Simple cURL example using PHP

by Noman Muhammad

cURL library allows us to connect to different servers using a variety of protocols. This is used for transferring files with URL syntax. In most of the cases we use cURL to display a specific portion of another site in our site. By using cURL at first we retrieve the contents of the site that we targeted and then parse the retrieved contents to show the specific portion using preg_match(). Here I'll show a simple example to retrieve and show the stock market price in my site from Yahoo!. At first I have to open Yahoo! in my browser. Then view the source of the page and identify that the stock market price is shown in between <dl class="markets clearfix strong small"> and </dl>. So this is my targeted portion. I'll use this tag to excerpt my targeted portion from the total contents. Full code is as follows:

<title>cURL Example</title>
<div style="margin-left:30px">
//URL of targeted site
$url = "";
$ch = curl_init();

// set URL and other appropriate options
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

// grab URL and pass it to the browser

$output = curl_exec($ch);

//Regular expression to excerpt the targeted portion
preg_match('/<dl class="markets clearfix strong small">(.*)<\/dl>/is', $output, $matches);
echo $matches[0];

// close curl resource, and free up system resources

Very simple, isn't it? Now by using our own css we can show the data in our own way.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .