PHP parse html source from a web site that requires you to login?

Hey SP,

I’m curious if it’s possible to get PHP to parse html source code from a privately accessed area on a website. I know that PHP can do this relatively easy with web pages that are pubicly accessible but how can I get PHP to login and create the a session complete with cookies and all. My clients currently look up information on a website which they pay a monthly fee to. I’ll state that we aren’t trying to compete with them, as their service actually supports our business. We would just like to speed up the process in which we look up information on their website. So I’ll re-iterate that again, we aren’t stealing anything from the service, we already pay for the service, we’d just like to be able to access the information we pay for in a format that works with our business instead of against it.

So is this kind of thing possible with PHP? Any tips in the right direction would be a great help.

The Symfony2 components can be used to make a handy scraper that can simulate the behavior of a browser, including filling and submitting forms, and managing cookies and history.

Wow, thank you for the suggestion. I don’t have any experience with .phar files but it looks like I can use it like any other class I would include?