Monday 31 October 2016

Webscraper from PeacockMedia - usage

[updated 23 Apr 2018 for version 4]
[reviewed 29 Aug 2021]

I've had one or two questions about using WebScraperThere's a short demo video here  but if, like me, you prefer to cast your eye over some text and images rather than sit through a video, then here you go:

1. Type your website address (or starting url for the scan). Like Integrity / Scrutiny (Webscraper uses the same engine) the crawl will be limited to any 'directory' implied in the url.

2. Configure your output. If it's a single piece of information you want to extract from each page, you can use the Simple Setup. If you want to set up a number of columns, use the Complex Setup. Toggle between these two options below the address bar.

You must configure your output file before scanning, and then the app crawls your site, collecting the data as it goes. This is more efficient than the way that the first version of Webscraper worked but it does mean that if you want to change the configuration of your output file, you'll need to re-scan.

If you choose 'Complex setup' you'll need to configure your output file here. When you add a  column you can choose  basic metadata (title, description etc), a class or id, a regular expression (regex) or content (as plain text, html, markdown or an outline).

3. Test or run. You'll be able to either begin the scan, or run a short test. The 'Run test' button will perform a very short scan of a few pages and present your output as a quickview. If all looks well, you can press Go, or if you need to make changes, you can head back to the Output file configuration.

4. When the scan is complete, the Results tab will open. You can export this using the export button above the table. It uses the options you set in the 'Output file format' tab. 

Note that the Save Project option from the File Menu will only save your setup, not the scan data.

A common scenario is that the data you want isn't defined by a unique class or id. In these cases a regular expression can be used, there's a detailed tutorial here.

Sunday 30 October 2016

A sneak peek at some of the new features of Scrutiny v7

Scrutiny v7 is still very much in progress and being shaped, but here's a sneak preview, in case you'd like to feed back or make suggestions.

I demonstrate in the video:

 - document based (multiple windows open at once)
 - organise your websites into folders
 - simpler navigation
 - full autosave (view data for any site you've scanned previously)

[update] Version 7 is now well-established and has proved very popular. It's available here, and details about the very reasonable upgrade are also on the page.


Friday 28 October 2016

Affiliate scheme :: Scrutiny, Integrity and other PeacockMedia apps

My licensing and payment partner is Paddle. We have an affiliate system, with affiliates earning from the sales they generate.
It's simple; you register as an affiliate, you'll have access to some general links and you'll be notified of any special offers. You post that link on a review / blog / article and earn money when people click through and purchase.

You get 20% commission on the sale, and a monthly payout by Paypal or bank transfer.

If you'd like to jump on board then here's the registration form.

Once you have your account set up with Paddle, this is where you'll find your links.