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Creating a Yahoo! Mail Client using IWebBrowser2 and DHTML

, 5 Mar 2004
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Describes a practical use of the HTML interfaces available in C++.

Sample Image

Introduction

This is just another example of using the DHTML support provided by the web browser control that can be used for any operation that needs to be done on web pages over and over again without much logical interaction of the user. This is an attempt to automate the otherwise cumbersome act of logging on to the mail site, then type-in your password (often making mistakes), click on inbox, open each mail and finally logout. I thought it would be a nice idea if some software does this all for me and saves the mails so that you can read them later. What I present here is only a framework, you can now think of some cool tool that does this all.

There are two ways of doing this. First, you can download each page with HTTP. Then find out the links and get mails the same way. The second method is rather exciting. It simulates your mouse-clicks and navigates across pages just like what we would have done, and then save the pages before logging out. I will show the second method here.

The code should be self-explanatory. I have added comments for the important points in the code. Here’s the summary of the entire operation.

  1. Create an instance of the web browser control
  2. Navigate to http://mail.yahoo.com
  3. When the log-in page is loaded, find out the input fields-username and password
  4. Paste your User-Id and Password into the fields
  5. Click on Login button
  6. The next page shows you the inbox information with links to the ‘Inbox’
  7. Click on ‘Inbox’ to see the list of mails
  8. Once the mail-list is loaded click on the first unread mail
  9. When the mail window opens up find where the content of the mail is written in the underlying HTML code. For HTML formats the mail content was found to appear between <XBODY> and </XBODY> tags. Text messages appear within a different pair of tags.
  10. Get the message and save it.
  11. Go back and get the next unread message
  12. When all unread mails are downloaded, don’t even think for a second, Sign-out!!!
  13. That’s it!

Using the code

In the code, I have used many interfaces pertinent to the HTML elements. As you can see the usage is much the same. I haven’t done any optimization or error/exception handling, leaving it to the benefactors of the code. Please refer to the comments placed along side the lines of code. Although I built this on VS 7, it should work on VC 6 as well.

All you need to do is to change the method OnBnClickedButton1() to the corresponding button handler in VC 6.

void CYahooDlg::OnBnClickedButton1()
{

    BSTR bsStatus;
    bReady=0;

    CString mPass("*****"); //<-------- Your Password here
    CString mUser("*****");//<-------- Your user ID here
    BSTR bsPW = mPass.AllocSysString();
    BSTR bsUser=mUser.AllocSysString();
    CString mStr;
    HRESULT hr1 ;

    hr1 = CoInitialize(NULL);
    if(!SUCCEEDED(hr1))
        return ;

    hr1 = CoCreateInstance (CLSID_InternetExplorer, 
        NULL, CLSCTX_LOCAL_SERVER, 
        IID_IWebBrowser2, (LPVOID *)&pBrowser); 
        //Create an Instance of web browser

    if(hr1==S_OK)
    {
        VARIANT_BOOL pBool=true;
        //Commentout this line if you dont 
        //want the browser to be displayed
        pBrowser->put_Visible( pBool ) ;
        //the yahoo mail site
        COleVariant vaURL("http://mail.yahoo.com") ;
        COleVariant null; 
        //Open the mail login page
        pBrowser->Navigate2(vaURL,null,null,null,null) ;

        //This while loop maks sure that the page 
        //is fully loaded before we go to the next page
        while(!bReady) 
        {
            pBrowser->get_StatusText(&bsStatus);
            mStr=bsStatus;
            if(mStr=="Done")bReady=1;
        }

        IDispatch* pDisp;
        //Get the underlying document object of the browser
        hr1=pBrowser->get_Document(&pDisp);

        if (pDisp != NULL )
        {
            IHTMLDocument2* pHTMLDocument2;
            HRESULT hr;
            hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( IID_IHTMLDocument2,
            (void**)&pHTMLDocument2 );
            //Ask for an HTMLDocument2 interface

            if (hr == S_OK)
            {
                //Enumerate the HTML elements
                IHTMLElementCollection* pColl = NULL;
                hr = pHTMLDocument2->get_all( &pColl );
                if (hr == S_OK && pColl != NULL)
                {
                    LONG celem;
                    //Find the count of the elements
                    hr = pColl->get_length( &celem );
                    if ( hr == S_OK )
                    {
                        //Loop through each elment
                        for ( int i=0; i< celem; i++ )
                        {
                            VARIANT varIndex;
                            varIndex.vt = VT_UINT;
                            varIndex.lVal = i;
                            VARIANT var2;
                            VariantInit( &var2 );
                            IDispatch* pDisp; 
                            hr = pColl->item( varIndex, 
                                var2, &pDisp );//Get an element

                            if ( hr == S_OK )
                            {
                                IHTMLElement* pElem;
                                hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( 
                                //Ask for an HTMLElemnt interface
                                    IID_IHTMLElement,
                                    (void **)&pElem);
                                if ( hr == S_OK )
                                {
                                    BSTR bstr;
                                    //Get the tag name for the element
                                    hr = pElem->get_tagName(&bstr);
                                    CString strTag; 
                                    strTag = bstr;
                                    //We need to check for 
                                    //input elemnt on login screen
                                    IHTMLInputTextElement* pUser;
                                    hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                        IID_IHTMLInputTextElement, 
                                        (void **)&pUser );

                                    if ( hr == S_OK )
                                    {
                                        pUser->get_name(&bstr);
                                        mStr=bstr;
                                        if(mStr=="login") 
                                        //Is this a User Id frield
                                            pUser->put_value(bsUser);
                                            //Paste the User Id
                                        else if(mStr=="passwd")
                                        //Or, is this a password field
                                            pUser->put_value(bsPW);
                                            //Paste your password 
                                            //into the field 
                                        pUser->Release();
                                    }
                                    else{
                                        IHTMLInputButtonElement* pButton;
                                        //If not Input field, 
                                        //is this a submit button?
                                        hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                            IID_IHTMLInputButtonElement, 
                                            (void **)&pButton);
                                        if ( hr == S_OK )
                                        {
                                            //We will submit the form that 
                                            //contains the button 
                                            //than clicking it
                                            IHTMLFormElement* pForm;
                                            //This will send the all the 
                                            //information in correct format
                                            hr=pButton->get_form(&pForm);
                                            if ( hr == S_OK )
                                            {
                                                //Submit the form
                                                pForm->submit();
                                                //Now we dont have to see 
                                                //other elements, 
                                                //stop looping.
                                                i=celem;
                                                pForm->Release();
                                            }
                                            pButton->Release();
                                        }
                                    }
                                    pElem->Release();
                                }
                                pDisp->Release();
                            }
                        }
                    }
                    pColl->Release();
                }
                pHTMLDocument2->Release();
                //For the next page open a fresh document
            }
            pDisp->Release();
        }
    }

    //Lets change the staus text, so as to 
    //make sure that the next page is loaded
    CString statustext="OK"; 
    pBrowser->put_StatusText(statustext.AllocSysString());
    bReady=0;

    while(!bReady)
    {
        pBrowser->get_StatusText(&bsStatus);
        mStr=bsStatus;
        if(mStr=="Done")bReady=1;
    } //Ok, next page that is Inbox is loaded

    GetInbox(); //Call inbox handler
}

int CYahooDlg::GetInbox(void)
//This will check for the link "Inbox" 
//in the next page after login.
{

    BSTR bsStatus;
    CString mStr,mLocation;
    bReady=0;
    HRESULT hr1;
    IDispatch* pDisp;

    hr1=pBrowser->get_Document(&pDisp);
    //Again get the document object
    if (pDisp != NULL )
    {
        IHTMLDocument2* pHTMLDocument2;
        HRESULT hr;
        hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( IID_IHTMLDocument2,
        (void**)&pHTMLDocument2 );
        if (hr == S_OK)
        {
            IHTMLElementCollection* pColl = NULL;
            hr = pHTMLDocument2->get_all( &pColl );
            if (hr == S_OK && pColl != NULL)
            {
                LONG celem;
                hr = pColl->get_length( &celem );
                if ( hr == S_OK )
                {
                    for ( int i=0; i< celem; i++ )
                    {
                        VARIANT varIndex;
                        varIndex.vt = VT_UINT;
                        varIndex.lVal = i;
                        VARIANT var2;
                        VariantInit( &var2 );
                        IDispatch* pDisp; 
                        hr = pColl->item( varIndex, var2, &pDisp );
                        if ( hr == S_OK )
                        {
                            IHTMLElement* pElem;
                            hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                IID_IHTMLElement,
                                (void **)&pElem);
                            if ( hr == S_OK)
                            {
                                //Look for Anchor element since 
                                //"Inbox" has a hyper link 
                                //associated with it
                                IHTMLAnchorElement* pLink;
                                hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                    IID_IHTMLAnchorElement,
                                    (void **)&pLink);
                                if ( hr == S_OK)
                                {
                                    BSTR bstr;
                                    //Get the HREF value
                                    hr = pLink->get_href(&bstr);
                                    if(hr == S_OK){
                                        CString strTag; 
                                        strTag = bstr;
                                        if(strTag.Find("Inbox")>=0 && 
                                          strTag.Find("ym/ShowFolder")>0)
                                        {
                                           //Does that contain the 
                                           //keywords of a proper Inbox link? 
                                           pElem->click(); 
                                           //If so , click on the link
                                           i=celem; 
                                           //Quit searching for other links
                                        }
                                    }

                                    pLink->Release();
                                }
                                pElem->Release();
                            }
                            pDisp->Release();
                        }
                    }
                    pColl->Release();
                }
            }
            pHTMLDocument2->Release();
        }
        pDisp->Release();
    }

    CString statustext="OK"; //Change Status text again
    pBrowser->put_StatusText(statustext.AllocSysString());
    bReady=0; 

    while(!bReady)
    {
        pBrowser->get_StatusText(&bsStatus);
        mStr=bsStatus;
        if(mStr=="Done")bReady=1;
    } //Ok, mail list loaded, get each mail

    OnBnClickedGetmail();
    return 0;
}

void CYahooDlg::OnBnClickedGetmail()
//opens each unread mail (well, no support yet for 
//the next page of the list if the mail list is big)
{

    BSTR bsStatus=0;
    CString mStr,mLocation;
    CString statustext="OK";
    bReady=0;
    BOOL bMailAhead=0;
    HRESULT hr1;
    IDispatch* pDisp;

    hr1=pBrowser->get_Document(&pDisp);

    if (pDisp != NULL )
    {
        IHTMLDocument2* pHTMLDocument2;
        HRESULT hr;
        hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( IID_IHTMLDocument2,
            (void**)&pHTMLDocument2 );
        if (hr == S_OK)
        {
            IHTMLElementCollection* pColl = NULL;
            hr = pHTMLDocument2->get_all( &pColl );
            if (hr == S_OK && pColl != NULL)
            {
                LONG celem;
                hr = pColl->get_length( &celem );
                if ( hr == S_OK )
                {
                    for ( int i=0; i< celem; i++ )
                    {
                        VARIANT varIndex;
                        varIndex.vt = VT_UINT;
                        varIndex.lVal = i;
                        VARIANT var2;
                        VariantInit( &var2 );
                        IDispatch* pDisp; 

                        hr = pColl->item( varIndex, var2, &pDisp );
                        if ( hr == S_OK )
                        {
                            IHTMLElement* pElem;
                            hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( 
                            //Get each element
                                IID_IHTMLElement,
                                (void **)&pElem);
                            if ( hr == S_OK)
                            {
                                //Each unread mail-link appears 
                                //within <TR classname=msgnew> 
                                //and </TR>
                                BSTR bstr; 
                                CString classname; 
                                pElem->get_className(&bstr);
                                //So, lets check if the 
                                //class name is msgnew
                                classname = bstr;
                                if(classname=="msgnew") {bMailAhead=1;} 
                                //if it is found, it means 
                                //there's an unread mail following
                                else if(classname=="msgold")
                                    {bMailAhead=0;}
                                    //Otherwise, it is msgold

                                IHTMLAnchorElement* pLink;
                                hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                    IID_IHTMLAnchorElement,
                                    (void **)&pLink);
                                if ( hr == S_OK)
                                {
                                    BSTR bstr;
                                    //Find the link for the mail
                                    hr = pLink->get_href(&bstr);
                                    if(hr == S_OK){
                                        CString strTag;
                                        strTag = bstr;
                                        if(strTag.Find("ShowLetter")>=0 
                                          && strTag.Find("Inbox")>0 
                                          && bMailAhead)
                                        {   
                                        //Is this a proper mail link?
                                            //Click-open the mail
                                            pElem->click(); 
                                            pBrowser->put_StatusText
                                              (statustext.AllocSysString());
                                            bReady=0;
                                            while(!bReady)
                                            {
                                                pBrowser->
                                                  get_StatusText(&bsStatus);
                                                mStr=bsStatus;
                                                if(mStr=="Done")bReady=1;
                                            }

                                            //Save the mail that 
                                            //was click-opened
                                            OnBnClickedSavemail();
                                            //Check again before next 
                                            //download.Or else, it might 
                                            //re-enter the same mail
                                            bMailAhead=0;
                                            //Come back to 
                                            //the same page
                                            OnBnClickedBack();
                                            pBrowser->put_StatusText
                                              (statustext.AllocSysString());
                                            bReady=0;

                                            while(!bReady)
                                            {
                                                pBrowser->
                                                  get_StatusText(&bsStatus);
                                                mStr=bsStatus;
                                                if(mStr=="Done")bReady=1;
                                            }
                                        }
                                    }
                                    pLink->Release();
                                }
                                pElem->Release();
                            }
                            pDisp->Release();
                        }
                    }
                    pColl->Release();
                }
            }
            pHTMLDocument2->Release();
        }
        pDisp->Release();
    }

    OnBnClickedSignout(); // Ok Done, Signout
    return ;
}

void CYahooDlg::OnBnClickedSavemail()
{

    BOOL bAdd=0,bHeader=0;
    CString mStr,mLocation;
    bReady=0;
    HRESULT hr1;
    IDispatch* pDisp;

    hr1=pBrowser->get_Document(&pDisp);

    if (pDisp != NULL )
    {
        IHTMLDocument2* pHTMLDocument2;
        HRESULT hr;
        hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( IID_IHTMLDocument2,
            (void**)&pHTMLDocument2 );
        if (hr == S_OK)
        {
            IHTMLElementCollection* pColl = NULL;
            hr = pHTMLDocument2->get_all( &pColl );
            if (hr == S_OK && pColl != NULL)
            {
                LONG celem;
                hr = pColl->get_length( &celem );
                if ( hr == S_OK )
                {
                    for ( int i=0; i< celem; i++ )
                    {
                        VARIANT varIndex;
                        varIndex.vt = VT_UINT;
                        varIndex.lVal = i;
                        VARIANT var2;
                        VariantInit( &var2 );
                        IDispatch* pDisp; 
                        hr = pColl->item( varIndex, var2, &pDisp );
                        if ( hr == S_OK )
                        {
                            IHTMLElement* pElem;
                            hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                IID_IHTMLElement,
                                (void **)&pElem);
                            if ( hr == S_OK)
                            {
                                BSTR tagName;
                                CString tag,tempStr;
                                COleVariant attrb;
                                if(!bHeader){
                                    pElem->get_tagName(&tagName);
                                    tag=tagName;
                                    if(tag=="TR" ||tag=="tr") 
                                    //a mail begins with 
                                    //<TR classname="bge" >
                                    {
                                        tag="className";
                                        tagName=tag.AllocSysString();
                                        pElem->getAttribute(tagName,0,attrb);
                                        tag=attrb;
                                        if(tag=="bge"){ 
                                        //let's add some 
                                        //header tags to the mail 
                                            //that can be processed 
                                            //later from the client
                                            pElem->get_innerText(&tagName);
                                            tag=tagName;
                                            if(tag.Find("To:")>-1){
                                                pElem->get_outerText(&tagName);
                                            tempStr=tagName;
                                            m_Body+="<YMailTo>"+
                                              tempStr+"</YMailTo><BR>";
                                        }

                                        if(tag.Find("From:")>-1){
                                            pElem->get_outerText(&tagName);
                                            tempStr=tagName;
                                            m_Body+="<YMailFrom>"+
                                              tempStr+"</YMailFrom><BR>";
                                        }

                                        if(tag.Find("Date:")>-1){
                                            pElem->get_outerText(&tagName);
                                            tempStr=tagName;
                                            m_Body+="<YMailDate>"+
                                              tempStr+"</YMailDate><BR>";
                                        }

                                        if(tag.Find("Subject:")>-1){
                                            pElem->get_outerText(&tagName);
                                            tempStr=tagName;
                                            m_Body+="<YMailSub>"+tempStr+
                                              "</YMailSub><BR><BR>";
                                            bHeader=1;
                                        }
                                    }
                                }
                            }
                            pElem->get_tagName(&tagName);
                            tag=tagName; 
                            if((tag.Find("xbody")>-1) ||
                              (tag.Find("XBODY")>-1) )bAdd=1; 
                            // All HTML messages appear 
                            // inside <XBODY> tags
                                if(bAdd)
                                {
                                    //This will copy the contents 
                                    //between the <XBODY> tags
                                    pElem->get_outerHTML(&tagName);
                                    m_Body+=tagName;
                                    if((m_Body.Find("/xbody")>-1) 
                                      ||(m_Body.Find("/XBODY")>-1) )
                                    { // end of he message
                                        bAdd=0;
                                        //done with copying the 
                                        //message, so no 
                                        //more iterations
                                        i=celem; 
                                    }
                                }
                                pElem->Release();
                            }
                            pDisp->Release();
                        }
                    }
                    pColl->Release();
                }
            }
            pHTMLDocument2->Release();
        }
        pDisp->Release();
    }
    WriteMailFile(); // write the message on to file.
    return ;
}

void CYahooDlg::WriteMailFile()
// Create a unique file name with time information
{

    SYSTEMTIME sysTime;// Win32 time information
    GetSystemTime(&sysTime);
    COleDateTime Today(sysTime);
    CString filename,mStr;
    CFile datafile;

    filename.Format("m%d%d%d%d%d.htm",
      Today.GetDayOfYear(),Today.GetYear(),
      Today.GetHour(),Today.GetMinute(),Today.GetSecond()); 
    if(datafile.Open(filename,CFile::modeCreate 
                           | CFile::modeWrite)){
        datafile.Write(m_Body,m_Body.GetLength());
        datafile.Close();
    }
    m_DLStatus="Download Complete";
    UpdateData(0);
}

CYahooDlg::~CYahooDlg(void)
{
}

void CYahooDlg::OnBnClickedSignout()//signout ... bye!!!
{

    BSTR bsStatus=0;
    CString mStr,mLocation;
    bReady=0;
    HRESULT hr1;
    IDispatch* pDisp;
    hr1=pBrowser->get_Document(&pDisp);
    
    if (pDisp != NULL )
    {
        IHTMLDocument2* pHTMLDocument2;
        HRESULT hr;
        hr = pDisp->QueryInterface( IID_IHTMLDocument2,
        (void**)&pHTMLDocument2 );
        if (hr == S_OK)
        {
            IHTMLElementCollection* pColl = NULL;
            hr = pHTMLDocument2->get_all( &pColl );
            if (hr == S_OK && pColl != NULL)
            {
                LONG celem;
                hr = pColl->get_length( &celem );
                if ( hr == S_OK )
                {
                    for ( int i=0; i< celem; i++ )
                    {
                        VARIANT varIndex;
                        varIndex.vt = VT_UINT;
                        varIndex.lVal = i;
                        VARIANT var2;
                        VariantInit( &var2 );
                        IDispatch* pDisp; 
                        hr = pColl->item( varIndex, var2, &pDisp );
                        if ( hr == S_OK )
                        {
                            IHTMLElement* pElem;
                            hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                IID_IHTMLElement,
                                (void **)&pElem);
                            if ( hr == S_OK)
                            {
                                IHTMLAnchorElement* pLink;
                                hr = pDisp->QueryInterface(
                                    IID_IHTMLAnchorElement,
                                    (void **)&pLink);
                                if ( hr == S_OK)
                                {
                                    BSTR bstr;
                                    hr = pLink->get_href(&bstr);
                                    if(hr == S_OK){
                                        CString strTag;
                                        strTag = bstr; 
                                        // Find a link that 
                                        // lets us log-off
                                        if(strTag.Find("Logout")>=0 || 
                                          strTag.Find("Sign Out")>=0){
                                            pElem->click(); 
                                            i=celem;
                                        }
                                    }
                                    pLink->Release();
                                }
                                pElem->Release();
                           }
                           pDisp->Release();
                       }
                   }
                   pColl->Release();
               }
            }
            pHTMLDocument2->Release();
        }
        pDisp->Release();
    }
    return ;
    pBrowser->Release();
    CoUninitialize();
}

void CYahooDlg::OnBnClickedBack()
{
    pBrowser->GoBack(); //ask browser to go back to the previous page
}

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

pratheesh
Web Developer
India India
I'm a nature lover

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMr. "IF ELSE" Pinmemberwheregone11-Mar-10 20:19 
GeneralRe: Mr. "IF ELSE" Pinmemberpratheesh3-May-10 7:39 
GeneralHelp needed Pinmembermegha_gharote2-Oct-07 19:08 
GeneralRe: Help needed Pinmemberpratheesh2-Oct-07 20:26 
GeneralRe: Help needed Pinmembermegha_gharote2-Oct-07 22:19 
GeneralRe: Help needed Pinmembermegha_gharote21-Oct-07 18:44 
Generalnot able to open Project Pinmembermegha_gharote28-Sep-07 3:54 
GeneralHi~ Pinmemberjoyoyang26-Jun-07 16:11 
GeneralRe: Hi~ Pinmembermegha_gharote28-Sep-07 4:12 
GeneralRe: Hi~ Pinmemberpratheesh28-Sep-07 6:12 
GeneralRe: Hi~ Pinmembermegha_gharote2-Oct-07 19:08 
GeneralPosting a text to webpage PinmemberAdeel6883-Aug-06 22:42 
QuestionWork with an existing internet explorer PinmemberIce_2k19-Apr-06 11:51 
Generalstrange submit Pinmemberdraren16-Mar-06 0:04 
GeneralRe: strange submit Pinmemberch049216-Jul-09 22:53 
GeneralBad COM programming Pinmembereydelbergo14-Mar-05 16:36 
GeneralRe: Bad COM programming PinmemberDLChambers21-Dec-05 7:00 
QuestionWhat about clicking a button ? PinmemberAlexis MICHEL13-Mar-05 13:49 
GeneralDoes not work with my browser PinmemberSiddharth Daftardar1-Mar-05 18:38 
GeneralRe: Does not work with my browser Pinmemberpratheesh2-Mar-05 18:01 
GeneralRe: Does not work with my browser PinmemberSiddharth Daftardar4-Mar-05 15:17 
GeneralAnother issue Pinmembereuacela25-Feb-05 8:36 
GeneralHello There!!! PinmemberThatsAlok23-Feb-05 19:09 
GeneralRe: Hello There!!! Pinmemberpratheesh25-Feb-05 4:28 
GeneralRe: Hello There!!! PinmemberThatsAlok25-Feb-05 17:36 

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