CS388 – Week 1 – First Idea

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Buying tickets of popular concerts: the application imitates real users to buy concert tickets on the website. Users can set it up before the tickets opening date. As long as the tickets are open to sell, the application will immediately buy them. If the tickets are sold out, it keeps reloading the webpage until there are new tickets available.

One time I wanted to buy a concert ticket, but that concert was very popular, and tickets were sold out immediately. Then I kept reloading the website, hoping other people would cancel their orders. But I couldn’t keep reloading the page every second for the whole day. Then I thought if I can have software to do that for me. I did research and found that some web browser automation tools, for example, Selenium, can imitate operation like real users on a web browser. I searched online and found that most of this kind of software buy train tickets instead of concert tickets. The primary technology I will use is Selenium. And I will also need to learn how to read page source code. I will primary write a python script with Selenium to imitate real users buying a ticket online. Selenium can provide a web driver on Google Chrome to go to the target website. And the driver will locate element by tag names, element ID, XPath, class names and etc., and it can do automatic click and input.

But there are several difficulties in my project. The first one is money security. Some ticket websites require payment immediately while making the order. Therefore, users need to provide their website account and bank card information beforehand. I need to be careful about bank card security. The second problem is that this software is website-specific. Different websites require different processes to buy tickets. I need to write different codes to deal with different sites.
The third problem is that some websites require complicated verification on user login. I don’t know if web browser automation can deal with a very complicated verification. The last issue is that I don’t know if the scope of this project is big enough. I can have my software operates for several famous ticket websites and probably can have the mobile APP version. 

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