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I am looking to make a mobile application (iOS and Android app) that will interact with a website. The app will need to log in with a provided username and password and also get some information from the website.

I have no access to the website other than that of any other user. The idea is to simplify, automate and make a complicated task easier to complete for the everyday user.

Any examples or suggestions on how to do this will be appreciated.

closed as too broad by GlenH7, user40980, gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, Kilian Foth Nov 27 '14 at 12:23

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Any programmatic access to a web resource involves an API. As implementations differ, you may hear different terms: REST, SOAP, web service.

  • If you're developing the website yourself, create an API.

  • If the website is developed by a different team within your company, ask them to create an API. Discuss with them precisely your needs and draft together the interface.

  • If the website is created by a different company, again, contact the owner asking for an API.

An API will have several benefits compared to a direct access to the interface of the website:

  • It never changes. It can become obsolete, but you won't see subtle changes like the ones which happen to the user interface of most web application.

  • It is usually faster than HTTP requests to the website pages themselves.

  • It contains features which are not necessarily easily done using a web interface, such as transparent authentication (for example in SOAP services).

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