In general, real-time data scraping is the process through which software scrapes data from websites at almost the same time as changes occur there. This process requires a delicate approach. To get data almost at once, your software needs to request the web sources many times. It could create additional load for the web source host and can even crash the website. So real-time data scraping finds the balance between the delay of getting fresh data and overloading the website servers.
Another approach is using website application programming interface (API)—a special channel made for downloading data directly from websites’ databases. But APIs exist on less than 1% of all websites (mostly on big, well-known web sources like Facebook, Twitter, and others). And another issue is that APIs have a lot of limits regarding data they can give, for instance: amount of records, amount of fields, or speed limitation.
Real-time web data extraction has one more meaning. We have developed a lot of scaping-based solutions for our clients where the end-user requests information and should get it as soon as possible. The speed of getting information is the most valuable aspect of such products.