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#1 zaindhanani  Icon User is offline

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Is this impossible or just difficult to do? Integrating databases

Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:13 AM

Hello,

I am trying to integrate the databases for 5 websites into my site and allow my users to search through them and see the results side-by-side so they can compare them.


I've made a blue print of what I am trying to do:

ShopperGeek. com/demo


Now these 5 sites have APIs and data-feed programs but I am not a part of them (nor can I be).


Is it possible to integrate or access the databases of these 5 sites without being an affiliate and having access to their affiliate/API/data resources.


I had a programmer who claimed he could do it but then told me he couldn't.




Is this impossible or simply difficult?

I would appreciate some answers and advice.


Thanks,
Zain Dhanani

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Replies To: Is this impossible or just difficult to do? Integrating databases

#2 AdaHacker  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this impossible or just difficult to do? Integrating databases

Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:35 AM

FYI, if you don't have access to the physical databases of these sites, then this isn't really a database question, so you're in the wrong forum.

To your actual question, doing this without any access to the site databases, APIs, or any kind of RSS feed or some such is possible. It's just going to be a huge pain in the neck, because (from the sound of it) you're going to be reduced to screen-scraping, i.e. retrieving the HTML and parsing out the data you want. Screen-scrapers are time consuming to write (because you have to write a separate parser for each site, which may involve handling badly broken markup) and hard to maintain (because any layout changes on the site will break your parser) and are generally to be avoided if at all possible. If it's at all feasible to use some kind of public API or XML feed, that would be a much better solution.

So yes, this is difficult but possible. It's just a question of how much time and money you want to pour into this project.
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