HttpRequest - What am I doing wrong!?!?! Help :(

Startbeitrag von Georgio am 25.09.2008 21:55


I'm trying to log into a website directly from my application and then save it for
later. After hours of trying, I think I'm pretty spent and maybe I'm not seeing
something here.

I'm using Firefox's Live Http Headers to view what information needs to be
passed to this particular website. This is the content that is being sent to
the site:

(from live HTTP headers)
POST /control/selectclinic IsFirstTime=true&AccountNumber=XXXXX&MainZip=90025&selectclinicbutton.x=81&selectclinicbutton.y=5

So, here's my code:

bPageRet is boolean
// Run a request on a secure server
bPageRet = HTTPRequest("","","";,...

// If an error occurs
IF bPageRet = False THEN
// evaluate the error
SWITCH ErrorInfo(errCode)
// Invalid certificate name
CASE HTTPErrorInvalidCertificateName :
//automatically ignore cert.
HTTP.IgnoreError = HTTPIgnoreInvalidCertificateName
// Re-run the request

EDT_Edit1 = HTTPGetResult()

// Invalid or expired cert.
CASE HTTPErrorExpiredCertificate :
HTTP.IgnoreError = HTTPIgnoreExpiredCertificate
// Re-run the request

Am i not executing the httpRequest command correctly? I'm pretty certain that
all fields have been convered.



Hi Georgio,

I think you need to "urlencode" the string you send.


sRes is string

//Possible : 32 45-46 48-57 65-90 95 97-122
bOk is boolean
N is int
C is int

FOR C = 1 TO Length(_S)

N = Asc(_S[[C]])

bOk = True
CASE (N>=45) AND (N=48) AND (N=65) AND (N=97) AND (N

von Piet van Zanten - am 26.09.2008 06:41
Hi Piet,

MyURL is string = URLEncode("http://my web site/my page")

Already exists as a W-Language procedure and does good job (as far as I had to use it).

As for the CR+...+"submit" this is the documented syntax in the help to send form data.

Best regards.

von Alexandre Leclerc - am 26.09.2008 13:25
Hi Georgio,

I looked at the web site, and I see no https but only http protocol. This will lead to permanent failure.

Also, selectclinicbutton is the sumbit button. You should not send information about that input field. The only field you must input are:
- IsFirstTime
- AccountNumber
- MainZip

Then submit that information.

Something like:

bPageRet = HTTPRequest("","","","IsFirstTime=true"+CR+

Best regards.

von Alexandre Leclerc - am 26.09.2008 13:37
Hi Alexandre,

Thanks for the tip. I used the above example exactly as you have layed out.

No go.

The website is giving me the error:

Missing required field(s): Hospital Account Number, Hospital Zip Code

The above fields are definetly in the command statement. Could this possibly
be a windev bug?

Thanks again!


von Georgio - am 26.09.2008 15:20
Hi Georgio,

I don't know because I have no data to test. But it could be. (The encoding can also be a problem.) This is charset=UTF-8 and in such a format the data should be sent back to the server with good encoding in the header.

You might want to check that. (There is a bug in SOAP with encoding... so try specifying the encoding in the HTTP header.)


von Alexandre Leclerc - am 26.09.2008 15:58
Hi Alexandre,

I'd be really appreciative of your help. The information I have is for
a demo account that the company gives to developers for test.

May I email it to you?


von Georgio - am 26.09.2008 17:47
Hi Georgio,

I also had quite a lot of trouble to get things working using HTTPRequest(). It is like working in the dark, because you don't get to see the actual message being sent by Windev.

I solved this with a simple little program called tcptrace from You may want to have a look at it. It redirects all HTTP-traffic to some other port, and reports whatever comes along. Sort of like a proxy.

When I saw the actual message being sent by Windev, the solution to my problem was obvious: I forgot to append a CR/LF to the additional headers I was sending. So simple if you can actually SEE whatever Windev is sending.

The next step was to SEE what my browser is sending when I connect to the site interactively. There are many programs that can do that, some of them freeware (like tcptrace). Comparing the messages that I was sending to the ones sent by my web-browser, eventually resolved the remaining issues. After all, if my message is exactly the same as the message sent by my browser, it must be correct.


von Sohan - am 27.09.2008 03:20

So simple but so clever. I already have a screen-scrapper utility installed
and I'll try that now.


von Georgio - am 27.09.2008 20:31

Now, I'm upset. I've run this every which way I could have. I have a screen
scrapper that shows me that NONE of my post data is being sent.

So, just to test, I tried this with 4 other websites. I even wrote a simple
cgi on my website with 1 field to post ... nothing.

Has anyone ever successfully used the HttpRequest with POST in
Windev 12?

Sorry, I've been at this for 3 days and nothing. Nothing from PC soft


von Georgio - am 27.09.2008 23:58
Hi Georgio,

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "screen scrapper". Data sent by HTTPRequest has nothing to do with the 'screen'. Did you try tcptrace? And yes, posting works fine in WD12.


von Sohan - am 28.09.2008 00:10
Hi Georgio,

When I use your HTTPRequest, this is what Windev sends:

Content-Length: 60
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept: */*
Host: localhost
Connection: close

(Ignore the "localhost", it is because I am using tcptrace). As you can see, the word "submit" is simply copied into the body of the posted data (below the empty line). I would be surprised if this is correct. The documentation to HTTPRequest states that all input fields should be on a seperate line, and appended with "submit". I wonder if this is correct, since the word "submit" does not seem to be interpreted by Windev.

But you can simply avoid this game of trial and error by looking at what your browser is sending. When I type in my browser, enter "xxxxx" as the ID Number and "90025" as Hospital Zip Code, this is what my browser sends:

POST /control/selectclinic HTTP/1.1
Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg, application/x-shockwave-flash, application/, application/msword, application/x-silverlight, */*
Accept-Language: nl
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Content-Length: 98
Connection: Keep-Alive
Cache-Control: no-cache
Cookie: JSESSIONID=LppZ1sDqzwyCGHP0JJ2f898db8295Y6nL4g1xPmqyx13q7ftFQJy!1632793846

First thing to notice is that the posted data is on a single line and does not contain the word "submit" (surprise surprise). Next thing is the cookie. Your browser has picked up a cookie somewhere and sends it along with every request. Your HTTPRequest() is failing because you did not supply it. Don't let the HTML page that comes along with it confuse you. It says: "Missing required field(s): Hospital Account Number, Hospital Zip Code" etc, but that's BS. It means that the cookie is missing. The browser received the cookie on first entry of the site/page. Keep in mind that if you approach the site through a browser, the POST request is the second request, not the first one. The first request is a simple GET of the main url, in this case "";. This is where the cookie is set. You will have to focus on the header received, not the (html) result. The first header received is:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Sun-ONE-Web-Server/6.1
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 01:32:09 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF8
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=LppZ1sDqzwyCGHP0JJ2f898db8295Y6nL4g1xPmqyx13q7ftFQJy!1632793846; path=/
Transfer-encoding: chunked
There is the cookie. As soon as you receive it, you must supply it with every request that you send. Next you can issue the POST request. Use the third parameter of HTTPRequest to send the cookie along with the request. Don't forget to append a CR to every 'additional HTTP header' that you send. When I do this I get the following response:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Sun-ONE-Web-Server/6.1
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 01:41:52 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF8
Set-Cookie: clinicId=null; expires=Thursday, 01-Jan-1970 01:00:00 GMT
Set-Cookie: clinicZip=null; expires=Thursday, 01-Jan-1970 01:00:00 GMT
Transfer-encoding: chunked
The resulting HTML is the same as I see in my browser, so the request has succeeded. This is as far as I can go with it, since I do not have a valid account-id.

You have to keep in mind that HTTPRequest is just an atomic command. It sends some data to the server (either a GET or a POST) and that's about it. Your browser does much more than that - receiving and sending cookies is one of these things To give you an idea: the browser issued 8 requests in total to service your POST request. Another common thing that your browser handles is redirection. The server responds with code 302 which means that the page requested is to be found elsewhere. This means that you will have to issue another request with the given location. In short: to do anything non-trivial, you will have to build a rudimentary http-client around HTTPRequest.

As I mentioned before, things become a lot more clear if you can actually see the HTTP-messages going to and from the server, especially the headers. To see what's going on inside my browser I purchased HTTPWatch. It's a plugin for your browser and reports exactly what's going on real-time. I mention this only to point out that they have an excellent http tutorial on their site: Most of my http knowledge comes from these pages.


von Sohan - am 28.09.2008 03:45
HI Sohan,

A screen scrapper extracts data from the display output of another program ... in most cases, a website. From there I can parse the data for my own use. The screen scrappe program I use has a proxy server attached so I can see how data is being sent to a program or website (even while using windev).

A good "real-world" example of a screen scrapping program would be a piece of software called "scroogle". This is actually a SS proxy that allows google searches without the google ads. With scroogle, I can see exactly what data is being sent to google's search field and parse the resulting data.

Thanks for your last example, this should help me greatly.


von Georgio - am 28.09.2008 16:33

Excellent post!!! I'm finally gaining some headway.

This thread should be in a "best of"; the help pages for the HttpRequest command
is somewhat elusive.

Thank you, Thank you!

von Georgio - am 28.09.2008 16:41
Hi all,

I know this is a little late, however, google, download and install "WireShark" (aka Ethereal). This is the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to debugging network traffic.


von KenKnight - am 29.09.2008 01:33
Hi Ken,

Yes, I L-O-V-E wireshark, however, I've never used it for windows ... only in Linux or Unix platforms/flavors.


von Georgio - am 29.09.2008 15:33
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