The content found in websites can be collected, filtered, and reconstituted in a MySQL Database with total automation with PHP. When a website is database driven, such as a retail website, the format of the displayed information is predictable and often, the pathway structures are also predictable. The construction of such website scanners for reconstructing web content or web databases in a local website and MySQL Database requires PHP expertise in irregular string pattern matching, string handling, methods of string filtration, and basic MySQL Database connectivity.
Evaluation of the target for the website scanner is very important. Depending on how complex the target website is, and the material desired, there is a requirement of restricting the PHP scanner to the target material only. If the PHP scanner is not programmed to handle invalid targets, the reconstitution process will be tainted. In most cases, the target material is located at a single URL with varying query string structure, or perhaps a small set of URLs with varying query structures.
The first task for the PHP scanner is to retrieve the target material for processing. It will most likely iterate through a series of values that are predictable from experience, or from a prescribed list of hit variables in a database, flat file or other source. PHP will spider the basic web page code as simple text, which can be stored into a PHP variable. The content is then parsed and filtered to find the target web information for the current cycle. PHP can easily handle as many pieces of data form the retrieved code, and can perform many tasks of data validation, content manipulation, and associated retrievals. The page may define the name of a product, its price, and a full description, but may provide the URL to the representative image for that record. PHP can then retrieve multiple variations of the same image file, such as thumbnails, small/medium/large images, Flash media, movies, etc. The PHP scanner can be programmed to save all of the associated media into separate folders with same or new names, and tg them in the MySQL Database on the record currently being created.
PHP is faster than most other languages, including ASP and CFM, making it the ideal solution for such repetitive tasks. If the target website contain thousands of product records with associated media to be download and indexed, small time savings for each retrieval adds up to significant savings throughout the entire process.
Pattern matching may be employed for various tasks such as finding email addresses to construct a contact list, or to find and discern between multiple currencies for pricing. PHP scanners must error handle correctly, regardless of the data handling components. If the data retrieve does not match the expected formats, lengths, or quantities, it must be checked for invalid content. Cycling through predictable query variable values increases the chances the PHP scanner will encounter dead records. Poorly written PHP websites will display the template page as an empty page, such as floating commas in addresses, a $ with no value etc. There are a number of possible errors the PHP scanner may encounter, ranging from dead database records to poor error handling by the programmer. Rather than PHP programming for the discovery of errors, PHP programs should look for the lack of valid information.
For the PHP web sites that rely on updated information, the source website may be revisited for comprehensive updates. There are important factors to take into consideration regarding SEO Programming and how the content must be handled when it becomes unavailable or invalid at the source website. Obviously, killing a database record and the page display for a product is very bad! But, displaying old products may create unnecessary refunds and user frustration. The PHP scanner needs to be programmed to look for changes in price and descriptive details, and perform MySQL Database updates appropriately. If the record indicates that the product is no longer available or is discontinued, or if the source product record is simply not found, the PHP scanner must tag the local MySQL Database record as no longer valid. Rather than killing the product display, simply change the product page to indicate that it is no longer available, or perhaps discontinued. Some PHP scanners may be required to compare the available set of records against the current set of local records and process the difference as No Longer Available or Discontinued.
Some source sites will reject too many connections within a period of time, and may be tracking the IP Address used t perform the scan process. IP Masking and the use of global proxies can greatly aid in the efficiency of the PHP scanner. Using a list of proxies, and correctly programming IP Masking can be extremely effective. For very competitive markets, preventing the competition from knowing your IP Address may be more than simply useful. Throttling the PHP scanner automatically maybe required for situations where the PHP scanner shouldn’t reveal itself too easily, or network availability is spurious.
Benchmarks for PHP scanners vary from collection volume to source website speed, to network availability. The PHP scanners programmed by The PHP Kemist have collected thousands of records with media at a rate of a fraction of a second per record. Web page information parsing and handling with database connections is performed in microseconds. Text scanners have run fast enough to collect as many as 3 million string collections over a period of 10 hours. Throttled PHP Scanners may require significantly more time for varying reasons.
The PHP Kemist programs PHP scanners for unique and custom environments. Our PHP Programs include the use of multiple network protocols, user name/password access and bypassing, and all media types. If the source content is Online, then we can scan it and reconstitute their database in a local MySQL Database.