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How to strip down cURL return to just the asked for field data?

Posted on 2015-01-31
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Last Modified: 2015-02-02
This cURL script works fine for accessing my API:

curl -X GET -H "ACCEPT: application/xml" -H "X-AUTH-TOKEN: cee8d8a1afd5921dc1efe1817"  "https://api.niftywebsite.com/?opts=APNMB&apps=13629198"  -o out.txt

APNMB is a field in the database.

What I get back is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<response>
      <entity>
            <APNMB>13629198</APNMB>
      </entity>
</response>

All I want back is the app number, which is 13629198

Other than writing to a temp file and stripping it out, is there a way directly in cURL to just get the app number returned?
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Question by:Mike Caldwell
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by:noci
noci earned 333 total points
ID: 40582521
No,

curl is meant to do just the transfer parts. I is not meant to handle content.
otoh, by running:

curl <yourquery> | parse-script

where parse script can be:
---8<---
#!/bin/bash
grep 'APNMB' | sed -e 's/^[^>]*>//' -e 's/<.*$//'
---8<---

or just:
curl <yourquery> |grep 'APNMB' | sed -e 's/^[^>]*>//' -e 's/<.*$//'
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by:shalomc
shalomc earned 167 total points
ID: 40582536
No, there is no way for curl to do it directly.
You don't have to write to a temp file, though. You can pipe it to an XML processing script/program/utility as input.
Just don't use the -o switch.

curl -X GET -H "ACCEPT: application/xml" -H "X-AUTH-TOKEN: cee8d8a1afd5921dc1efe1817"  "https://api.niftywebsite.com/?opts=APNMB&apps=13629198"      | some-xml-processor
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40582896
noci, I added |grep 'APNMB' | sed -e 's/^[^>]*>//' -e 's/<.*$//'  after my full query, and I got an error message of "grep is not an internal or external command"
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40582928
OK, new learning!  I did not realize that "|" meant new line.  So I redid it, and I still get that error message.
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by:noci
ID: 40583509
| is NOT newline, but send output from command before | to input of command after |.

It does mean end of a command part.  And all input needs to be in ONE line.
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40583880
That is how I have it, and I still get the whole structure, not just the part I want,.  I think I'm hoping for something that cURL won't do.
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Accepted Solution

by:
noci earned 333 total points
ID: 40584371
curl cannot parse xml...

curl -X GET -H "ACCEPT: application/xml" -H "X-AUTH-TOKEN: cee8d8a1afd5921dc1efe1817"  "https://api.niftywebsite.com/?opts=APNMB&apps=13629198" | grep 'APNMB' | sed -e 's/^[^>]*>//' -e 's/<.*$//'

All on one line should only produce the number:
13629198

note: the " en ' characters ARE important.

if not then please produce wat IS shown as an answer including error messages etc.
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40584501
Got an error message that grep is not a recognized internal or external program.  Windows cURL seems to require double quotes, so I copied and pasted what you posted, then tried again with double quotes like this:


curl -X GET -H "ACCEPT: application/xml" -H "X-AUTH-TOKEN: ceed8d98159b218dc1efe1817" "https://api.niftysite.com/v3/appSearch/?opts=APBNMB&apps=13629198" | grep "APNMB" | sed -e "s/^[^>]*>//" -e "s/<.*$//" -o EE.txt
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40584502
To be clear: nothing shown since it did not run.
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Expert Comment

by:shalomc
ID: 40584524
grep and sed are unix/linux commands, so if you run it on windows you get nothing.

Here is a XSLT transformation to retrieve your value:
<?xml version="1.0"?>   
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" version="1.0">  
<xsl:template match="APNMB">       
<xsl:value-of select="."/>   
</xsl:template>                    
</xsl:stylesheet>                

Open in new window


All you need now is an XSLT processor.
Try this https://sourceforge.net/projects/saxon/files/Saxon-HE/

I will post shortly more detailed instructions..
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40584587
Please do; I did not see anything in the download that hinted at installation.
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by:noci
ID: 40584824
old_mike your are correct, cURL is a transfer program so you can access remote systems from a command line or a script... so can't handle content... like html, text, ....  just transfer methods like
HTTP, FTP, ... so how should it hint about content. You can build complete scripts (except for javascript handling) in a shell language, (or php, or perl) to simulate clicking through websites by filling out webforms, GET-ting info, POST-ing info etc. all while managing the cookies & other HTTP headers.
The tool was developed on Unix and ported to various platforms. On Unix (Linux too) there are a lot of programs with a specific defined task. so cURL is a transfer tool, grep is a search tool (like Find on windows, a tad more powerful though), and sed is a kind of editor.

Also getting the info using an XSLT transform will be more exact. The grep / sed method works for a known case with a simple value like your problem.

BTW. For unix tooling under windows checkout cygwin. ( http://cygwin.org/ )
curl & bash can be part of that.

BTW2, it helps to also describe the platform in the question.
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by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40584916
Yeah, I see that I should have mentioned Windows up front.  Noci, this project is getting way beyond me from a time standpoint.  My partner is my son, and he is expert in all this, just doing something else so I thought I would make some very simple reports from the tool.  By the time I get done, he'll have it done, so I think I'll thank everyone and stop here.  I may still try to access the API with a VBScript, which I have done a lot of.
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by:shalomc
ID: 40584974
Installing Saxon:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/saxon/files/Saxon-HE/9.6/
Get the "setup" exe file. It will create a folder in "program files". Add the bin folder you your path.

Running XSLT from the command line:
http://www.saxonica.com/html/documentation/using-xsl/commandline.html

Save the XSLT into a file, for example old_mike.xslt and run
Transform -s:xmlfile.xml  -xsl:old_mike.xslt -strip:all

Add the -o:outputfile switch if you need it in a file.

Here is an updated XSLT file.  
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" version="2.0">  
<xsl:output method="text"/>
<xsl:template match="APNMB">       
<xsl:value-of select="."/>   
</xsl:template>                    
</xsl:stylesheet>                

Open in new window

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