Captcha And Data Extraction Can Go Hand In Hand

CAPTCHA technology is important, worthwhile and certainly has its place in the world of online data and information. Any site that has an information request form, only to find it deluged with submissions that don’t even approach anything useful, can attest to the value CAPTCHA offers.

However, sometimes a CAPTCHA seems out of place or presents an unnecessary hurdle to finding the information. Fortunately, a workaround exists that speeds the process of getting to the data and automating retrieval in an efficient manner.

Visual Web Ripper is capable of performing semi-automatic or full-automatic data extraction. Semi-automatic extraction is free, but does involve manual decoding of CAPTCHA images while the extraction is running. Full-automatic extraction, when combined with a CAPTCHA recognition service, is able to run completely hands-free, but there is a fee associated with the third party recognition service.

In both the semi- and full-automatic cases, the basic steps of setting up and running the process of getting the data are the same. The difference is when setting up the full-automatic process, an extra step is involved. This step instructs Visual Web Ripper to run a Decode CAPTCHA script, in this case a .NET API that calls the third party recognition service.

There are varying degrees of reliance on data extraction software. Those who are new to the capabilities may not even realize this CAPTCHA approach exists.

For small and occasional web scraping tasks, copy-and-paste is one method. The frequency of data extraction (the refresh rate), the amount of data (number of fields, number of pages) and the number of different jobs are the key factors to use when deciding if this strategy makes sense.

For dynamic web sites and larger amounts of information, a manual process is quickly replaced by the automated approach. Even when factoring in the cost to license quality, accurate web scraping software, the increase in productivity drastically improves the return on investment and justifies the expense.

When aggregating data from various sources on the Internet, accomplishing and accurately completing the task is much easier when using a data extraction tool such as Visual Web Ripper. BOLA TANGKAS
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