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3 Creative Usages of a Web Monitoring Tool

Let me tell you about the automation of routine actions when working on the Internet and how such automation can be arranged. Often when working on the net I have to do some simple but many times repeated actions ...

Author: Mikhail Filatov
Date: Sep 6, 2011 - 6:16:37 AM

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Let me tell you about the automation of routine actions when working on the Internet and how such automation can be arranged. 

Often when working on the net I have to do some simple but many times repeated actions of the kind of going to a page, filling fields, clicking on links.  It is monotonous and absolutely uninteresting work.  How I wish it could be done by itself!  Or that the computer would take it upon itself to do it.

It is quite possible.

In order to solve these problems there are various special programs that allow recording user activity (mouse movements, pressing of keys) in a browser and afterwards reproducing it at the right time. Roughly speaking you show the computer what it needs to do and later on it will reproduce your actions itself, then and as many times as you need.  Besides, the sites on which this is performed will consider that the reproduced actions are made exactly by the user, by you. 

So it makes possible to automate repeated actions on the Internet.

I have tried several automation programs.  Almost all are meant only for certain actions – form filling, clicking, etc.  Frequently they do not work with some types of sites.  Finally I decided that IPHost Network Monitor that I have been using for a long time to monitor our network suits me fine.

Although IPHost’s tool called Web Transaction Monitor (WTM) is designed for a little bit different purposes (web application monitoring, web shop monitoring) it quite suited me for the automation of repeated actions.

Here are some valuable ideas on using WTM.  That is, at least what I have tested:

- fairly frequently I have to ask questions or make announcements on different forums.  The time when my question is at the top on the first page is short enough – a few hours.  It is difficult to get an answer during this period.  I have to manually move my posts up 1-2 times a day to provide their visibility. With WTM I only need to do it once.

- recently I had to find an assistant and I placed a vacancy ad on a local site.  During the day my vacancy ad was pushed out of the top.  Resumes stopped coming to my email.  On this site vacancy ranking is based on a number of ad views, i.e. it could help to open the page several times a day for better ranking.  The program did it perfectly.

- a rare book for my hobby was expected to arrive in an online store.  The number of printed copies was rather small, it was necessary not to miss the beginning of sales.  In order to learn about the arrival I had to use a search in that store, look through the list of new arrivals for quite a while, and there were no other ways to learn about the appearance of the book. With IPHost Monitor I automated this task and the book was purchased.

And that is only a small part of possible applications of this program for ‘unconventional purposes’. Web automation is a creative activity; surely you will be able to think of your own, original application of this software.  Certainly you can use another software, not necessarily IPHost Network Monitor, there are many other similar programs.  Keep trying and quite possibly you will be able to save time and nerves which you would spend on routine operations, so reduce the number of errors in work.

sysadmin of S7 airlines

View all articles by Mikhail Filatov

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