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How to pipe console apps

, 13 Jul 2012
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Simulate user interaction in console apps with perl

Introduction 

This post describes how to interact with an interactive console application and similate user interaction.  In this case we are goint to interact with the app called mongo.exe wich is the console client for the NoSql database MongoDb.

Background 

Command line applications have been very useful because they allow us to perform actions easy and fast, the problem here is when you need to call a console application and such application require user interaction. Sometimes it becomes a headache for developers who want to call those apps to perform x or y actions, so here comes Perl to help us.

Using the code 

The following piece of code shows how to create a set of actions to execute when we call a console app.
#create a set of instructions
my @instructions = ();

push(@instructions, qq{use test;});
push(@instructions, qq{db.book.remove()});
push(@instructions, qq{db.book.save({name:"Code complete", author:"Steve Mcconnell"});});
push(@instructions, qq{db.book.save({name:"Perl: The Complete Reference", author:"Martin Brown"});});
push(@instructions, qq{db.book.find();});
push(@instructions, qq{exit});

#pipe the app in a handler
open MONGO, "| mongo.exe" || die "can't pipe mongo.exe";
#execute set of instructions
print MONGO join("\n",@instructions);
  

 To execute the previous code you just need to type perl filename.pl

Points of Interest 

Simulate user interaction in console apps may be tricky with other languages, in Perl is easy.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Carlos Luis
Software Developer Avantica Technologies
Costa Rica Costa Rica
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