Why do you need updates and why are they paid?
A-Parser is constantly evolving. With the release of new versions, improvements and fixes are made. In this article, we will explain what updates are, how they differ from licenses, what role they play, and why they need to be paid for.
License ≠ Updates
When you purchase A-Parser, you receive a perpetual license for its use and 3-6 months of free updates depending on the purchased license. After the free update period ends, you can update to the latest stable version and continue to use the scraper to the extent that the version available at the end of the subscription allows.
To renew your subscription, you can purchase one of three update packages: for 3 months, one year, and lifetime for $49, $149, and $399, respectively.
You don't need to pay for updates constantly. There is no need to pay for the period during which there was no subscription to updates.
Why are updates paid?
Websites and various resources are developing quite quickly. Any, even the slightest changes on the part of the target site can affect parsing. This is because parsers are originally designed for a certain structure, and changes in layout, protection, or other internal mechanics lead to incorrect data in the results, their complete absence, and other errors. Parsing negatively affects servers dedicated to sites: requests and, accordingly, load increase. Services that lose profit are forced to look for a way out of the situation, which is why new types of protection appear and old ones are developed.
Each such change requires adjustments. Behind each one is an analysis of the problem, finding a solution, and its implementation.
🧰 Every built-in parser undergoes a system of internal tests every day. If the test requests are successful, the values obtained as a result are checked. A failed test signals errors present in the parser. Thanks to the tests, we promptly respond to breakdowns and immediately begin work on their correction.
One of the most complex, in-demand, and therefore priority for us are parsers of search engines Yandex and Google. Each consists of many parts that solve a specific task. Among them are query preparation, header formation, obtaining the source code of the page, various formatting of results, captcha work, etc. All this needs to be maintained in working condition. The parser provides for the presence of variables containing all the necessary data from the page: output, advertising announcements, related keywords, and other values. They are pulled out using regular expressions that assume the presence of a certain document structure on the page (the order of elements, their types, classes, and other various signs). With a critical change in this structure, the regex that matched its previous version stops fetching the necessary fragment, and the parser goes for revision.
You can see all the changes here.
Issues related to missing updates
The lack of timely updates provokes incorrect operation of built-in parsers. The reasons may be different. For example, the layout of pages may have changed. A parser that has not received an update tries to collect data with old regular expressions that are not adapted to the new format. As a result, unsuccessful requests, various errors, and no results appear.
Example of Google scraper
A user contacted support with the following problem:
I'm collecting Google search results with your proxies. 300 attempts are set for the request. All requests fail. It was working fine yesterday.
At first glance, it seems that the problem is with the proxy, but tests with identical settings and requests on the latest version work successfully. Therefore, the problem is elsewhere. During the dialogue, it turns out that the user has an outdated version of A-Parser. This is the real reason for the incorrect operation of the Google scraper.
Yandex scraper example
Yandex has changed the layout of pages with captcha, which made it impossible to solve them. In the forum section Tasks, a corresponding topic was created.
The fix was released the next morning. The task was closed and moved to the Next release section. There are topics of all fixes and improvements that will be included in the next stable version.
Accordingly, in A-Parser, which did not receive the latest update, the captcha in Yandex was no longer solved.
By purchasing A-Parser, you get a perpetual license to use the program and a package of free updates for a certain period. If necessary, after the subscription period expires, you can renew it by purchasing one of the proposed update packages.
Websites are unstable - scrapers require constant adjustments and improvements. Maintaining their working condition is our job. The priority task, which we make great efforts to accomplish, is to release working fixes as quickly as possible. The cost of updates reflects the work behind them. Each release is not just a list of fixes and improvements, it is months of concentrated work by the A-Parser team.