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I want to build a bot to automate web browsing, this mean something like:

  • filling forms
  • press "submit" buttons
  • find certain text inside pages
  • and so on...

How can I do this with Mathematica?

The Import function just make you download a single web page but it doesn't support cookies and similar things to build a complete automated bot, does Mathematica have some useful packet to do so?

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If the form uses the GET method, submitting the form just means composing an URL (on which Import works). The question is very general in this form, and I'd be inclined to say Mathematica is not the right tool for this (you'll end up using JLink or .NETLink anyway). But if you can give a very specific example, we can think about how to implement it in Mathematica (or will be able to say with more confidence that it's not possible without external libraries) –  Szabolcs Feb 15 '12 at 10:32
Yes, I know that for a GET method I can simply compose the URL in the right way. I give you an example: suppose I want to make a little script to log-in to an online service, put some informations in a form to generate a report, download the report and then use Mathematica to analyze this, and I want to do it "one-click", without make the log-in and download manually! –  Francesco Feb 15 '12 at 10:39
I don't believe that this is possible in pure Mathematica. Any working solution you might get will use external libraries, most likely through either JLink or .NETLink. You might be able to drive a browser object through .NETLink on Windows, but I am not familiar with the technology. –  Szabolcs Feb 15 '12 at 10:43
if you need support for cookies then use wget. You can include it in Mma code by using Run. About to go to bed but do a search cause posted something here in answer to another question a couple of weeks ago. ...here it is: mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/1186/… –  Mike Honeychurch Feb 15 '12 at 11:26
You can also try curl: stackoverflow.com/a/6977128/695132 –  Szabolcs Feb 15 '12 at 12:08

1 Answer 1

Here is a package which I think does what you want:


Download the file, and unzip it under "$UserBaseDirectory/Applications"

To use it:

  1. Needs["WebUnit`"]

  2. InstallWebUnit[] (* launches chromedriver.exe *)

  3. StartWebSession[] (* launches Chrome web browser, assuming you have that installed *)

  4. OpenWebPage["http://mathematica.stackexchange.com"] (* opens the web page *)

  5. ClickElement[Id["nav-users"]] (* clicks the web element 'nav-users' the users tab *)

And then TypeElement works similarly (assuming you have an input field with an id).

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