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Website Scraper Script Reduces Labor Cost when Migrating to a New Software Platform

CTS development team builds web scraping tool to check over 12,000 records, download files, and store data into Excel, significantly reducing manual labor time for the customer.

Photo of a software engineer working on code for a web scraping script
Date: October, 2017

Technologies: Python, MSSQL, Excel, Windows Service

Web Crawler Flow Chart Describing Functionality

Migrate to new Software Creates a Need for Websites Scraping Solutions

Introducing a new software solution can be cumbersome for a company. Not only are there technical challenges involved when learning how to effectively utilize the new solution’s capabilities, but there is also the issue of incorporating the knowledge and data acquired in years prior. Without the ability to quickly port data from one solution to the next, a company is faced with two options. The first being to manually copy everything into the new solution’s framework, and the second being to start from scratch, effectively leaving the existing data to stagnate without applying the new solution’s functionality to it.

The problem lies within the fact that often times, a company wants to maintain information that is not readily available in a database or an API. Instead, the information is partitioned across hundreds, if not thousands of different sections within the framework of the prior software.

Our development team has witnessed this issue on numerous occasions, which has made them perfectly suited to develop solutions allowing companies to hit the ground running when faced with new software.

Developers can Scrape Website Content, Download files and Store Information in a Database

Through web automation, our team can craft a customizable solution that ports data a company would like to maintain over to the new software. By data, we are referring to many things; for instance, user profiles, reports, investigatory notes, key metrics, and files. And once we have the data, we can store it however necessary, including into a database, excel file, XML or JSON format. From there, the possibilities are endless.

Real World Web Scraping Example

A company that had just implemented a new solution had thousands of pdf files they needed to download if they wanted to maintain those files as they made the transition. To download one file, one would have had to navigate through a list of 12,000 entities, checking each one to see whether the required pdf was available for download. If the pdf was available, they would need to click through additional links to download the file. Finally, they would then need to manually rename the file and store it in the desired location. This process would have required months of monotony. Fortunately, our development team quickly devised a simple, elegant way to automatically download all the files within a week, while simultaneously storing the key metrics on each file in an Excel spreadsheet.

Website Scraping Saved Time and Money by Efficiently Grabbing the Data

We implemented the solution and completed the task all within one week. In Summary, our website scraper did the following:

  • Login to a secure website
  • Navigate through thousands of people records
  • Check for a particular file
  • Download the file with a specific naming convention
  • Store a record of the data into an Excel sheet

The company now has thousands of files stored in one location, with an accompanying spreadsheet making the traversal of the document much easier for the user.

Capitol Tech Solutions team of developers has the expertise to grab any data off of the web through custom website scraping scripts. Contact us today and save hundreds of hours of manual labor migrating your data.

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