Building a HULFT Integrate Project for Screen Scraping

by · Jun 20, 2019

HULFT Integrate is a flexible and powerful tool for connecting to a wide variety of data sources for reading and writing information, and provides a rich set of features for manipulating, massaging, and enriching that data. Given a typical use case involving the movement and manipulation of data, we probably have the appropriate adapters available out-of-the-box to meet your requirement.

Sometimes, we encounter a customer requirement that falls outside the usual use case. One recent example was a customer who purchased a new product from a software vendor, but still needed to extract data from the system for integration and subsequent reporting needs. The particular system in question utilized a database for a backend, but the license restricted the customer from accessing the database directly. The vendor assured the customer that an API would be built within 12 months that would allow the customer to extract the data they needed, but how should the customer solve the problem over the intervening 12 months?

As a result, the customer decided to use a screen scraping, or web scraping, approach since the user interface was rendered in a web browser, as are many modern systems. Let me be clear here: there are many reasons why screen scraping is a poor approach from a technical perspective, and not recommended as a long term strategy. In this case, the customer was looking for an immediate solution (waiting up to 12 months wasn’t an option), until the software vendor delivered an API. 

Due to the flexibility of HULFT Integrate, we were able to help the customer build a solution that met both urgent requirements, as well as the long term goal of transitioning to a true API for integration.

I’ve outlined the steps our team took in using HULFT Integrate to build screen scraping. The full tutorial is in our Resources section and can be accessed here:

Tutorial:
Building a HULFT Integrate Project for Screen Scraping

HULFT Integrate provides an immense amount of power and flexibility for your data integration problems – it’s very adaptable to a variety of uses and data sources. What atypical projects are you working on with HULFT Integrate? I’d love to hear more about them! Drop me a line at kevin@hulftinc.com.

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