Encapsulating Multi-stepped Web Forms as Web Services

  • Tobias Vogel
  • Frank Kaufer
  • Felix Naumann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6275)


HTML forms are the predominant interface between users and web applications. Many of these applications display a sequence of multiple forms on separate pages, for instance to book a flight or order a DVD. We introduce a method to wrap these multi-stepped forms and offer their individual functionality as a single consolidated Web Service. This Web Service in turn maps input data to the individual forms in the correct order. Such consolidation better enables operation of the forms by applications and provides a simpler interface for human users.

To this end we analyze the HTML code and sample user interaction of each page and infer the internal model of the application. A particular challenge is to map semantically same fields across multiple forms and choose meaningful labels for them. Web Service output is parsed from the resulting HTML page. Experiments on different multi-stepped web forms show the feasibility and usefulness of our approach.


deep web web services html forms 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tobias Vogel
    • 1
  • Frank Kaufer
    • 1
  • Felix Naumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamGermany

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