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Posted 11 Jan 2013

Web Automation

, 4 Jan 2017
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You can fill any form, click any button, and extract any data from web by using Web Automation.

Introduction

Web Automation written in C#, using Web Browser control to automate many things. You can do many things by writing JavaScript code to control a Web Browser.

Background

You must have basic knowledge about JavaScript and C#, because Web Automation uses JavaScript to communicate with C# function.

How It Works

This code below explain communication between JavaScript function and C# function. If you don't use it when you call JavaScript to C# function, it will not work.

// This nested class must be ComVisible for the JavaScript to be able to call it.
[ComVisible(true)]
public partial class frmMain : Form
{
} 

Then you create a Web Browser and a load JavaScript function on the Web Browser like in the code below on Form Load:

private void frmMain_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    wbMain = new WebBrowser();
    wbMain.ObjectForScripting = this;
    wbMain.DocumentText =
        "<html>" +
        "<head>" +
        "<script type='text/javascript'>" +
            "function go(url) " +
            "{ " +
                "window.external.go(url);" +
            "}" +
        "</script>" +
        "</head>" +
        "<body>" +
        "</body>" +
        "</html>";
    this.Controls.Add(wbMain);
} 

The code below has two important points, first ObjectForScripting and window.external:

The purpose of ObjectForScripting is for communication between JavaScript and the frmMain application, you can replace this by another class if you want, this class will be called from the JavaScript function.

I load the go function in Web Browser when loading the application, the purpose is when you execute script, it will call function go in C#:

public void go(string url)
{
    MessageBox.Show(url);
}

How you execute the script:

wbMain.Document.InvokeScript("eval", 
new object[] { "go('http://www.google.com');" });  

When you execute the script below, if function is JavaScript it will execute, if not it will find function you load from Web Browser, example function go, it not function JavaScript so that function will call, then window.external.go(url) will communicate with window application by ObjectForScripting and run function go(string url) and it will show dialog with message is 'http://www.google.com';

Combine all code and you will see how it is working:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;

using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace WebAutomation
{
    [ComVisible(true)]
    public partial class frmMain : Form
    {
        private WebBrowser wbMain;

        public frmMain()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
        }

        private void frmMain_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            wbMain = new WebBrowser();
            wbMain.ObjectForScripting = this;
            wbMain.DocumentText =
                "<html>" +
                "<head>" +
                "<script type='text/javascript'>" +
                    "function go(url) " +
                    "{ " +
                        "window.external.go(url);" +
                    "}" +
                "</script>" +
                "</head>" +
                "<body>" +
                "</body>" +
            "</html>";
            this.Controls.Add(wbMain);
        }

        public void go(string url)
        {
            wbBrowser.Navigate(url);
        }

        private void btnRun_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            string code = tbxCode.Text;
            wbMain.Document.InvokeScript("eval", new object[] { code }); 
        }
    }
} 

Techniques

In my application, I using a method "Call a C# Method From JavaScript Hosted in a WebBrowser" to control anything JavaScript cannot work like writing to file, opening tab, working with file and folder...

Secure sensitive information like Account, User, Email Server, Connection by using "DotNet Zip Library" and "Secure Password Authentication".

Using "Mouse Key Board Library" to record and playback your mouse and your keyboard by script.

Recognize text from image by "Tesseract OCR", read and write Excel file is "NPOI", Speech to Text is "Speech Recognition in C#".

Overview

Web Automation has four sections:

  1. Menu file will help you use some features of program like login, logout, register...,
  2. ToolBar menu will help you work with some item you will usually use like record, run,...,
  3. Web Browser will display website when you are suffering,
  4. Developer Tools that place will automate every of program by JavaScript language

Using Web Automation to Login Gmail

Open program and enter link http://www.gmail.com and click button go.

Right click everywhere on Web Browser, click Go, then will it show question "Do you want go to website?", if you choose yes, it will get current URL you enter on the textbox, else it will get XPath of location where you right click, then go to the link of the xpath.

Then it will show you Developer Tools with code JavaScript to control this function.

Right click on textbox username, click fill, enter username then click OK, repeat for password.

Right click on Button Login, select click.

You must enter two lines to ensure website load done before you continue, then you click Run and then program will go to Gmail for you.

go("https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=mail&passive=true&
  rm=false&continue=http://mail.google.com/mail/&scc=1&ltmpl=default&ltmplcache=2");
sleep(5,false);
fill("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/div/input","thang@gmail.com");
fill("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/div[2]/input","password");
sleep(5,false);
click("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/input[12]");

What Do You Do with Web Automation?

Here is the function of Web Automation, you can try by writing the function below with your parameter, then click run and see what happen, notes some function need authentication to work like function number: 59 to 64, rest of another function, you don't need to login.

  1. Open new tab: tabnew();
  2. Close current tab: tabclose();
  3. Go to website by url or xpath: go(url); or go(xpath);
  4. Go back: back();
  5. Go next: next();
  6. Reload browser: reload();
  7. Stop browser: stop();
  8. Wait until Web Browser has loaded or timer to wait Web Browser load: sleep(seconds, isBreakWhenWBCompleted)
  9. Close application: exit();
  10. Click to element: click(xpath);
  11. Write log to Preview Tab: log(value);
  12. Clear log write on Preview: clearlog();
  13. Extract data from xpath: extract(xpath);
  14. Fill data to element on Web Browser: fill(xpath, value);
  15. Select dropdown value: filldropdown(xpath, index);
  16. Convert string to Object JavaScript: toObject(xpath);
  17. Get all link in the area of xpath, it will stop until program go all of link: browser(xpath);
  18. Reset list website to unread so program can go back and browser continue: resetlistwebsite();
  19. Take snapshot of website: takesnapshot(url);
  20. Create folder: createfolder(path);
  21. Get list folder from path: getfolders(path);
  22. Create file: save(content, location, isOverride);
  23. Get list file from path: getfiles(path);
  24. Download a file: download(url, location);
  25. Read file: read(path);
  26. Remove file: remove(path);
  27. Remove folder: removefolder(path);
  28. Open explorer and select file: explorer(path);
  29. Run code from string: excute(code);
  30. Logoff: logoff();
  31. Lockworkstation: lockworkstation();
  32. Forcelogoff: forcelogoff();
  33. Reboot: reboot();
  34. Shutdown: shutdown();
  35. Hibernate: hibernate();
  36. Standby: standby();
  37. Run application: runcommand(path);
  38. Get current url of current tab: getcurrenturl();
  39. Get browser height: getheight();
  40. Get title of website: gettitle();
  41. Get all link from xpath: getlinks(xpath);
  42. Get content of web browser: getCurrentContent();
  43. Get path of Web Automation: getCurrentPath();
  44. Read cell of Excel file: readCellExcel(path, sheetname, row, column);
  45. Write Excel file: writeCellExcel(path, sheetname, cellname, value);
  46. Load HTML file: loadHTML(path);
  47. Convert json string to Object: textToJSON(jsonstring);
  48. Login: login(username, password);
  49. Register: register(username, email, password, confirm);
  50. OCR: ocr(path, language);
  51. Mouse Up: MouseUp(mouseButton, lastTime);
  52. Mouse Down: MouseDown(mouseButton, lastTime);
  53. Mouse Click: MouseClick(mouseButton, lastTime);
  54. Mouse Doble Click: MouseDoubleClick(mouseButton, lastTime);
  55. Mouse Move: MouseMove(x, y, isShow, lastTime);
  56. Mouse Wheel: MouseWheel(delta, lastTime);
  57. Key Down: KeyDown(delta, lastTime);
  58. Key Up: KeyUp(delta, lastTime);
  59. Get Account By: getAccountBy(name);
  60. Get Database: getDatabases(name);
  61. Get Tables: getTables(name, dbName);
  62. Get Columns: getColumns(name, dbName, table);
  63. Get Rows: getRows(name, dbName, sql);
  64. Execute SQL Query: excuteQuery(name, dbName, sql);

Those are all the functions of Web Automation. Every function is a JavaScript function so it have return or not return value, sometimes you get value as string, sometime you will get value as object, it is based on my C# function.

By combining each function together, you can automate a lot of things, automate fill textbox, click button, extract any kind of data, automate, create, delete, file, folder, automate extract data from website and save it to Excel file easily, update data to Excel file, read data from Excel file, control your mouse, your keyboard.....

I try to include all knowledge I have on my program like OCR, Text To Speech, Speech To Text,... My program can be expanded by adding function on JavaScript, then adding function on C# to solve some algorithm.

Notes

This is just one function of my software. In my software, I give some techniques to help automation better like record your mouse and keyboard. It helps automate some parts that do not work on software, or control program by speech.

License

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

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About the Author

Đinh Công Thắng
Software Developer CSC Viet Nam
Vietnam Vietnam
I worked on Phoenix Software and CSC Viet Nam.
I have knowledge in C#, ASP.NET, Javascript, Jquery, Ajax, SQL Server, MVC 3.

My purpose want apply what I learn to real world, create utility so help another person don't repeat their work day by day, of course it not easy but I try and hope it good.

Website: http://www.thangdc.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thangdc
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tinhyeu24h
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/117248983435347399719

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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: Automated login Pin
Sivaji156526-Sep-13 2:51
memberSivaji156526-Sep-13 2:51 
GeneralGreat! Pin
Anonymous Anonymous21-Feb-13 5:13
memberAnonymous Anonymous21-Feb-13 5:13 
SuggestionGenerating stand alone executable Pin
Anonymous Anonymous17-Feb-13 3:52
memberAnonymous Anonymous17-Feb-13 3:52 
GeneralRe: Generating stand alone executable Pin
Đinh Công Thắng17-Feb-13 15:40
memberĐinh Công Thắng17-Feb-13 15:40 
QuestionCool additional feature Pin
Member 979282829-Jan-13 17:56
memberMember 979282829-Jan-13 17:56 
AnswerRe: Cool additional feature Pin
Đinh Công Thắng29-Jan-13 19:57
memberĐinh Công Thắng29-Jan-13 19:57 
GeneralRe: Cool additional feature Pin
Member 979282830-Jan-13 3:10
memberMember 979282830-Jan-13 3:10 
GeneralRe: Cool additional feature Pin
Đinh Công Thắng30-Jan-13 3:38
memberĐinh Công Thắng30-Jan-13 3:38 
Why you want to do that?

1. Why you don't want UI, if don't have UI what do you do with that '.exe' file?
2. Do you want secure your username and password to login website? If yes, I have already create location where save username and password secure, I save username and password to zip file with password of zip file, and then encrypt password user login in program then your password will be secure by program, so you can share your code but don't share your account.

Example: In my program have function call Login and Register.
When you Register new account, program will create a file with your password put in zip file, and zip file will have a password, so so can open this file if you don't know password of program, that the first level of secure, next in zip file will contain xml file with your account in this, your account will hash your password so if you can open zip file, but you will not see the password of you.

Bellow will show you how your account protect and you can share this code for everyone, and don't care another to see your password.

var account = getAccount('accountname');
go('gmail.com');
sleep(15,false);
fill("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/div/input",account.username);
fill("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/div[2]/input",account.password);
sleep(1,false);
click("/html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/form/input[10]");

QuestionVery nice but no source code Pin
John Kenedy S.Kom25-Jan-13 4:35
memberJohn Kenedy S.Kom25-Jan-13 4:35 
AnswerRe: Very nice but no source code Pin
Đinh Công Thắng27-Jan-13 0:30
memberĐinh Công Thắng27-Jan-13 0:30 
GeneralRe: Very nice but no source code Pin
supernorb21-Feb-13 1:16
membersupernorb21-Feb-13 1:16 
GeneralRe: Very nice but no source code Pin
Đinh Công Thắng21-Feb-13 2:11
memberĐinh Công Thắng21-Feb-13 2:11 
GeneralRe: Very nice but no source code Pin
supernorb21-Feb-13 6:49
membersupernorb21-Feb-13 6:49 

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