

Does that help point in the right direction? ~Ray
Andy BrownDeveloper

Author

Commented:
That seems like the right kind of idea.  I am kind of new to this, I have only just created my first form and PHP script (for a seperate exercise) - so please bare with me (I'm good with VBA but that's about it).





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Andy BrownDeveloper

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Commented:
Thanks Ray - that's  really given me something to work on.  

Really appreciate your help with this one.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Author of the Year 2014

Commented:
Glad to help.  Thanks for the points! ~Ray

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