Modify VB Application for XML Server

Your XML, VB and SOAP libraries knowledge must be excellent to undertake this work.

When replying please respond to the six queries I have raised. This is much appreciated.


Modify my existing custom made user application that automatically downloads data from a XML server. Due to changes made at the server end, I have been provided with a new user name, password. These new credentials need to be written to code.

The program downloads race betting data (win/ place values) under password from a XML webserver. The program has worked excellently for the past 2 years.

In addition to inserting the new credentials, code modifications are required to how the data from the server is now collected. I will provide you all information on how the program works.

You are required to make corresponding changes to my application to suit new conditions specified in the website given below, so that I could connect and download data automatically as before. For job completion, you are required to fully test for connectivity and the downloading of data.

The application need to be modified to the new server requirements given in

[url removed, login to view], live odds service or

[url removed, login to view]

This says - 'The TAB Live Odds Web Service is accessible through either a web interface or as a web service where subscribers to the service request data through XML using SOAP and data is returned by the service as an XML-formatted stream of text. A detailed Live Odds Web Service Developer Guide is available for download.'

I will provide you the following -

The new username

The new password

A modified copy of my excel application that downloads data from the XML server is attched as a .rar file. This is not fully developed and further work guidance is given later in this description.

In the event you need to contact the server administrator for any clarifications these contact details will be given to you, after work is contracted.

How the program works

Firstly, my username and the password provides a numerical acceptance code from the server on signing up. This number valid for a single day, fills up above the Logon Box in Sheet CP (Control page)

Then the 'Venue' code is filled in manually by the me, ‘download’ button pressed or ‘scheduled’. The Race URLs can be downloaded by pressing Download. Thereafter, automatic periodic download of the data occurs at set intervals over several hours, as new data is updated at the server.

You have to deliver the following to me -

Once the program is modified and tested by you for successful connectivity and download of data, I will test it and provide feedback. Once the bugs are cleared full payment will be made.

This is a Fixed Price Contract. The period given to complete this work is 14 days from acceptance. Progress reports are needed every two days. Please raise queries if anything is not clear.


So, here are a few questions that I need clear answers if you like to provide a bid. This is to ensure that the job is done well, and you are paid promptly.

1 What is your understanding of the scope of work in technical terms, and the complexity (maximum ten lines) ?

2 Is there anything that you have in doubt about in the description given by me ?

3 Are you agreeable to providing me the progress of work every second day, and whether you are keeping to the agreed completion date ? You are a allowed 14 days.

4 Are you clear that this is a lump sum contract job and no payments will be made for part work, or for a program that is not working ?

5 Are you willing to correspond directly with the Server Manager and obtain technical clarifications as needed ?

6 I also give below some notes made by a programmer who had done some initial work. This is reference to the .rar file attched. He may also provide advise on your queries.


*the programmer will need to read all of your explnation of how it worked before.

*the programmer should read the "TABLiveOddsDeveloperGuide.pdf" file to understand how the new things are going.

*there is no need to use the "office webservice toolkit" as before, my new functions replaces that all (along with all of the "clsws" classes).

*I made a new function "callWebService" to call any of the webservices. the input parameters are the xml needed by the webservice (see examples I used it within the code), and the name of the webservice. a single exception is the independent function "GetKey" I added for the login purposes.

*All of the initial actions are working but the venue codes needed to be adatpted to the new format of data we recieving now from the server, so it will work as in the old way.

*You may have to consider changing some major parts so it will match the new webservices design. The new programmer who takes the job may recommend this to me, if needed.


Here is how the program works.

Please refer to the CP or Control Page sheet of the application.

You have to test it first in the manual mode. The 'auto' mode is actually pre-programming to start downloading at a future time. Auto mode is managed by the brown box. We will do the auto mode later.

You have to operate between 9 am and 10 pm Australia (EST) time for Melbourne, on any day. And the race start time has to be at a later time, in other words an 'open' race. I take data all before the race start, excepting the result,

1 In the green box, put today's date

2 In the logon box put user name and password. press 'logon' and you will get a set of logon numbers

3 Press 'load venue codes' in green box. This will fill today's available race venue codes at the bottom left hand of the page.

Venue means where the racecourses are.

4 Use a code preferably with an R on it like MEL_R or SYD_R and type this carefully in the

green box 'venue'. All the digits must be correct.

5 Press 'load race details' in green box. This will fill up the URL list for the races.

6 Now you are ready to download data

7 Press 'download all' above the 'Race 1' box.

8 The program will download one set of data, and will indicate the time the next set of data will come.

9 Watch the next download due time and the download of new data will happen.


Let me continue after 5. You say the data formats have changed. So, let’s carefully work though.

Previously, once each Race URL was downloaded and the 'download all' is pressed it used to access the XML server and get the data and dump in the corresponding R page in the particular column and row.

(Please refer to the R pages of the original sample sent). The cell position is important as I have formatted my M pages to pick the data off the R page cells, using simple xl. There are about eight or nine races each Saturday afternoon and each is spaced about 35 or 40 minutes apart.

So, it will do a first download as you press the button and then it will on the 'looped timer' waiting for the new data to be received at the server, which is in about 1 hours time. My downloads are done about one minute after the scheduled time of the XML server being uploaded with new data. So firstly all R sheets will get data, then later as the races finish only the later races will download data.

This whole process is repeated on a 'timed loop' firstly every hour until it detects less than one hour to start of race. Then it downloads at the following intervals before the 'start time' of the race - at the following minutes before the race 30,20,15, 12, 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 . It stops downloading as the race starts. This time the race status becomes 'Closed'.

The sequences of 'status' of the race is Open- Closed- Interim- Final

Open - before the race , you can place bets, and my program down loads data of the betting values

Closed - immediately at the jump of the race, and my download stops on detection of 'Closed' status. No one can bet now, the race is running maybe for 2 or 3 minutes.

Interim - race is run and over, and interim results and are give. My program stays silent.

Final - final payments are announced, and my program will detect 'Final' and do one final download. That is the end for that Race and for that Sheet.

My excel copy will show how the data was downloaded onto R pages, previously.

Now here is the data I need and they must land on the exact cells as before on R pages, if possible. Please look up the R page of the document I have sent. I have allowed for 35 separate downloads in this manner.

1 In first download only - Names of horses, venue, date, distance run

2 In first and subsequent downloads until status becomes 'Closed'- win value, place value

(win means the money paid per dollar invested on the winning horse, place means the money paid per dollar invested, on any of the first three horse)

3 In the single download after race status becomes 'Final', you have pick the 'Trifecta' numbers of the result - that is the numbers of the horse who became first, second and third. (All horses have numbers given to them). Once you pick this number you have to place this in Sheet M. cell L2

4 Also, there is one other value you have to download and place in Sheet M, with each download. You have to pick the 'Win Pool' value (the total money invested on the race for the Winner and place it in Sheet M, Column C Rows 6 to 40 for the 35 downloads expected.

5 Finally, on the Control Page CP, please don't do any work on the following, as I don't use them anymore.

a) The blue box on left top, which allows for world time zones.

b) the 'clear' and 'print' buttons on the right

c) Pool download code at the bottom centre.


Skills: Excel, Visual Basic, Windows Desktop, XML

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Interesting project, would be great to work on it. I'll post on the PM the answers to your questions.

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