Web scraping tools divide into two general segments:
- Partial tools
- Complete tools
Partial tools. Partial tools are software for third-party plug-ins. This tool does not provide an API and usually focus on a specific scraping technique, like HTML tables.
A partial tool software may open PDF files, extract eight part or all of its content, and converts pdf to word, excel, and power point.
An example of a partial tool is the Google spreadsheets.
Complete tools. A complete tools are a web scraping services that has the following features for it to be considered as a good alternative:
- A friendly and powerful graphical user interface
- An API which is easy to use and can link and integrate data
- Visual access to websites for data extraction
- Has data caching and storage
- Rational organization and query management for data extraction
A complete tool or a web scraping software provides the following advantages for users:
- Data extraction automation saving time and cost
- Retrieves static and dynamic web pages
- Transforms page contents of various websites
- Formulates vertical aggregation platforms that allows extraction of complicated data from different websites
- Programs that can recognize semantic annotations
- Retrieves all required data
- Accurate and reliable extraction capacity