Google Chrome / script / macro question

ceponatia

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Feb 23, 2010
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Hey all!

So this might not even be possible, I've just been wondering about it and if I can do it it'd save me a ton of time at work. So I work in a courthouse and every morning one of the first things I have to do is look up a series of case numbers on a webpage in Chrome to check for certain messages. Would it be possible to have an external script or something that would automatically enter each case number in a separate search window on said website? Just a cool idea... it's been a LONG time since I tried to do any programming.
 

Ralston18

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Moderator
Is the following link the specific webpage where you enter the case number?

http://courtpa.macombgov.org/eservices/search.page.5.1?x=54PJFjn8I-j2k5XjrGOgtg

And you go in and manually type in the case number for each case number on your list?

It would have been nice if the case number would have been embedded in the URL but you are dealing with a database behind the scenes so to speak. I did a name seach ala "John Smith" to see how the case numbers are presented.

Not sure how many case numbers you must search for each day and how long any given case number is "active" from your point of view. Probably quite a mix would be my expectation.

How are you given the list of case numbers that you must look up. Electronically?

Maybe that list could be provided in a format that makes it viable to cut and paste in the case numbers even if one by one.

And if you could maintain that list in some manner you may be able to reduce the workload whereby once you start typing in a case number ( such as 2013-001234-DM from the website example) your source field is automatically completed. Excel does do that. Overall concept being to save you keystrokes and typing time/effort - just cannot see some macro being viable to drive the whole process.

Concept: Your case number list in column form in one window- the website/case number search screen in another window. You just copy and paste the case number from your look up list to the search screen.

Note: Do you happen to use two monitors with extended mode? Not necessary per se but can be a real time saver. The case number list displayed on one monitor, you copy the case number (CTRL + C), mouse over to the second monitor and case number input box, then paste in via CTRL + V. Then click to search.

Key being able to easily get the case number list into a column format right from the beginning. Basically to avoid the need for you to re-type the case numbers.





 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
How are the original case numbers presented via the webpage in Chrome? E.g., some table or list?

You might be able to cut and paste that table or list into Excel (just for discussion purposes) as a column.

Then use an Excel function to merge the website URL and case number into a corresponding column. Which in turn sets up the link to the desired case and messages.

The key is the consistency of the existing process.

If you can get it to work with just one case, then the process can be extended to include additional cases.

Here is a link that may help you get started:

http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Links-in-Excel

The column with the link would be some concatenation of the target URL and case number. Just as if you keyed in the link itself.

Concatenation:

https://www.techonthenet.com/excel/formulas/concat2.php
 

ceponatia

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Feb 23, 2010
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Here is the site I use (don't worry it's public knowledge): http://courtpa.macombgov.org/eservices/search.page.3.1?...*yVHodO1IwEWW3IUA

I tried entering a case number (I unfortunately can't give one out so that you can test it) and the page it opened didn't have the case number in the URL so it doesn't look like I can use that as a way of generating automatic URL's unfortunately. :(

(edit) if you want to try looking up a case so you can see what the output URL looks like, the first page the site brings you to has instructions. It might be easier to look up a common name and grab the case number off of that.
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
Is the following link the specific webpage where you enter the case number?

http://courtpa.macombgov.org/eservices/search.page.5.1?x=54PJFjn8I-j2k5XjrGOgtg

And you go in and manually type in the case number for each case number on your list?

It would have been nice if the case number would have been embedded in the URL but you are dealing with a database behind the scenes so to speak. I did a name seach ala "John Smith" to see how the case numbers are presented.

Not sure how many case numbers you must search for each day and how long any given case number is "active" from your point of view. Probably quite a mix would be my expectation.

How are you given the list of case numbers that you must look up. Electronically?

Maybe that list could be provided in a format that makes it viable to cut and paste in the case numbers even if one by one.

And if you could maintain that list in some manner you may be able to reduce the workload whereby once you start typing in a case number ( such as 2013-001234-DM from the website example) your source field is automatically completed. Excel does do that. Overall concept being to save you keystrokes and typing time/effort - just cannot see some macro being viable to drive the whole process.

Concept: Your case number list in column form in one window- the website/case number search screen in another window. You just copy and paste the case number from your look up list to the search screen.

Note: Do you happen to use two monitors with extended mode? Not necessary per se but can be a real time saver. The case number list displayed on one monitor, you copy the case number (CTRL + C), mouse over to the second monitor and case number input box, then paste in via CTRL + V. Then click to search.

Key being able to easily get the case number list into a column format right from the beginning. Basically to avoid the need for you to re-type the case numbers.





 

ceponatia

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Feb 23, 2010
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It's given to me on paper but I could put them in a spreadsheet to copy and paste; looks like that might be the only way to go since I can't plug them right into the URL. Oh, well! Thanks for bouncing ideas around. :)
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
You are welcome.

Will offer another suggestion that may or may not be viable within your environment: probably more for "political" and security reasons than technical.

Chat with the local IT manager or the system's database manager. He or she may be able to set up a RO (Read Only) access to the database serving the webpage. Most databases support ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) that can be used with great advantage.

You type in the list of case numbers using Access (for example) and click one "search" button, the search executes, and present the desired cases.

Bypasses the webpage entry process and allows a batch approach. Lots of factors involved but hopefully there is no harm in asking especially if you can convince someone else with a vested interest in the benefits to support your request.

Then all you would need is for that list to be given to you in column format via an email (or an attached spreadsheet).

Copy/paste in the case numbers (or you could link to spreadsheet or import it) and run the search. Access and Excel both have supporting features and functions. Does not take much code at all and should do no harm especially if set up as RO for you.

Often had to do such things with commericial databases and other software products that often fell short with respect to the end-user's real needs and requirements. Would design and create a simple "front-end" database to cull data from the main "back-end" database. Then users have their own tool to generate queries and reports with the click of a button. Some users even learned to create their own custom queries and reports. Again RO so as no risk of changing or deleting data.
 

ceponatia

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Feb 23, 2010
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I wish I could do that! I'll talk to the IT manager and see if that's possible but I don't think they'd trust a lowly clerical aide with access to the database, even if it was Read Only and even though I have likely studied more computer science than them (judging from what I've seen so far!) lol. Definitely something to look into though.
 
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