my own ERR / parsing data from html

Dimitris Yannopoulos
Dimitris Yannopoulos used Ask the Experts™
Hello Guys,

I need to build a simple ERP for my startup, which is about buying services.

Its input data will be taken from company's administration pages, i.e orders, customers, service etc.

So, 2 main issues:

a) How I can parse all those data from a protected (w/ password) page
b) Which drag n drop tool (like Filemaker) I should use, given I am not a professional programmer?

If this helps,  I am a Mac user.

Thank you

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Fractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
This depends on the Webpage.

1) If your content is generated by static HTML, then you can use any method to fetch the data.

2) If your content is generated using Javascript + CSS (likely the answer is yes), then you must use PhantomJS or some other Javascript/CSS aware headless browser to fetch your content, or you'll never get the correct content as your starting point.

3) How you parse the returned content relates to language you're using. Every language (PERL, PHP, Python, Node, etc...) will provide many library modules implementing a variety of parsing approaches.

You can also use something like this to convert HTML to raw text, if you're only interested in text without HTML context...

lynx -dump -display_charset=utf8 $in > $out

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4) To provide user/pass credentials, refer to copious PhantomJS examples on their site.

Tip: You said, "I am not a professional programmer" so you might take this on as a project for learning or if you have a timeline + the resulting code will generate substantial income for you, hire someone to write your code.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Look for a low-code / no-code solution.  I would  start with FileMaker Advanced  Also check out other options:

From experience, these things often times seem simple until you go down the rabbit hole and you realize how complex and time consuming it can be to not only build out, but maintain.  If this is not your core competency,  it could very well eat up the much needed time required to run your start up.  Can you get most of what you want out of the box from Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Wave or perhaps a platform like salesforce with an erp module

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