Tools particularly developed for extracting data from websites are known as web scraping tools or web scraping software. Web Scraping is the process of extracting data from the World Wide Web involving methods using the DOM parsing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and database systems with the goal to extract information from the unstructured Web and transform it into an understandable structured form for further use.
It is rightfully said that “Data are becoming the new raw material of business”. World Wide Web or Internet is an ocean of data. However, most of the data on the web is in unstructured form and hence it require a method and process to collect useful information from the web and transform it into structured, understandable and usable form. This is where web scraping comes into play.
Visual Web Ripper, Fminer, Mozenda Web Scraper, Ubot Studio, Web Content Extractor, UiPath, import.io, Outwit Hub, Screen Scraper, Easy Web Extract, WebHarvy, Web Sundew, Web Data Extractor, Helium Scraper, Web Extractor 360, Automation Anywhere are web scraping tools in no particular order.
Let us have a brief overview to few of the web scraping tools:
Visual Web Ripper
Visual Web Ripper is a feature-rich, powerful and reliable web scraping tool ideal for small and mid sized businesses developed by Sequentum. It can extract content from web sites automatically and exports the content in structured form to databases, Excel Spreadsheets, CSV or XML. Yet for Professional web scraping, one requires specific skills like XPATH, scripting, Regex to extract some difficult content. Its key features are Visual Project Designer, Submitting forms, Scheduler, Proxy Support, Bypassing CAPTCHAs, Logging and the Programming Interface (Visual Web Ripper API). This web scraping tool costs USD 349 for Single User License with 6 months free maintenance, all upgrades and limited support.
Screen Scraper – “Capture the Web”
OutWit Hub is a general purpose web scraping software that automatically extracts and organizes the data and media from the World Wide Web(WWW). One can easily harvest links, images, email addresses, RSS feeds, data tables, etc. from collection of web pages without advanced technical knowledge and coding. OutWit Hub striking features include multiple pages navigation, multi threaded scraper, macro automation, scheduling facility. OutWith Hub is simple and suited for basic web extraction needs, however it lacks features like bypass CAPTCHAs, Proxy Support, Submitting Web Forms for advanced and professional web scraping. Harvested data can be exported to Text, CSV, HTML, Excel or SQL databases, while images and other types of files are directly saved to your hard disk. You can download and try the free OutWit Hub light version with limited features or Purchase Pro Version with USD 89.90 or Enterprise Version with USD 495.
Mozenda Web Scraper
Mozenda as it claims is a #1 web scraping tool. Mozenda allows you to extract, organize and export website’s content in the most effective and efficient way. Mozenda – Web Scraping Software has a large set of features useful for making web scraping task easier. Mozenda is a cloud based web scraping software in which first one need to create web scraping project locally using windows application called “agent builder” and then one need to deploy it on the cloud with the help of “Mozenda Web Console”. Cloud based solution provides benefits like high performance, improved accessibility, rapid deployment, flexibility, ease of use, and scalability. Some powerful features includes multi threaded, auto populate input boxes, download images & files, track history, publishing & exporting, error handling, scheduling & notifications, full featured API, Proxy Support(Anonymous Scraping). Mozenda also provides Data As A Service(DAAS) that means they can build, maintain, and host data scraping project for us. Mozenda Professional Services plans cost ranges from USD 99-199/month.
Import.io is crawler a free cloud based web scraping tool to harvest data from websites. As it says “Instantly Turn Web Pages into Data”, using import.io crawler one can make an API to a webpage with ease. The API defines what to harvest from a web page. Then you define which web pages you want to convert to data and execute those as queries through the import.io API. Import.io is a free web scraping tool which is currently in beta and lacks support for bypassing CAPTCHAs. import.io is difficult to learn for non-technical user, lacks programming API support, and have problems scraping websites with AJAX.
UBot Studio is Web Automation Software to help internet marketers automatically complete simple and complex tasks. UBot Studio allows non-programmers build custom web bots as easily as surfing the web using drag-and-drop visual scripting language. It has wide variety of features like Visual UI Designer, Record and Playback, Auto fill forms, Solve CAPTCHAs, Proxy Support, make executable of your scripts(with your branding), The Bot Bank – pre-programmed library of scripts, create custom commands, debugger, built-in RegEx builder and Web Inspector, database integration, multi threading, scheduling, socket interaction, image recognition and many more. The only negative point is that there is a high learning curve to Ubot Studio.
Web Content Extractor
Web Content Extractor is a professional web scraping tool developed not only to carry out the most of tedious operations automatically, but also to greatly increase productivity and effectiveness of the web scraping process. Web Content Extractor is very efficient and accurate for extracting data from a website with few clicks. The tool provides you a friendly wizard enabled interface for web data extraction without doing any line of coding. One can export extracted data into many file formats and database. It supports advanced project customization through Crawler Rules, customizable extraction patterns, adjustable data fields for very specific web scraping requirements. Web Content Extractor many useful features like anonymous scraping via proxy, can resolve URL redirect, download images etc. You can download free trial version or You can purchase it with just USD 59. Really economical cost and worth the money!
Easy Web Extractor
Easy Web Extract as it name says is easy-to-use web scraping tool to extract data from websites and export data into multiple file formats and database. Easy Web Extract provides step by step wizard-based interface for creating data extraction project easily. Easy Web Extract key features are proxy configuration, multi-threaded web ripper, works with AJAX, project auto-run scheduler, custom transformation scripting support, delay, submit forms etc. You can purchase single user license at the cost of USD 59 which is quite economical. Isn’t it??? Or download a trial version!