5 Use Cases Of A Java Web Scraper

5 Use Cases Of A Java Web Scraper
Most websites these days run on Java. If Java is not installed and running on your computer, the website won’t work. What is Java? How Is It Used? What is a web scraper, and how are they used? Before we talk about use cases, let’s dig into the “what” and “why.”

Java is used in so many ways. It can add benefits, value, and data forecasting to your business, clients, and service delivery. It may be a whole new world to you, but it is one that you can only benefit from learning.

What Is Java?

Java is a programming language or a set of directions and commands used to create a programming language. This arrangement of words, phrases, or syntax is the “rules” by which Java can be interrupted.

Java was first released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems. Today, Java is used in website development. It is used in small things like game systems and laptops to more oversized items like data centers or supercomputing. Java is one of many programming languages, but it is the focus of this study.

How Is Java Used?

According to Code Institute, “Java is used to create complete applications that may run on a single computer or be distributed among servers and clients in a network, it is also used to build a small application module or applet (a simply designed small application) for use as part of a webpage.”

Java is often used to write software once and have it used across any Java-installed devices. This way of writing code allows for some time efficiency. Wikipedia states that “In 2019, Java is one of the most popular programming languages.” Most often used in client-server web applications.

What Is A Web Scraper?

Web Scraping is the act of extracting data from a webpage. A web scraper helps gather and format data to collect information, build lists, or be used in another program. Most often, this information is formatted into a spreadsheet or an API (Application Programming Interface). An API is the portion of a remote server that receives requests and responses.

Web scrapers are becoming preferred to manual web scraping because they are faster, less costly, and when set up correctly, are more accurate than human data collectors. Web scraping has the potential to grow, maximize the collection of data, and the value of data. That is assuming you know how to start with a plan for what to do with that data.

How Do Web Scrapers Work?

Dependent upon the level of complexity of a web scraper, the scraper will be fed multiple URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) or links to web pages. It will then load and read the code in full; depending on its abilities, it can read either CSS, HTML, or Javascript. Some scrapers are more skilled and can load an entire website.

Once the code is loaded, the scraper will load, extract, and format all of the information specified at the start of running the project. The last step is turning all of the data into a spreadsheet or JSON to be used on API. There are four kinds of web scrapers. These include Pre-built or Self-built, Browser Extension versus software, User Interface, and Cloud versus Local. Let’s move on to use cases now that we have covered the basics of Java.

1. Price Comparison

Web scrapers are excellent for price comparisons—market research, finding the best price on supplies, or making price comparisons on a large purchase. Web scrapers can help you get the best deals and save you money. Unless you have advanced coding knowledge, a pre-built web scraper can be the easiest and most time-efficient solution.

Unless you have data to help you understand your market’s niche, you can be pricing items and services far too high or low. Using a web scraper lets you quickly gather data and analyze it to help you make informed decisions for your items.

2. Competitor Research

If you are doing competitor research starting a new store on E-commerce, you can use web scraping to quickly and easily do market research. Scraping anything from sellers, product details to prices can quickly create lists of leads, suppliers, and prices.

Recording competitor content allows you to analyze and stay updated on as much data about your competitors as possible. Helping you craft content, learn about new products, and much more. Using a web scraper, let’s run this task while accomplishing other work.

Using this scraped data, you can watch high and low-performing content. You can learn more about your target audience and target audience preferences this way also.

3. List Making

Web scrapers regularly make lists of all kinds. Some pull recipes from websites to store in organizational apps. There are many that help with list-making for prospecting and sales.

This data scientist on Towards Data Science made a scraper for house shopping. Manuel list building, and even reading through a website's own search curated lists, are time-consuming. By using a web scraper, you can maximize your time spent looking through lists curated on other websites.

Using a web scraper can help cut down on personal time spent list building and put more effort into lead conversion. This example is another use case that getting a prebuilt scraper or building one with more complexity and data gathering ability is valid.

4. Financial And Investment Scrapers

According to International Banker’s website, using web scrapers can identify demand for a company’s products and forecast underperformance and quarterly earnings. Using web scraping can help identify a company’s growth, direction, and insights on investing wisely and when to change investments.

Scraping can be used to help identify items in lengthy financial statements and select only certain information. They are allowing you to highlight specific investments or differentiate between deposits and withdrawals.

5. Online Services, eCommerce, Automation, and AI

SAAS, PAAS, and other online software are giving smaller businesses and businesses at a geographical disadvantage global access to powerful tools. On the other hand, eCommerce continues to grow, especially in light of the global viral COVID pandemic. Most of these online goods and service stores are built, to some extent, with Java.

Furthermore, all of them are dependent on web scraping and data to function day-to-day. This is true universally. Whether it is a time tracking software to streamline a workforce, an online art gallery, a cloud hosting platform, or a digital agency of professional pitch deck designers. Online services, ecommerce, data, and web scraping exist symbiotically.

To take a step beyond online software, we are seeing automated software come into play more-and-more in our tech-driven lives. These softwares complete tasks utilizing AI or machine learning and web scraping is used to help machines learn. It helps them learn a natural language rhythm, learn to identify data sets, and read and analyze data. By leveraging this well, you can create more efficiencies to service times, performance for clients, and business successes.

As our world’s technology shifts and changes, machine learning and web scraping are becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives. Companies are using machines to triage during customer service, triage medical needs, and gain efficiencies in factories and data collection services.
5 Use Cases Of A Java Web Scraper

Data A Not So New Commodity

Leveraging data, learning to use it to make decisions based on reality and not just shots in the dark is the best way to grow a company. Web scraping is an efficient and valuable tool. However, if you do not have processes and knowledgeable people to analyze, understand, and present data well, then your web scraping will not be made profitable.

Data by itself is just data. As you consider implementing and using web scraping to leverage data well, remember that you only have one piece of the puzzle. Once you scrap and collect the data, have a plan in place to help you make the data profitable, and maximize its potential.

How To Scrape Data?

We have learned the what and why of data scraping. Let’s talk about how.

As mentioned above, we have talked about pre-built vs. self-built web scrapers. Prebuilt is excellent if you want one that is ready to go. However, if you find value in the DIY building area, this tutorial on java web scraping will help you discover how to start building your web scraper.

The niche of web scraping and data collecting is a growing one. Knowing the inner workings of web scraping and its uses will only add value to your clients. Furthermore, it adds efficiencies to your company.

Are There Regulations Around Web Scraping?

The answer to this is “Yes” and “No.” There have been multiple lawsuits between eBay and Bidders Edged. Facebook won the first copyright case that involved web scraping.

Websites like Octoparse talk about some of the ways web scraping/crawling are used for good, and bad. If you are web scraping and using data without the owner's permission, you can get into some serious trouble. So, avoid things like scraping data that is protected by usernames and passwords. Web crawling and using data that is copyrighted is also illegal.

Be careful and sure to know the laws and regulations before web crawling or scraping. If you are using a prebuilt scraper, read reviews, and make sure it is a legitimate company with the intention to follow the rules.

Zenscrape Plans

At Zenscrape, we understand that web scraping is not difficult in and of itself. The difficulty comes in understanding what to do with the data you scrape. We want to help you take your scraping and learn how to scale it.

Do you have a captcha that is keeping you from moving forward on a project? We want to help. Check out our Javascript scraping tutorial, and if you still want or need help, our blog is also here to give you the needed resources.

Our Zenscrape plans start from $25 monthly and we help with any of your web scraping projects. We work on anything from E-commerce, general scraping, sales leads, job hiring data, to real estate data.

We understand that this can be a daunting project to implement. Zenscape API is here to help you collect data, by returning the HTML from websites. Contact us today, and let us help you collect, and grow your data, and business.

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AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Christoph is a code-loving father of two beautiful children. He is a full-stack developer and a committed team member at Zenscrape.com - a subsidiary of saas.industries. When he isn’t building software, Christoph can be found spending time with his family or training for his next marathon.
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