How to feed your informational Android app with data regularly

How to feed your informational Android app with data regularly
Photo: Pexels

Although app development companies have produced a lot of apps for different purposes, there is a niche where they are not doing so well. It is the informational niche.

People search the net for so many types of information and android apps can be developed for this purpose. Here are some examples of informational needs that Android apps can meet.

News

Although there are several news agencies, none of them can capture all the news. So, to be well informed, you may need to read news from several news sites. An app can be produced to gather news from multiple sites and summarize each of them. The app will also remove duplicity. So, instead of having to read several newspapers or news sites, users can just download a single app. It is more convenient and it saves a lot of time.

Prices of products and services

An Android app can be created to search for prices of particular products or services and the app will be updated regularly. For instance, you can focus on airfares offered by different airlines.

All a user has to do is to download and launch the app to check what each of the numerous airlines charges for a particular air route. It will be easier for him to check on a single app rather than check the website of each airline.

Stock values

Stock values
Photo: Rawpixel, Pixabay

Prices of stock are very volatile and they change everyday. In fact, the prices of certain stock change multiple times a day. An app can be created to gather information from several sites every 5 or 10 minutes and when there is a particular price change, the user of the app will be alerted. That way, people will no longer need to keep track of changes in stock prices because the app will alert them of any price change.

These are just a few examples of need gaps for android apps. However, the major challenge is how to keep getting required information. This is where web scraping comes into play. It is the process of gathering information from multiple sites.

Unfortunately, it can’t be done manually because of all the large volume of data required and the number of sites you will scrape data from. There are several web scraping applications and service providers but some of them are more efficient than others.

Instead of having to search for a web scraping tool to use, this article will introduce a very effective web scraping platform for you. It will be feeding your app with the data gathered from stipulated sites as frequently as you want. The platform is CrawlBoard web extraction platform.

How to use CrawlBoard web extraction platform

According to Hyperlink InfoSystem – an app development company, there are so many tutorials for DIY web scraping all over the internet. If you only need to extract just a small amount of data, the tutorials can help. But if you need to extract a large volume of data on a regular basis, then you should hire an experienced third party web scraping company.

Crawlboard is one of the providers of such services and a lot of people have been using it for their web scraping task. The platform is very efficient. So, it is recommended for people who need to scrape a large amount of data regularly.

Apart from its efficiency, it is also easy to use. The simple steps required to make use of the platform have been outlined here.

First step:

Go to CrawlBoard web scraping request page by clicking this link. Fill the registration form appropriately. There are fields for first name, last name, company email address, and job role. When you are done, just click the signup button. An automatic mail will be sent to the email address you provided for verification. Open the email and click on the verification link to activate your new CrawlBoard account.

Second step:

The main objective of this step is to add a site to crawl but you need to first create a sitegroup. A sitegroup is a group of sites having similar structure. This is for people that usually need to scrape data from multiple sites at once.

To create a sitegroup, click on the “Create a new sitegroup” link. It is located at the right side of Sitegroup selection box. After that, you can now add all the sites that belong to the sitegroup one after the other by clicking on the Add link that is located on the top right corner of the page. Then, select the sites one by one.

Third step:

Go to the sitegroup creation window to provide a preferred unique name for your sitegroup. Remember that all the sites in a sitegroup should have the same structure otherwise you may not get accurate content.

To understand the significance of sitegroup, take job listing sites for example. If the requested task is to scrape jobs from job boards, then you will need to create a sitegroup to match the function and all the sites in the sitegroup will be job listing sites.

Fourth step:

According to the required fields on this screen, you need to choose the frequency of data extraction, delivery format, and method of delivery. Frequencies of data scraping are daily, weekly, monthly, and custom.

For delivery format, you can choose one among XML, JSON, and CSV. And for delivery method, you need to select among FTP, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and REST API.

Android app
Photo: Pexels

Fifth step:

The screen is meant for additional information. It is meant for users to further describe their web scraping task. Although it is optional, it is important to include additional information because the more you describe your task, the more the service provider will understand exactly what you want and it will yield better result.

You can also ask for some value-added services on this screen. Some of them are Hosted indexing, File merging, Image downloads, and Expedited delivery.

Sixth step:

Here, you only need to click on the “Send for feasibility check” button. The purpose is for the service provider to check if your task is feasible. You will get an email informing you if your task is feasible or not. If it is, you can now go and make payment. Once your payment is confirmed, CrawlBoard team will swing into action.

After paying, you only need to await your data feeds in the format specified by you, via your preferred delivery method. That way, all the technically complicated aspect of data scraping will be handled by CrawlBoard.