PHPxcel for importing and exporting data in working with Excel

Sometimes when you are developing a project, it might be necessary to do a parsing of xls documents. To give an example: you do a synchronization between xls worksheets and a website database, and you need to convert xls data to the Mysql and want to do it completely automatically.

If you work with Windows it is simple enough – you just need to use COM objects. However, it is another thing if you work with PHP and need to make it work under the UNIX systems. Fortunately there are many classes and libraries for this purpose. One of them is the class PHPExcel. This library is completely cross-platform, so you will not have problems with portability.  more…

Web Scraping with Java and HtmlUnit

java-htmlunit-post-front-cover-smallWeb scraping or crawling is the act of fetching data from a third party website by downloading and parsing the HTML code to extract the data you want. It can be done manually, but generally this term refers to the automated process of downloading the HTML content of a page, parsing/extracting the data, and saving it into a database for further analysis or use. more…

The present trends in web scraping tools

Recently I got a question from one of the blog readers. After I replied to it, I decided to share it with a wider audience.


I found your site and found it very helpful, then realized the web scraper solutions rating was from 2014.  What is the best solution for today?   I have lots of sites I need to scrape, mainly search then drill-down sites.   I would like to be able to schedule the scraping to run on a daily basis.  Is there a direction you could point me?  I’m a seasoned developer by trade but am seeing all these point and click solutions (e.g. and am wondering if I should stick with Node.JS or .NET or if I should investigate some of these GUI scrapers of today.


Octoparse – a scraping tool designed for non-programmers

Octoparse is an easy and powerful visual web scraper enabling anyone, even those without much programming background, to collect and extract data from the web. Octoparse is designed in a way to help users easily deal with complex website structures, such as those with JavaScript; it can be compared to other web scraping tools such as and Mozenda.


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