Into the World of Web Crawling – My First Week with PromptCloud
The First Light
Honestly, for the first time, when I gently knocked the glass doors of the main entrance of PromptCloud’s office at Bangalore, there was a fear of the unknown in my mind. It was a whole new level for me. A plush office, weird souls playing with their laptops and a muted hum from the running electronic systems eroded that fear from my mind, immediately. Then came the rich essence of a warm welcome, the CEO entered and greeted me followed by the rest of the team.
My journey with PromptCloud took its first step.
Consequently, I got assigned with a similar kind of intelligent box but, still, the world of web crawling appeared like a rocket science project to me. Later that day, the CEO stepped in the scene and invited me to join the first training program, which was based on the ‘basic familiarization’ regarding web crawling and what PromptCloud does with it and what it delivers to its clients.
Again, for the first time, I started my journey with the world of web crawling and the vision of PromptCloud with the whole technology. Back then, what I needed was just a reference point and with his simplicity and immense control over the whole concept of web crawling and web scraping, he injected that concept into me with a measured dexterity. Finally, I started googling on the phrase with a single belief that, I will dig deep as far as I can with my limited knowledge.
I’m here to add value to the family of PromptCloud and I am going to do exactly that.
Time passes by. After 3 good hard toiling days when the whole need and the durability of the Daas (Data as a Service) concept was starting to take a finite shape for me, all of a sudden, I just got bolted with an immense feeling. It told me that,
“Hey, you are just sitting on a nuclear bomb which is about to explode.”
Believe me, my inborn insanity had nothing to do with it and I know where you are getting me wrong. It’s the bomb thing. Right?
Decision Vs. Informed Decision
Ok. Let me explain. Right now, PomptCloud is in the mid-growth phase as the DaaS technology is yet to reach its acme in this data-driven market. Added to this, with every passing moment tons of brick and mortar companies are plunging into the web. So, there are two strong factors which support this explosion.
Firstly, the awareness regarding DaaS is on the rise in this existing business world. Secondly, both the volume and the knowledge of the online version of the business world is expanding. So, the current position of the PromptCloud is like a snowball which just has started rolling. Certainly, it will grow and explode to grab the major share in this DaaS industry.
Personally, in the future, if you need to annex the word ‘smart’ before everything, you are thinking of right now, we need this bomb to explode as the thrust of this explosion will deliver the needful push to the existing thinking standard of today’s enlightened souls, who are holding the hull of this business society and gliding the same to a smarter future.
PromptCloud sells their future to them through its benchmark web crawling service.
It is true that there is a certain difference between a regular business decision and an informed decision. The first one can be termed as a guess work based on previous experiences, but the second one is a pure science as it is based on the true data, crawled from the web. Admittedly, it helps enterprises to design their future strategies based on the information they harness from the crawled data sets.
So, PromptCloud crawls and scrapes unstructured data based on the specific requirements from its clients and structure those data sets for feeding them in a continuous manner. On the following part of this article, I’m going to share my knowledge with you that I have crawled so far from the rest of my team. The training was basically a series of questions and answers supported by several layers of needful analysis along with them.
How I crawled data about Web Crawling?
Technically, PromptCloud is a web crawling solution for enterprises that exist on the earth. It’s the process of harnessing and indexing information from the ever gaining volume of web pages, uploaded on the worldwide web. Typically, web crawling is a process where small programs, namely, web crawlers are employed to visit every webpage and harness information from them in order to create an index for search engines.
So, any web crawler can visit a web address and can mine targeted data from those web pages. Finally, these can deliver those harnessed data sets to their owners. At the end of the whole process what you need is an ‘actionable insight’ as it will help you to design the future of your business.
Clients deliver the set of web addresses or websites, from which they need the data to be crawled with the frequency of crawling. The number of websites ranges from a mere single one to a staggering 30 thousand. Added to this, they deliver the particular schema of data i.e. what types or parameters of data, related to a particular product, is required. Parameters can be like, name, price, type, color, and other alike physical attributes.
Another important thing related to web crawling is that there is a clear demarcation between the crawling rate and the crawling frequency. Crawling rate is the speed of a crawler’s requests to any website within a single continuous crawling process. Crawling frequency refers to the number of complete crawling processes by a web crawler on a website. Moreover, being a web crawling service provider, PromptCloud maintains some rules like politeness policy. According to this policy, web crawling should not burden the web server of the website, which is getting crawled.
A General Look into the Web Crawling Process
As every website is united in their differences, PromptCloud’s tech team designs dedicated plug-ins for different types of website, out there on the web, firstly, to develop a thematic match for discovering those data sets need to be crawled and secondly, to establish a glitchless data crawling from that website.
Firstly, the crawling process locates the actual place of the data set, as prescribed by our different clients, on a webpage. Thereafter, the crawling engine downloads the HTML files from these identified URLs. So, the input format to extraction engine is HTML. The output format of the structured data can be any of these: XML, CSV, and JSON. Moreover, along with these major services, PromptCloud also offers an array of value added services like, live crawls, low latency crawls, hosted Indexing and adaptive crawls to meet the specific requirements of its clients.
I know it’s not the whole picture but, I believe, in the recent future, I will be able to deliver to you the same, decidedly, the whole picture.