Automate Web Form Submission Using Bot
Posted on 2009-05-15
We have been using an older ASP script for some time to automate the process of extracting data from a paid subscription site that we need to check frequently for updates. The owner of the site has recently updated it to use ASP.NET (previously they were using asp 2.0) and now it appears that postbacks are not working anymore as some element of ASP.NET is preventing us from properly submitting data to the website's forms using http post. Where in the past we were able to script the login to the site and the action of setting up a search by posting data to the web site forms, we can no longer do so. The question is, what are our options for automating this process? I'm thinking there must be some way to develop a bot application that will impersonate a browser session rather than simply posting the data to their forms in a script but I'm not even sure where to start. Does VBScript or Wscript include a browser object that can be accessed programmatically? I already have the code that parses the data returned from the search so it would be simple enough to modify that to read from a file output that could be saved from some new "bot" application that logs into the site and extracts the search results automatically.