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Are there any alternatives to Mozenda available for free?

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10 Answers 10

You can also try http://open.dapper.net. The site gives the following description

Dapper is a tool that enables users to create update feeds for their favorite sites and website owners to optimize and distribute their content in new ways.

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Scrape.it offers a free version and also a full version trial. You can upgrade anytime you want and select features you only need. So if you only need to do image scraping, you can just buy that option.

Unlike Mozenda, which charges you per data extracted on a monthly basis, Scrape.it runs on any operating system as it is cross platform. You can run it on your desktop or server, and there's no ongoing cost. You can extract as much data as you need by using the proxy option.

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30 Digits' Web Extractor does a great job for sites that are more complicated and where you need to go in detail or be very comprehensive.

BTW, they are also listed on the easy bee with some convincing recommendations.

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Content extraction and data scraping is not an exact science.

If accuracy is not of concern and you have basic technical knowledge (simple html/css knowledge) extraction tools like Mozenda and Needlebase, which Google recently acquired, are good. They work really well if you need quick content extraction from a small number of pages.

However, if accuracy and depth are of primary concern then probably you need lots of manual tweaking and regular expressions. Writing your scraping program would be best or you could check scraping services like Spider90 or Connotate

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My advice, never use Mozenda. It is cheap yes but system is not reliable. Data not captured as expected or showing up late (if showing up at all).

If the main argument was the price, then it is not worth it anymore since there is no quality either.

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Mozenda force you to use their web app to run agents and export results. The web app implementation of an agent is not as reliable as the version that you can run locally during testing. Though I had some success with OCR'ing the test data window –  Luke Mcneice Jun 18 '11 at 9:27
    
Got in contact with Mozenda about my issue and there support department is one of the best I have seen, especially considering I only had a trial. The issue has now been corrected and apparently they are patching the bug soon. Just wanted to report back, credit where credit is due. –  Luke Mcneice Jun 21 '11 at 20:48

Try Automation Anywhere. Especially if you are looking for web data extraction or screen scraping data off webpages, you can have a look at it's web data extractionpage

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I have been playing with this kind of thing for a long time. Writing perl back in the day. If I had to roll my own for this I would probably use grep, but honestly now that I have found Mozenda I have found that for the time invested Mozenda ends up being less expensive. I can now structure a site's data in 10 minutes. I suggest using Mozenda as a proof of concept and when you have exactly what you want then code it out, but Mozenda is so fast that when the site changes its layout it again saves time to simply open up the Mozenda agent and visually make the edit rather then having to recode your project. I don't know I am hook line and sinker into Mozenda.

-- Jon -- The largest directory of cloud based software http://www.theeasybee.com

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Lets not forget curl and wget, both of which can traverse a site and store it to disk. These are unix command line utilities and are available on most unix systems.

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but I want web scraping -> extracting structured data. –  ankitjaininfo Jul 26 '10 at 9:50

You can also use Selenium to extract content from a site (although @el chief's use of Google Spreadsheets is quite clever too)

Alternatively if you just want to download a site, there are tools for that too.. e.g. HTTrack

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AFAIK Selenium is not too good as a web scraper. It can indeed get the data from a webpage, but you still have to parse it yourself. –  kitsched Jul 18 '11 at 14:10

I use these:

  1. Google Spreadsheets ImportXML function. You give it a URL and an XPATH and it will get all of those elements from a web page. You can have 50 such functions on a page.

  2. RapidMiner 5's Web and Text Mining plugins. Free and open source.

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