How to Monitor a Web Form

Last modified on August 24, 2020

Setting up the AlertSite system to monitor and HTML Form requires some working knowledge of HTML and HTML forms. The process is composed of the following steps:

  1. Determine the URL that will invoke the form to be monitored, along with the form name and the values that are to be submitted. You can find these by displaying the page that contains the form to be submitted in a web browser and clicking View Source. Consult an HTML guide or your webmaster if you are unfamiliar with HTML forms.

  2. Switch to AlertSite 1.0.

  3. Add a new monitor from the Configuration: Sites page.

    • Enter the site name, site plan, and URL.

    • Click Submit.

    • Select POST as the HTTP Method.

    • Click Submit.

  4. Edit an existing monitor on the Manage Site page.

    • Select POST as the HTTP Method.

    • Click Submit.

  5. Click POST Values in the upper right.

  6. Enter the form values that you collected during the first step on the Edit POST Form Values page.

    Tip: Enter the values, each on a separate line, using the format name=value, where name is the name of the form value to be submitted, and value is the value to be submitted.

The following example form will help to illustrate this process:

HTML

<!-- EXAMPLE HTML FORM -->
<FORM ACTION="http://example.com/cgi-bin/login.cgi">
<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="myvar" VALUE="ABC123">

(form dialogs in here)

<INPUT NAME="login" TYPE="text">
<INPUT NAME="password" TYPE="password">
<INPUT TYPE="submit">

<INPUT TYPE="reset">

</FORM>

The URL (to be entered into the URL field) from the preceding form would be:

http://example.com/cgi-bin/login.cgi

The form names and values (to be entered on the Edit POST Form Values page) would look as follows:

login=somename
password=somepass
myvar=ABC123

A GET request specifies everything in the URL and the headers; there is no extra data.

In contrast, a POST request sends additional data to the web server, specified after the URL, and the headers followed by a blank line to indicate the end of the headers:

<!-- EXAMPLE HTML POST WITH HEADERS -->
POST /login.jsp HTTP/1.1
Host: www.mysite.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0
Content-Length: 27
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

userid=jsmith&password=whoknows

Advanced Options

POST exactly as entered – Option for specialized forms requiring multiple pairs using the same name, or for systems requiring data be sent in a particular order.

SEND HTTP Headers exactly as entered – Option for sending raw headers and post data completely untouched. Required for some SOAP implementations.

See Also

Single URL Monitors
Website Monitor Settings

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