Submitting a form; tracking its path

If I submit a form online, is it possible to track where the data is going? I know that I can see the "POST" and form actions fields, but it doesn't seem to be true for all forms; in that having that value doesn't necessarily mean that is the final destination.

I'm specifically interested in forms that submit to an e-mail address.

Does cURL or Perl have something available for tracking or "watching" the process?

I tried Fiddler, but it did not provide any conclusive data.
Who is Participating?
ahoffmannConnect With a Mentor Commented:
on server there're your web server logs and the mail server logs
first you need to check your web server logs in extract the corresponding request to your form
if the form uses GET method, you most likely get all information in that grepped request, if it is a POST request it depends on your web server configuration if you see the email addresses in the POST-data
from which side do you want to track: server or client?
on client you can use fiddler, or LiveHTTPheader in FF, or any proxy local on your client
if you're interested in blocking tracking requests, I suggest using privoxy
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Other than forms submitted by javascript, the 'action' page is where the data goes.  You can't track it after that because it's on the server and that's not something you can see from outside.  And the only way forms submit directly to an email address is with a 'mailto' action link.  Every other method has to be processed on the server.
Bobo--just_East_of_MadisonAuthor Commented:

And I would need to view the server logs to view the action on the server side, or is there another way? (I have access to server logs and such.)

I want to review submissions for the past six months, but server logs for that time period are extremely difficult to navigate and search for considering the amount of traffic I receive.
Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
Well, I'm slightly confused.  If it were my site, I'd know where the data goes because I would have written the code that puts it there.  What is your situation?  Is it your site you want to check or other people's sites that you are hosting?  Maybe more to the point, what is your goal for this?

By the way, the server logs only tell you about connections, not what is done with the data.  If forms are processed on the server by code that sends out email, you would have to correlate the email server logs with the web server logs and that would get ridiculous.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.