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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Unanswered: filling forms using data from database

    I want to know if there is a way to use client information in our database to fill forms on line. Mind you the forms are not developed by me or hosted by me. e.g. company "x" has forms on thier website for all candiates who want to apply for the job in their company or a college admission form with 40 files.

    Now if I am a recruiting firm and have 5 candidates who qualify for the position and their information is in my client database. Is there a way I can link my database to those forms and have information filled in the forms for the selected records from my database?

    I will really appreciate any help in this regard and direct email to [email address removed] will be appreciated. Hope the forum has no policy against email addresses. if so I apologize.

    Last edited by gvee; 11-07-07 at 11:43. Reason: Public forum = public answers :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    cool idea but I think it may be kind of challenging. You would probably need something like a greasemonkey script. Even then, since there is no guarantee that the forms you are looking at have the same structure or naming convention, you would most likely end up making a lot of manual connection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Thank you

    I appreciate your response

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Baghdad, Iraq
    If the forms are relatively sanely designed, then there are libraries out there that can automate it. If they use a ton of Javascript, it can be a PITA.

    If they already have a SOAP type interface, you could save yourself a ton of time. Get in touch with their web geeks and find out if they don't already have an API for you to use, because that's much easier and far, far more reliable.

    If not...

    My language of choice for this sort of thing is Perl. You need to understand a little bit about how HTTP works because what you're essentially doing is simulating a browser. You need a lot of experience reading HTML. Here's a tutorial on it. I've linked to the section on posting form data, but you can read the whole thing.

    Roughly, your script will look like this:

    1. Open a database connection.
    2. Loop through each record you're uploading.
    3. Compile the data as a HTTP POST request.
    4. Send the request and check the results.
    5. Log errors or request user intervention.
    6. Mark records as complete.

    Now, Perl is well designed for this sort of thing because it's so good at string handling and has a very mature web client library (which I linked to) and database interface but there's no reason you couldn't do it directly in Access.

    In fact, I haven't done it since IE 5, but explorer is very scriptable. If there is a lot of javascript, sometimes it makes more sense to simply tell IE what to put in each field and when to click the buttons. It's slower, but more reliable. If you go that route, I suggest a machine dedicated to automating IE.
    Last edited by sco08y; 11-12-07 at 23:13.

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