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Retrieve information from remote website

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#1 nick1

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 09:53 PM


I would like to write a PHP script that retrieves some useful information from a remote website.
Here's my current situation:

I have a hyperlink on a webpage that looks like this:

<a href="http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/my_systems_info/en/details">61W59</a>

At this moment, when the hyperlink is clicked, the user is taken to this page:


If you look at the phrase between
, you'll see it is "61W59."
If you paste that phrase into the input box on the dell website you will be able to retrieve some
additional information about "61W59."  The piece of information I am most interested in is under
"Description."  This information tells me the remaining time until the warranty expires.  As you can see,
the warranty for this particular computer expired back in 1997.

Now onto what I want to do.  I want to automate this process by using a PHP script that goes out to
Dell's website, retrieves the warranty information I want about a particular service tag, then displays the
warranty information on my webpage or writes it to a database if I choose to do so.  The problem is
I have no idea how to design such a script.  I just know that I want the script to be simple and efficient.

I have all the service tags on hand.  It would be super if the PHP script could read the service tags
from a separate text file.

Thank you for your time,


#2 marker5a

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 11:39 PM

The first step is to get the websites html code and read that into a string.  I would imagine Dell would have some kind of template the follow per product page, so you could weed through the unneccessary code and find the exact text in the page you want.  All of this is done using the preg_match() function.  Thats the basic synopsis... if you are unfamiliar with patterns in PHP, I would read up on it... I wouldnt mind helping you out with it.  Anyways, let me know if this helps you out at all.

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