Web Scraping Data into FileMaker
Web Scraping Data to FileMaker
Matt Petrowsky’s latest video on web scraping will guide you through the steps to learn how to scrape just about anything off the web and import it into FileMaker:
FileMaker can be such a wonderful desktop tool for harvesting and managing a lot of data. It’s because the user interface is baked right there into the backend database. You can whip up a powerful data parsing solution in no time. Can it handle the data? Yep! Can you build the interface right there? Yep! This sense of “data power” can be compounded even more with a little bit of know-how.
Here’s some of what you’ll be exposed to in the video:
- Python (a built in language on the Mac, available on PC)
- Code Runner for Mac (allows you to code in almost any language)
- BeautifulSoup (Python library for HTML/XML parsing – use with bBox)
- bBox plugin for FileMaker (this has a lot of great functionality–I just used it to read files from the hard drive for a project)
- jSoup (Java based library for HTML/XML parsing – use with ScriptMaster )
- ScriptMaster Plugin (allows for running Java/Groovy code)
Petrowsky gives a good, but quick, overview of the process in this video, mostly focused on getting the data into FileMaker, of course. Which means you’ll want to learn more, so here’s a pretty basic primer on web scraping on a Mac, Linux, or a PC using Python.
Normally, to view one of Petrowsky’s videos, you need to subscribe (which is worth it, btw). This video is free, but to download the example file, you’ll need to sign up.
Another way to Scrape the Web
Yet another way to scrape web data is with the free Chrome extension at webscraper.io. Be sure to watch the video demo file on that page. This is a very powerful, free tool that will scrape almost any website (including e-commerce sites) and export clean data into a .csv file suitable for import into FileMaker. Combined with Petrowsky’s techniques, a great way to scrape websites into FileMaker.
April 4, 2016 @ 6:16 pm
Another great post.
Question, would any of these work on a database on the iPad or iPhone?
April 5, 2016 @ 6:37 am
Thanks, Alistair. I haven’t tried any of these on the iPhone or iPad. And since Python is required in the OS, they probably won’t unless you install an app to run Python. Here’s one alternative to try: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pythonista/id528579881?mt=8
Let me know how it works!