What To Do If API Doesn’t Fulfil Data Extraction Criteria

  • 12/07/2022

Many well-known and modern websites offer an API that is meant to improve the user experience by enabling integration between various services. Some well-known websites that provide APIs include Amazon, Google, and Twitter. In actuality, Google offers APIs for the majority of its services and goods. Despite being designed for developers, APIs are today quite popular and user-friendly, especially among those who need to extract data for a variety of commercial applications.

An API is what?

Application Programming Interface, or API, is a language that allows one product or service to communicate with another. A richer user experience may be delivered by combining the capabilities of many platforms, which is made possible via APIs.

For instance, Google uses AccuWeather’s API on its interactive maps to make it simple for people to check the weather in various areas. Let’s examine how an API might restrict the functionality of data-backed apps now that you are familiar with what it is.

Advantages of web scraping services:

  • You can customize all data
  • Continuous data monitoring to avoid the loss
  • Services for web applications can handle complex and dynamic websites
  • More time to concentrate on the primary business operations
  • Cost is much reduced

APIs’ limitations:

1. Rate restriction

The majority of APIs include varied restrictions on the number of calls per minute. Rate limitation is used to preserve performance and prevent downtime problems that might be brought on by everyone using the system at full capacity. For instance, the Twitter API has a limit of 15 queries per 15 minutes. Such restrictions would make your data extraction sluggish and laborious from the start.

2. Limited data points

Finding all the data points you need from an API is an uncommon occurrence. Fewer data points are available through APIs. It may be because the website doesn’t think they will be useful to customers or because they were left out on purpose.

3. Limited flexibility

Most likely, the data that is accessible via the API is not what you desire. You would not, however, have the freedom to customize any of the elements of this data extraction process because APIs have limitations on the pace of hits, concurrent requests, and the quantity of data you could access.

4. Blacklisting

You risk being blacklisted if you don’t follow the API provider’s rules. This was possibly unintentional. Deviations from the API’s intended purpose will be automatically recognized and may lead to blacklisting. Even if you follow the regulations, there is a potential that your application might end up on a blacklist. The drawbacks of this are data loss and maintenance time, both of which are detrimental to your company’s operations.

Solutions to APIs’ limitations

It is obvious that APIs are not the best method for obtaining consistent data from websites. This does not, however, preclude you from using the websites in a more practical manner to obtain the information you want. The more effective method of collecting data from the web is through web scraping services.

Web scraping services avoid the restrictions of APIs thanks to their flexibility and customization choices. Since a bot crawling a website is the same as a human visitor, there are no limits on the data that are available. An experienced data extraction service provider may scrape any data that is accessible to human visitors.

Final thought

Your big data pipeline could experience problems if you utilize APIs since they are less dependable than a data extraction solution. Relying on an API will also have an impact on the scope of your project because they have numerous constraints. It’s time to upgrade to a data partner who can take complete responsibility for the web scraping process and supply the data you need, exactly the way you need it when APIs are unable to meet your data extraction requirements.

Frequently asked question:

How does API extract data?

Extensions for browsers would be the most basic offering. The user just needs to choose the data fragments on the web page they require after they have been uploaded; the extension will then extract them and save them as a CVS or JSON file.

Do you need an API to web scrape?

Using a web scraper is your only choice if a website lacks a specific API. However, websites with APIs frequently make utilizing third-party tools for scraping nearly hard, particularly if they charge for data access.

What is an API scraper?

A web service called a scraper API enables the automatic extraction of data from websites.

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