Challenges Of Using Web Scraping Apps
Kenneth Evans Mar 14
Information is power and any organization that lacks information is deformed, so web scraping is the blood on which all sizes of organizations run. This is why numerous iPhone app development companies have developed several web scraping applications.
Whether it is an NGO, a profit making organization, a startup, a medium enterprise, or even a Fortune 500 company, they all run on information so they either hire an iPhone app development company to develop a customized app for them or make use of a generic app developed by top app development companies in India. In fact, demand for web scraping apps has exploded in the iPhone app development industry.
For the concept of big data to be fully exploited, the iPhone app development industry has to produce more data extraction apps. Although the technique is required for a diversity of needs, it can be grouped into only three main categories of approach. These categories are:
• You can build your own data extraction app or software
• You can opt for third party web scraping services
• You can also purchase a generic data extraction application
One of their drawbacks is an extremely steep learning curve. Apart from learning strange terminologies, you may need to redesign your business process to conform to the various elements, navigation, process, and logic of either the downloadable application or the service, to be able to use either of them for data extraction. In a nutshell, both of them require a paradigm shift in your business processes.
There are some other shortcomings which have been discussed separately, starting with downloadable application.
Cons of using downloadable application for data scraping
A large section of the application is usually devoted to video tutorials that are boring and quite difficult to understand. This is because the videos make too many uses of technical terminologies like Xpaths, Jobs, and Agents just to mention a few. While the videos are meant to educate users, instead, they discourage and demotivate even fairly technical users.
Cons of using Software as a Service (SaaS) for data extraction
The biggest problem with this method is that you will still undergo hours of boring training to be able to enjoy the service. Apart from that, full understanding after the training is usually not certain. You may still remain confused after the training.
However, some users understood the training and were able to use the service perfectly. So, if you can spare the time and you have the required skill and determination, web scraping applciation is your best bet. But if your business does not involve web scraping, you are better off with a third party web scraping service. A very effective web scraping application is Scrapes. It is discussed fully below.
Scrapes is a WordPress plugin that has the ability to copy data from all kinds of websites to a specified location as many times as you want. It can also post content on your blog automatically.
This plugin is much more efficient than many data scraping software/applications developed by android and iPhone app development companies. It also possesses numerous superior features. In fact, it will take several pages to cover all the attractive features of Scrapes. However, the most important few have been outlined below.
Ease of use
Scrapes is very easy to use and it does not require any programming skills or experience. In fact, it is designed for great user experience. You don’t even need any API. You only need to schedule your scraping request and it will work on autopilot 24/7 like a robot. This is will be helpful if your target websites are regularly updated and your website has to be updated in tandem with your target websites.
Its requirement is low so it is supported by virtually all hosting providers. In addition, it is always ready to go. It does not require any lengthy configuration.
It can multitask
The application can handle content from multiple websites without any limitation in one single run. This will be of great benefit to you if you need to scrape content from over 100 web pages everyday. You only need to set it once and that’s all. The bot will continue to work 24/7 at the background. Your website will be up-to-date always.
Ability to post content on your blog
Another striking feature of this plugin is its ability to format scraped content and post it on your blog depending on your instructions. This is why it has several auto-blogging options. If you have people who visit your blog regularly for information, with this tool, your blog will be updated as often as you want with little effort from you.
It supports all kinds of devices
The program can be used on any device. You can access your dashboard on your smartphone, tablet, and even your PC. With it, you can scrape content on the go.
It has the ability to remove text from images
Sometimes, some images have text embedded in them as a label. For instance, to prevent content theft, some sites label all their images. Scrapes can extract the image and remove all the text on it. It has a particular facility for that
After scraping numeric data, it has the ability to perform some mathematical calculations on them and it can also display the result. This will help to build good statistics. For instance, if your website displays current values of stock, you may want to calculate and display the percentage increase or decrease in the value of stock whose prices change.
So, you only need to define it for the plugin, it will not only scrape the new prices, it will also calculate and display percentage change.
Compatibility with all major browsers
It is compatible with all major browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. You won’t have any compatibility issue.
Finally, the plugin is suitable for a wide diversity of use cases. Some of the use cases are:
• Scraping of the latest currency information
• Scraping of the latest weather forecast
• Scraping of freelance job listings
• Scraping of restaurants and their locations
• Scraping of information on airports and their flight schedules
In fact, it can be used for a lot of scraping tasks. The tasks listed above are just a small fraction of what it can handle. It is also important to point out the fact that all the features outlined above are not the only features of Scrapes. It has many more that you will discover when you begin to use it. So, why not try the plugin out today? You may not require any other web scraping tool again.