Recipe 26.2 Using a Servlet to Harvest Web Data


You want to use a servlet to harvest web information.


Use the HTML parsing API classes of the Java 2 Software Development Kit (SDK).


The last recipe introduced the relevant subpackages of the javax.swing.text package; this is where I show how to use them in a servlet. Example 26-3 imports the necessary classes to parse an HTML page. The servlet's doGet( ) method displays a form in which the user enters a stock symbol (such as "INTC," case insensitive).

Then the doPost( ) method attempts to get a live stock quote for that symbol by parsing a web page from .

Example 26-3. Harvesting web data from a servlet
 package com.jspservletcookbook;     import;   import;      import; import;  import; import;  import javax.servlet.*; import javax.servlet.http.*;  import javax.swing.text.html.HTMLEditorKit.ParserCallback; import javax.swing.text.MutableAttributeSet; import javax.swing.text.html.parser.ParserDelegator; public class HtmlParseServlet extends HttpServlet {  private static final String BASE_URL = ""+         "/q?d=t&s=";  private ParserDelegator htmlParser = null;     private MyParserCallback callback = null;  private String htmlText = "";     private boolean lastTradeFlag = false;     private boolean boldFlag = false;     private float stockVal = 0f;  public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request,      HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, {  //set the MIME type of the response, "text/html"       response.setContentType("text/html");                    //use a PrintWriter to send text out = response.getWriter( );                    //Begin assembling the HTML content       out.println("<html><head>");            out.println("<title>Stock Price Fetcher</title></head><body>");       out.println("<h2>Please submit a valid stock symbol</h2>");           //make sure method="post" so that the servlet service method       //calls doPost in the response to this form submit       out.println(         "<form method=\"post\" action =\"" + request.getContextPath( ) +             "/stockservlet\" >");       out.println("<table border=\"0\"><tr><td valign=\"top\">");       out.println("Stock symbol: </td>  <td valign=\"top\">");       out.println("<input type=\"text\" name=\"symbol\" size=\"10\">");       out.println("</td></tr><tr><td valign=\"top\">");       out.println(       "<input type=\"submit\" value=\"Submit Info\"></td></tr>");       out.println("</table></form>");       out.println("</body></html>");            } //doGet  public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request,      HttpServletResponse response)       throws{       String symbol;//this will hold the stock symbol       float price;//The stock's latest price       symbol = request.getParameter("symbol");       boolean isValid = (symbol == null  symbol.length( ) < 1) ?       false : true;  //set the MIME type of the response, "text/html"       response.setContentType("text/html"); out = response.getWriter( );                    //Begin assembling the HTML content       out.println("<html><head>");       out.println("<title>Latest stock value</title></head><body>");       if (! isValid){       out.println(         "<h2>Sorry, the stock symbol parameter was either empty "+         "or null</h2>");       } else {  out.println("<h2>Here is the latest value of "+ symbol +"</h2>");             price = getLatestPrice(symbol);             out.println( (price==0? "The symbol is probably invalid." :           ""+price) );  }         out.println("</body></html>");                     }// doPost  private float getLatestPrice(String symbol) throws IOException,     MalformedURLException {        BufferedReader webPageStream = null;        URL stockSite = new URL(BASE_URL + symbol);        webPageStream = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(stockSite.          openStream( )));        htmlParser = new ParserDelegator( );        callback = new MyParserCallback( );        //the code is designed to make calling parse( ) thread-safe            synchronized(htmlParser){                    htmlParser.parse(webPageStream,callback,true);            }//synchronized        return stockVal;   }//getLatestPrice            class MyParserCallback extends ParserCallback {       //bread crumbs that lead us to the stock price       private boolean lastTradeFlag = false;        private boolean boldFlag = false;  public MyParserCallback( ){       //Reset the enclosing class' instance variable           if (stockVal != 0)           stockVal = 0f;     }  public void handleStartTag(javax.swing.text.html.HTML.Tag t,       MutableAttributeSet a,int pos) {  if (lastTradeFlag && (t == javax.swing.text.html.HTML.Tag.B )){             boldFlag = true;         }     }//handleStartTag  public void handleText(char[] data,int pos){  htmlText  = new String(data);         if (htmlText.indexOf("No such ticker symbol.") != -1){                 throw new IllegalStateException(                   "Invalid ticker symbol in handleText( ) method.");         }  else if (htmlText.equals("Last Trade:")){             lastTradeFlag = true;         } else if (boldFlag){  try{                                  stockVal = new Float(htmlText).floatValue( );             } catch (NumberFormatException ne) {                 try{                     // tease out any commas in the number using                      //NumberFormat                     java.text.NumberFormat nf = java.text.NumberFormat.                       getInstance( );                     Double f = (Double) nf.parse(htmlText);                     stockVal =  (float) f.doubleValue( );                 } catch (java.text.ParseException pe){                      throw new IllegalStateException(                             "The extracted text " + htmlText +                          " cannot be parsed as a number!");                  }//try             }//try  lastTradeFlag = false;             boldFlag = false;                }//if       } //handleText   }//MyParserCallback }//HttpServlet 

The MyParserCallback inner class defines the parsing algorithm for the servlet, which is explained in Recipe 26.1. The getLatestPrice( ) method uses this callback class and an HTML parser to return a stock quote as a float type.

The ParserDelegator object is synchronized as it calls parse( ) , so that only one thread is parsing the web page and setting the value of stockVal (an instance variable representing the stock value) at one time.

This servlet is a little too complicated for one class, as it uses servlet API and HTML parsing API classes. A better design would separate these responsibilities into different Java classes. The upcoming recipes create a JavaBean whose responsibility is to parse HTML for a live stock quote.

Figure 26-1 shows the output of the servlet's doGet( ) method.

Figure 26-1. The user enters a stock symbol and submits the form

Figure 26-2 shows the servlet's doPost( ) method output in a Netscape browser.

Figure 26-2. The servlet returns the latest stock price for the symbol

See Also

Recipe 26.3 on creating a JavaBean as a web-page parser; Recipe 26.4 and Recipe 26.5 on using the bean with a servlet and a JSP, respectively.

Java Servlet & JSP Cookbook
Java Servlet & JSP Cookbook
ISBN: 0596005725
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 326

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