Web Interaction Automation: Automate Your Browser Tasks

December 22, 2017

 Do these steps look familiar?

  1. Launch the web application.
  2. Enter username in the username field.
  3. Enter password in the password field.
  4. Click the sign in button.
  5. Navigate to the reports section.
  6. Enter the current date in the date field.
  7. Wait for results of all reports to display.
  8. Repeat the following sub-steps for each report:
    • Click on the link of the report.
    • Save the report to the network folder.
  9. Log off of the website.

Doing this for just one report might only take about 10 minutes, but what happens if you have to do this weekly, daily, or even hourly?  Just working with a website or web application could take up hours of your day. With the internet being an essential part of any business, being able to automate web site interaction is vital.  Automation can handle important yet routine tasks like the ones above and free up your time for other, more important projects.  

  • Do you work for a real estate company that needs to download/update current listings? Automate it.
  • Do you work for a hospital that needs to generate lab results in a timely manner? Automate it.
  • Are you in charge of your company’s fantasy baseball league and need to keep up-to-date stats on each player’s batting average, RBIs or ERA?  Automate it.

But how exactly can you automate the clicking of a button or the typing of a username on a web page?  Traditionally,coding is the solution (see below).

This is a VB.NET script to automate signing into Gmail.  It doesn’t look too complex, but it sure isn't simple, either. Epecially if it means completely educating or re-educating ourselves on syntax and coding. Luckily, there's a simpler way to automate web activities. Don’t give up just yet, because Automate’s web browser automation features are here to help.

 Automate’s Web Browser Action

Before we go into the details of Automate’s web browser action, let’s look at Automate’s take on the automation of a Gmail login:

All we need are these four steps and less than five minutes to complete an Automate task to log into Gmail. The steps are displayed in clear English and everything is done via drag-and-drop, so no programming background is needed. For those who are concerned with password security, notice that you also have an option to either disguise the password or password protect your entire Automate task.

Automate’s web browser action is designed to support common web browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox, as well as to handle different types of website interaction. Automate offers a comprehensive suite of web browser actions to automate any web activities, from simply clicking a button to extracting data from a table on a web page:

Web Browser Activity



Clicks a particular control in an established web browser session.


Closes a web browser and ends a session created by the open activity.

Extract Source

Extracts an HTML source and places the result in a variable.

Extract Table

Extracts the contents of a given table in an established session.

Get Value

Gets the value of a given element in an established web browser session.


Opens a web browser and establishes a session to associate other web browser activities.

Set Value

Sets the specified value onto an element in an established web browser session.


Navigates to a specific page URL that's currently open.


Waits until the browser is ready for input before continuing to the next step.

Unlike the traditional method of identifying a button using the XY coordinates, Automate accesses the HTML elements on a web page. It evaluates or dissects a web page to distinguish each element by a unique identifier. An element can be anything on a web page: a button, a text box, a link, a table, etc. That means a user automating web interactions does not need to worry about the variation of window size or resolution—the Automate task will always find the specified button to click by that unique identifier.

The Automate Solution

Automate comes with more than 625 pre-built actions, so automation does not need to stop with our preset web Interaction actions. Like the scenario below, you can quickly extract data from an HTML table, populate an Excel spreadsheet, and upload the information to a FTP site.  All of this can be automated in just a few clicks. For related examples, check out the blog and webinar on data and web scraping

Automate is an automation platform that extends automation across all areas of your business.  An IT manager might have been commissioned to make the above task just for the finance department, but with a few tweaks, the same processes can gather data for marketing, sales, or even human resources. No code means no limits—virtually any business and IT processes can be automated with Automate. 

Get Started

See how you can flexibly automate browser actions and other processes with a personalized demonstration of Automate.