How to Create Your Own Online Bot

By Timothy James

You may not see robots very often around the house or on the street, but robots (or bots) have already taken over the online world. An online bot is an automated computer program that can perform tasks on the Internet in a fraction of the time required by a human user. Google, for example, owes its success to the efforts of the Googlebot, which visits and catalogs Web pages. You can create an online bot to do your bidding with only a little programming knowledge. (Code samples provided are in C#, but you'll find it easy to adapt them to other languages.)

Step 1

Open your development environment of choice and create a new file to contain your bot.

Step 2

Instantiate a URI and place it in memory. Provide the name of the website you'd like your bot to visit as a parameter:Uri sampleURI = new uri("http://www.SampleWebsite");

Step 3

Instantiate a WebRequest object using the sampleURI object as a parameter:WebRequest sampleWebRequest = HttpWebRequest.Create(sampleURI);

Step 4

Trigger the ".GetResponse()" method of the WebRequest object to obtain the contents of the target URI. sampleWebRequest.GetResponse();

Step 5

Use the data contained provided by the ".GetResponse()" method as needed. For example, you may wish to scan the contents of the Web page for updates.

Step 6

Save your work and test it to ensure it works as expected.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some websites prohibit bots from visiting more than a certain number of times per day or hour. Exercise care in using your bot.