From version 0.5.2 on Geierlein now has an import interface, which I came up while discussing issue #19. Initially Peter wanted to know whether and how it is possible to load form data from disk from within the web interface, since there were neither buttons nor a menu allowing to do so (opposed to the XUL-backed frontend, which has already been providing this freature from the initial release on).

During the discussion it turned out, that what Peter really wanted to do was integrating Geierlein with a web-based ERP system. Having the ERP system export a file (via download) and then uploading that particular file into Geierlein seemed cumbersome, hence I was looking for a clean interface between the two.

As Geierlein is a fully client-side application, that fetches just a single HTML file along with a bunch of JavaScript files, data passing has to be fully client-side as a consequence. This is the data cannot just be POSTed (which would transmit the data to the webserver) or so. Either it has to be provided by a local means like localStorage or Geierlein has to actively fetch the data from elsewhere (the calling application), which leads to authentication issues in turn.

According to Peter Kivitendo ERP has no Ajax layer or REST API, from which the data could be fetched, hence it would be a lot of work on that side, if Geierlein would insist on actively fetching the data. Therefore I went the local data passing route and implemented both, data passing via localStorage and

This is any calling application can store data in Geierlein file format into the localStorage object and forward to Geierlein providing a special hash like so:

  localStorage["geierlein.import"] = "\
name = Stefan Siegl\n\
strasse = Philipp-Zorn-Str. 30\n\
plz = 91522\n\
ort = Ansbach\n\
land = 2\n\
steuernummer = 123/123/12345\n\
jahr = 2013\n\
zeitraum = 5\n\
kz81 = 1000\n\
kz89 = 500\n\
kz83 = 285,00\n";
  location.href = "http://localhost:4080/#importLocalStorage";

The special hash triggers an import routine in Geielein, which reads the key from the storage object, fills the form accordingly, clears the storage and adds a notice to the begining of the page, that the import has taken place successfully. The calling application can not directly trigger data transmission of any sort. The user of Geierlein always has the ability to review the data and finally has to click the send button (and fill her signature credentials).

As access to local storage is restricted by the Same-Origin-Policy there is no risk of leaking data to external sites, however it is required, that the data providing application (like Kivitendo ERP) and Geierlein are installed under the same domain.

If that is not possible, data can be passed via This however has the problem of possibly leaking data, if the calling application (ERP) is not configured correctly and forwards to a third-party site instead of Geierlein.

Anyways, to pass form data to Geierlein using, the example from above just has to be modified slightly:

  • data must obviously be stored to instead
  • the hash needs to be #importWindowName