Fillin' out forms... fillin' out forms...
April 20, 2011 2:27 PM   Subscribe

So for work I have to login to a DoD website and fill out this form, and to complete my task I'm going to have to fill out this form several thousand times. But, here's the deal - the data I am entering in all of the fields are indentical for each form except for one field.

I can easily fill out that one field by hand. If I can automate the rest of the process I can save myself a LOT of time.

Here's the conundrum:

I found this addon for FireFox which does exactly what I need to do, fill out the form with a mouse click. In fact, there's another DoD website I am accessing which I use this addon with and it saves me literally hours of time filling in forms.

However, this particular website is smart card enabled. And FireFox does NOT like smart cards. I found this website, which has a Firefox addon to enable CAC (military smart card, this is what I'm using) logins using Firefox. However it will not load the smart card device driver in FireFox, you have to do that manually. Now it's easy to find instructions on loading the drivers for the SCR331 smart card reader in FireFox. You go to pretty much any DoD office in the world and they'll have one of these on every computer. Fantastic, except I don't have an SCR331, my smartcard reader is built into my brand new Dell E6410 laptop. I found the relevant driver .dll file, but when I go to load it through Firefox it can't find the file (???). If I go into Windows Explorer, there it is in System32, but in FireFox.. NOPE! So I can find no way to get this smart card reader to work in FireFox.

So I try accessing the smart card enabled website with Google Chrome. The smart card works! The certificates load and it asks me for my pin, and I can login to the site. Except that the website itself is made for IE and is not compatable with Chrome at all.

Back to square 1.

Then I try Roboform for IE8. But it turns out this software is meant for a home user who is entering their address and passwords into websites like Amazon. Or for saving their passwords for other sites. Not what I want to do at all.

So in summary what I need is:

a) some kind of form-filler addon for IE8. Not Roboform, it's not meant for the work I am doing.

b) some way of getting FireFox to work with the smart card reader in a Dell E6410. Not hopeful about this. Ironically it works flawlessly in IE8 and in Chrome. Why the people at Mozilla are such boneheads about smart cards I don't know.

If I can fix this problem it will save me hours of tedium and I can meet my deliverable easily.. thanks!!!
posted by smoothvirus to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Buy a SCR331? They seem to be available really cheap online.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:55 PM on April 20, 2011

Maybe this will take too much time to get it to work but Autoit can be used to automate almost anything.
Even if IE8 were not to be easily automated, you could use Autoit to simulate keypresses to fill out your forms. THere are tons of examples in the forum.
posted by mmkhd at 2:57 PM on April 20, 2011

In my experience, Firefox sometimes just won't work with certain sites requiring CAC card authentication (but it will with others, weird), despite much time messing around with the certificates. So, I would probably try something with another browser.

Maybe this Autofill Chrome extension?
posted by exogenous at 2:58 PM on April 20, 2011

Try looking at Roboform again? You can create an identity, which contains all sorts of info in addition to ids and passwords. Plus you can add your own fields to it. Any time I come to a form that asks for my personal/contact info, I have an icon in my Roboform toolbar called "Me" that plugs in anything that matches. Easy-peasy. You can also create multiple identities, I believe.

Apologies if you know this, but you only mentioned addresses and passwords specifically as the reason to rule it out, so I suspect you might not have noticed the rest of its functionality.

However, I do not know if it will work with smart cards.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:15 PM on April 20, 2011

LastPass is IE compatible and lets you create custom form fields in addition to the usual name, address, etc stuff. And it supports custom profiles so it seems like you could create a "DoD Website" profile, customize it to the form and be good to go.
posted by macfly at 4:50 PM on April 20, 2011

Are you sure you found the right driver? My (company) Dell laptop lists ActivClient (and under that, my hardware) in the security device manager for Firefox. I assume that means that the driver is by ActivClient. The driver listed in Device Manager for the (Ricoh) reader actually lists a .sys file as the driver.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 5:11 PM on April 20, 2011

I use the firefox version of iMacros (link to IE version) for sort of similar tasks at work. It's a bit finicky and it helps if you know a bit about how the site is built to help it know what elements to grab to fill in the forms. I do like that it has a "record macro" function which writes a little script out. You can then edit the script. For example, you could record a macro of filling out the form, and add a "PAUSE" before it auto submits so that you can fill in that final field.

I've also looked at roboform and found it somewhat lacking, but if it can be done on the web, iMacros can generally handle it (certain coldfusion sites are an exception). Maybe using an ie plug in will work around your smart card problem.
posted by goHermGO at 7:55 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Amazon Mechanical Turk
posted by squasher at 11:19 PM on April 20, 2011

I'm closer to a solution now, as far as getting FireFox to work. Problem was I didn't have ActivClient or any software that would pass the certificates along to Firefox. I did find OpenSC, which will load the certificates from my CAC card into FireFox. The documentation on that site is basically zero, but I eventually found the right .dll file and got it to work.

Great.. but.. when I try to login I get this error:

The operation failed because the PKCS#11 token is not logged in.

Which basically means that OpenSC is not asking me for my PIN at the correct time, or at least it's not passing the PIN along to the webserver I'm trying to login to.
posted by smoothvirus at 8:17 PM on April 21, 2011

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