I have searched the archives as it this question has almost assuredly been
asked countless times.
Unfortunately I have no idea what sort of keyword or parameter is applicable
for this topic.
Here is a brief history of the problem we are trying to solve. Feel free to
skip this section if you only want to see what this has to do with PHP.
We need to correlate residents of our county to their local fire
departments. We receive about 10 calls a day asking this very question and
someone in our office has to literally pick up a map and see find where the
little lines for the fire department end. The process takes about 10
minutes where it should only take seconds. We want citizens of Harris
County to enter this information into our web forms instead of calling us.
Our county tax auditors have already done this through a project that costed
millions of taxpayers dollars. The information is protected and available
under the Open Records Act of 2000. Unfortunately the Open Records Act does
NOT require any government agency to provide their information in electronic
form or some sort of database dump. We have requested ALL data about
EVERYTHING they have concerning ANY fire department at ANY location (which
is our right and privilege). The handed us a huge stack of paper (not
something we can import) with a big invoice (both of which we happily
The county auditor's website uses ASP and MS SQL Server to allow people to
enter their address and find out this information. Unfortunately the
information only makes sense to people who understand the coding scheme!
What this has to do with PHP
Is there a way to write some sort of PHP script that accesses to the county
auditors website, automatically enters the info into their form, grabs
whatever information is outputted, imports the data into our SQL Server, and
repeats the process for all addresses in our database?
I will of course research the legality of this before we implement the
script. I just wanted to know if this was even feasible before we meet
about this. I don't even know where we should start.