Communicating with a Web Server

Within a corporate network, nearly all data transfer takes place using proprietary binary formats, ranging from transferring files to performing remote database queries. Due primarily to security considerations, communication across the Internet has evolved to use textual formats, such as HTML and more recently XML. XML is covered in detail in Chapter 12.

To be able to communicate with an application running on a web server, you need to be able to pass information to, and receive information from, that application.

In Excel 2007, the Workbook object's FollowHyperlink method can be used to communicate with a web server. There a few problems with using this, including:

□ If an error occurs during the connection, Excel will freeze.

□ Any data returned from the hyperlink is automatically displayed as a new workbook.

□ You have very little control over the communication.

A much more flexible alternative is provided by the Microsoft Internet Transfer Control, msinet.ocx. This ActiveX control, often referred to as the ITC, is an easy-to-use wrapper for the wininet.dll file, which provides low-level Internet-related services for the Windows platform.

0 -1

Post a comment