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Greetings fellow developers!

So I've been a professional developer for close to 3 months now and am thoroughly enjoying it. I work primarily with C# ASP.NET but know a good bit about various SQL implementations and other web technologies. Here is my question to you all:

I would like to run a script/program on a server (I currently have space on a server at InMotion Hosting) that fires off every 10 minutes, hits a web site's API, and then pushes the values into a database.

I know how to set up the database and how to push things into it. The areas of this that I don't quite understand are as follows:

1. What language would I write this program in and how would I implement it?

-I really don't know where to even start with this. I get executables, but I do not get how to automate some process and have it run without user interaction.

2. How to connect to a given API and process calls to it?

-I understand how to parse out XML but I'm not too certain on how to actually initiate this process. Do I open up a port on my own server? Do I ping some target IP? What exactly do I do?

Any other tips and tricks that could be thrown my way would be greatly appreciated, regardless if they are in answer to either 1 or 2.

Thanks in advance all. Glad to finally be a member of CodeProject :)

If you need a process to run at a system level like this you should investigate creating a windows service to do this for you. The windows service can run in the background and do what you want it to.
suprcodr 11-Mar-11 14:36pm
Windows service eh? Judging by the name of it, I would imagine a Windows service would only run on a Windows server? Is there a cross-platform "service" that I could program or should I base the service off the OS my server is running?
Espen Harlinn 11-Mar-11 17:28pm
If you are running on a linux/unix kind of os: take a look at cron -
As long as you know how to create something that can be executed - it will do the trick :)
fjdiewornncalwe 11-Mar-11 18:30pm
A windows service can run on any windows system. (Assuming XP and up). It is really nothing more than an application that is built and installed in a specific way.
suprcodr 11-Mar-11 14:36pm
Oh and thank you very much for the feedback!
Espen Harlinn 11-Mar-11 17:24pm
Since this is CP - a farly windows centric site, I'd say this is fair advice - my 5
suprcodr 14-Mar-11 13:03pm
Windows centric answer it is. Thank you
Albin Abel 15-Mar-11 14:39pm
My 5
On unix/linux you use cron:[^]

On windows you create a service as Marcus suggested - or use the windows task scheduler[^] to schedule anything that can be executed.

Espen Harlinn
suprcodr 14-Mar-11 13:03pm
Thank you very much for your input
Albin Abel 15-Mar-11 14:39pm
Good advice. My 5
Espen Harlinn 15-Mar-11 15:06pm
Thank you AlbinAbel!
You need to find out what protocols the web api offers. Language will not be a problem. Most of the languages support REST, SOAP, XML-RPC.

Easy way go through the API documentation. There you might find example codings.
suprcodr 11-Mar-11 13:58pm
Great! Thank you for your feedback. The real issue that I don't know how to overcome though is running a given application every x minutes on a server. Is there any light you could shed on this for me?

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