Info from Silverlight into Excel?
July 5, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Can I get this information from a site on Microsoft Silverlight into Excel?

I would like to get this conference program into an Excel file. I really, really, really do not want to type in the information for each of the >600 sessions. Is it possible to get this information to go directly into Excel?

I don't know much about these sorts of things, but I can follow instructions and I'm a decent Excel user.

I'm on a Windows 7 machine with Office 2007 and have access to Office 2010.
posted by quadrilaterals to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There seems to be no export and there are a couple things about the way it is written that makes simply copy/pasting from the almost impossible.

If it were me, I would download the siverlight XAP off the site, rename it to .zip. Open it up and look at the servicereference.clinetconfig file to find out the URLs of the web services they are loading the data from. For instance, Write a SOAP client to see if I can access any of these directly to get the info. If you could find someone to do that you most likely could get the data as they are most likely not requiring any authentication to get the data from the web services. They would probably not like you abusing their web services so it might be best just to ask them.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:49 AM on July 5, 2012

Are you looking to manipulate, filter or sort the data in any way? Or are you just looking for an offline version of the data? You could use snipping tool that comes with Windows 7 to grab a screenshot, then print them out.

Failing that, Ad hominem's way is the best technically. But I agree with his point about asking the conference organizers, maybe they'll share an excel (or maybe at least a CSV dump of the data) with you.
posted by punocchio at 12:05 PM on July 5, 2012

I extracted the core session data and uploaded it here as an Excel doc. Sorry for the shady hosting, it's the first thing that came up on Google.

How I got this was:
  • Snoop on how the Silverlight app communicates with the server (using Wireshark)
  • Make that same request for the data myself (using cURL)
  • Convert the XML to Excel format (built in to Excel 2010)
This is a pretty low-impact way to get the data as it doesn't require poking at their web service much, just making the one request.

I know this is a little more give-a-man-a-fish than teach-a-man-to-fish, but my going into a bunch of detail on this probably isn't worth it for you. It's a bit technical and not really useful for scraping the web in general, since most web pages don't publish data this way.
posted by pocams at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thank you so much, pocams! I really appreciate this.

I called the conference organizers in the US and they did not yet have another version - they said maybe sometime next week. Which is not helpful for my purposes, and somewhat mysterious (who put it up?), but oh well - I now have what I need.
posted by quadrilaterals at 4:29 PM on July 5, 2012

Aww man. I just finished a windows app to call the services and pull down the data.

There is all sorts of different data available via the web services including information for audio recording and webcasts which I suppose are for future use.

Good work with wireshark and curl!
posted by Ad hominem at 5:07 PM on July 5, 2012

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