[Rd] Retrieving data from aspx pages

Paul Gilbert pgilbert902 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 20:14:03 CET 2012


As far as getting to the data, I think the best way to do this sort of 
thing would be if the site supports a SOAP or REST interface. When they 
don't (yet) then one is faced with clicking through some pages. Python 
or Java is one way to automate the process of clicking through the 
pages. I don't know how to do that in R, but would like to know if it is 

But, I guess I was confused about the part you want to improve. What I 
have works fairly smoothly parsing and passing back JSON data, converted 
from a csv file, into R. The downside is that this approach requires 
more than R to be installed on the client machine. But if the object you 
get back is ASPX, then you either need to parse it directly, or convert 
it to JSON, or something else you can deal with. I suspect that will be 
fairly specific to a particular web site, but I don't really know enough 
about ASPX to be sure.


On 12-10-30 01:12 PM, jose ramon mazaira wrote:
> Thanks for your interest, Paul.
> I've checked the source code of TSjson and I've seen that what it does
> is to call a Python script to retrieve the data. In fact, I've already
> done this with Java using the URLConnection class and sending the
> requested values to fill the form.
> However, I think it would be more useful to open a connection with R
> and to send the requested values within R, and not through an external
> program.
> The application I've designed, like yours, is also page-specific
> (i.e., designed for
> http://cxa.gtm.idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/BondCenter/AdvancedScreener.aspx),
> but I think that our applications would be more powerful if they were
> able to parse the name-value pairs generated from ASPX (or of any
> other dynamically generated web page) and ask the user to select the
> appropiate values.
> 2012/10/30, Paul Gilbert <pgilbert902 at gmail.com>:
>> I think RHTMLForms works if you have a single form, but I have not been
>> able to see how to use it when you need to go through a sequence of
>> dynamically generated forms (like you can do with Python mechanize).
>> Paul
>> On 12-10-30 09:08 AM, Gabriel Becker wrote:
>>> I haven't used it extensively myself, and can't speak to it's current
>>> state but on quick inspection RHTMLForms seems worth a look for what you
>>> want.
>>> http://www.omegahat.org/RHTMLForms/
>>> ~G
>>> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 t 5:38 AM, Paul Gilbert <pgilbert902 at gmail.com
>>> <mailto:pgilbert902 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>      I don't know of an easy way to do this in R. I've been doing
>>>      something similar with python scripts called from R. If anyone knows
>>>      how to do this with just R, I would appreciate hearing too.
>>>      Paul
>>>      On 12-10-29 04:11 PM, jose ramon mazaira wrote:
>>>          Hi. I'm trying to write an application to retrieve financial data
>>>          (specially bonds data) from FINRA. The web page is served
>>>          dynamically
>>>          from an asp.net <http://asp.net> application:
>>> http://cxa.gtm.__idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/__BondCenter/AdvancedScreener.__aspx
>>> <http://cxa.gtm.idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/BondCenter/AdvancedScreener.aspx>
>>>          I'd like to know if it's possible to fill dynamically the web
>>> page
>>>          form from R and, after filling it (with the issuer name),
>>>          retrieve the
>>>          web page, parse the data, and covert it to appropiate R objects.
>>>          For example, suppose I want to search data for AT&T bonds. I'd
>>>          like to
>>>          know if it's possible, within R, to fill the page served from:
>>> http://cxa.gtm.__idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/__BondCenter/AdvancedScreener.__aspx
>>> <http://cxa.gtm.idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/BondCenter/AdvancedScreener.aspx>
>>>          select the "corporate" option and fill with AT&T the field for
>>>          "Issuer
>>>          name", ask the page to display the results, and retrieve the
>>> results
>>>          for each of the bonds issued by AT&T (for example:
>>> http://cxa.gtm.__idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/__BondCenter/BondDetail.aspx?ID=__MDAxOTU3Qko3
>>> <http://cxa.gtm.idmanagedsolutions.com/finra/BondCenter/BondDetail.aspx?ID=MDAxOTU3Qko3>)
>>>          and parsing the data from the web page.
>>>          Thanks in advance.
>>>          ________________________________________________
>>>          R-devel at r-project.org <mailto:R-devel at r-project.org> mailing list
>>>          https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/__listinfo/r-devel
>>>          <https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel>
>>>      ________________________________________________
>>>      R-devel at r-project.org <mailto:R-devel at r-project.org> mailing list
>>>      https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/__listinfo/r-devel
>>>      <https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel>
>>> --
>>> Gabriel Becker
>>> Graduate Student
>>> Statistics Department
>>> University of California, Davis

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