Tailor Made - OutWit Development Services
Here are a few things to know before initiating developments with OutWit or any third party developer you may mandate through OutWit:
We can develop the scrapers or automated jobs that will allow you to perform specific extractions (we are not equipped to execute extractions ourselves). When you order a scraper, a macro or a job from OutWit, the developed automators are delivered to you in an encrypted and limited form, for you to test them. After you have accepted and paid, we will send you a key to unlock the limitations. At that point, unless otherwise stated in the order agreement, you can have access to the source code of the automator that was developed for you, copy it, alter it and reproduce it for other extractions.
We will give you an estimate to the best of our knowledge when you order. As you are always free to accept or refuse the final development, it is in our interest to be as accurate as possible in this assessment. The price may however vary (in either direction) depending on unforeseen difficulties -or shortcuts- we may find. Ad Hoc developments are not our primary activity. We are glad to do it, if it helps you make the most of our programs and gives you working examples of how to build automators, so that you can create your own in the future. Do not hesitate, however, to use internal development resources you may have, or to have third party developers do the work for you if you believe they will be more available, more local… or less expensive (we are located in France and the hourly price of our developers is clearly higher than in some other parts of the world).
Data Source Changes
The Web changes. Contents, form, technologies are constantly evolving. If you are lucky, a source of data will remain the same for months or years, but it can
also be less. Developing a workflow to extract data from an online source means making sure it works with the current state and behavior of the source. It is impossible, however, to foresee how long it will work for or even if it will still be technically possible to keep extracting the data if the source or its technology change. We will of course do our best to help you maintain workflows we have created for you, but all additions and modifications will have to be considered as new projects and will require new estimates.
If You Need A Database
Data extraction is our skill and we are pretty good at it. We will give you the tools to do it but you will need to store and manage the extracted data. If it is just a series of Excel files, no problem; but if it is thousands (or millions) of rows of data and image files, you will need local talents to organize it in a database or in a hierarchical file system. It is not possible for us to help remotely on this part.
Intellectual Property on Data Sources
We can only help you build extractors for Web sites or pages if you are authorized to extract and use their data. We cannot check the situation of our users in respect to the sites’ terms of service. Therefore, when you ask OutWit or freelance developers to execute ad hoc developments on your behalf, you agree that your order and acceptance of the developed software mean you have verified that you are allowed to collect and use the data. In many cases this is not an issue (free, public sources of data, providers you are working with, your own company data which is easier to harvest this way, etc.) in other cases, things are not so simple or the automatic collection can be clearly forbidden without authorization.
DO CHECK THE SITE’S USAGE AND COPYRIGHT TERMS before you order a scraper from OutWit.