Web based logins / Check-Macros
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Web based logins are logins where the fields for username and password are placed within a web page (other than logins with Server Authentication where a small window pops up to enter username and password).
Most password protected pages use a web based login. These logins don't work with a standardized technology, it's dependent from the server and the webmaster how the login technology is implemented.
Unfortunately there is no generic way to automate web based logins. To handle web based logins, WebSite-Watcher supports a technique called Check-Macros.
A Check-Macro can be created interactively with the integrated tool MiniBrowser that records all your steps when you login and surf to the page you want to monitor. WebSite-Watcher performs all these steps when a bookmark is checked for updates.
To record a new macro, click the "Check-Macro" button in the bookmark properties and the following dialog will be displayed.
As there are so many different solutions how a login can work, WebSite-Watcher supports 3 different techniques which can be used to record a macro.
The dynamic method tries to save only entered form fields and use everything else from the web page when a bookmark is checked (for example dynamically generated Session-IDs).
The static method stores everything as it is available while recording the macro. This method will not work for pages with Session-IDs or other dynamic values. You should use this method only when the dynamic method doesn't work.
That sounds probably very technical yet, but here's a rule of thumb to simplify things:
In some cases a page inserts a dynamic Session-ID into the path of an URL which must be handled and identified manually by using a regular expression.
where 00938-8837-8872 is the Session-ID.
Do not use this feature for URLs with the following format (session id as parameter):
You have to know the syntax of the Session-ID, then you can define a regular expression which extracts the Session-ID from the URL. Don't add a leading and a trailing Slash, MiniBrowser will do that automatically.
For each URL that is opened during macro recording, a special dialog pops up and displays the used download technique (GET or POST), the URL and some additional parameters (for example the values after filling out a form). Usually you can simply press the GET/POST button to continue recording. Only if you are performing a logout, you have to check the appropriate checkbox in that dialog.
If a login is CAPTCHA protected and a user has to enter letters and/or digits from a distorted image, then you have to use the "Internet Explorer Macro" technology. When the macro is recorded, you have to check the box "This step is protected by a CAPTCHA" after entering the letters/digits.
While checking the page, WebSite-Watcher will show a separate browser window where you have to enter these letters/digits, after that WebSite-Watcher can continue checking the bookmark.
At http://www.aignes.com/videos.htm you can find some videos which show how to record and use Check-Macros.