An Impossibility?

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My employer has asked me to do what I believe is impossible. I told him so
and he disagrees. But, I visited the newsgroup while he was here earlier and
explained that many of you have forgotten more than I've ever known
regarding web design. I told him that I would put forth the situation to the
group and see if what he wants done is do-able. Here goes:

He has a website that contains a utility to search one of his wholesellers
inventory and returns the results based upon current pricing and
availability. But the results page (generated by the wholeseller's server)
contains some extraneous information above the results. My boss wants me to
design a site that will send the search query to the wholeseller's server
and then will remove the unwanted information from the results produced by
their server. Can this be done?

For a better visual of the problem, a copy of the search is located at . The form calls up an asp file
from the wholeseller's system. Can I control how the results are provided
without access to the wholeseller's server? The wholeseller, for what it's
worth, isn't very inclined to change their code to assist us.


Re: An Impossibility?

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Well, if your server scripts can interogate the returning data from the
wholesalers, then you can do whatever you want with the data.

What you could do is (and a real yucky way of doing it) if you know the
format that the wholesaler data is in, you could interogate the data
differently for that one wholesaler.

It would be nice, however, if your wholesalers returned an XML stream with
all of the data required and whatever else that is not required, then you
can do whatever using XSLT or whatever languages you are using.

Re: An Impossibility?

Joe wrote:
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Yep - How will depend on what resources are available on your server.

FWIW: I use XMLHTTP on my Win2k/IIS-5 server and manipulate the returned
markup with ASP.

William Tasso -

Re: An Impossibility?

On or around Mon, 23 Jun 2003 03:36:07 GMT, there was a message,

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This should work:
Set up the search page to send its search parameters to a server
side program in Perl.  

Let the program query the wholesaler's server using those parameters
and Perl's LWP::UserAgent module, which creates a web client that can
capture the results similar to the way a browser does.

Use the HTML::Parser module to break the resulting page into usable
chunks, so that you can throw away whatever you want.   (Alternately,
you might be able to throw away everything up to some matched regular

Then the program can write the modified page to the visitor's browser
with module.  

Or do something similar in another server side language.


Re: An Impossibility?

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I'll bet you were not looking for all those positive answers
Damn. Now you have to go and learn heaps of new server side stuff.

One point. If your hosts server does not support such server side stuff then
your only option is to get a new host.


Re: An Impossibility?

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Busted :) But, on the flip side, if he wants all of that done, he's going to
have to outsource it. He hopes to have the site up within the next couple of
weeks. Even though I'm a fairly quick study, I don't think I could learn
what I need to know in my "spare time" ( bear in mind I have a 3 year old
son and an 11 year old daughter).

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The server we use is very cooperative with what they allow you to do. I've
had several domains hosted with them over the past 8 years. But, as I said,
it won't be me designing the thing. I'll just be the one implenenting it.

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