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Looking for some suggestions.

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Hello everyone,

I'm thinking about starting a new project that will be used to 'import' a huge amount of data (patient cases) from a certain website to be used for searching porposes.

Each case got a unique case ID added to the URL, example:



I've been trying to contact the UNHCR team in hope of getting the database from them but their number is busy atm.

What is my best approach for such a project? What function might do the job better than other functions? is it recommended to store the data in excel sheets and work with them or is there a better/faster way to accomplish that task? ' I considered SQLite but it sounded way too gibbrish for me. '

At the moment there are 326621 cases that I need to import, they increase by -+300 on daily bases, I will also be needing to check if any data changed in the files that I already imported by comparing them with the website version of the files (assistance gets added to cases every day)

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I can, however a normal search takes some time depending on the server load and the internet connection and the accuracy of the searching terms, the reason I'm doing this is to have an offline searching engine that only requires an internet connection once to compare the data then work offline the rest of the day, the data doesn't even need to be updated daily, it works if the data is updated once a week too.

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if searching is your goal, then possibly store the text of each webpage into a text file, and have it indexed by the operating system. if you deal with a database with O(10^6) textual records, each can be presented in a single webpage - that shouldn't take that much space.

Signature - my forum contributions:



LFN - support for long file names (over 260 characters)

InputImpose - impose valid characters in an input control

TimeConvert - convert UTC to/from local time and/or reformat the string representation

AMF - accept multiple files from Windows Explorer context menu

DateDuration -  literal description of the difference between given dates


Touch - set the "modified" timestamp of a file to current time

Show For Files - tray menu to show/hide files extensions, hidden & system files, and selection checkboxes

SPDiff - Single-Pane Text Diff


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Simply storing the text of each webpage won't work, search doesn't return a unique page if the case size is bigger than 1 (case size is determind by family members number), only way to get a unique result is by searching for Individual ID's and then using the export button, however that only exports the main information (name, ID number, DoB ), it doesn't import the actual needed data (health assistance, case assistant, medical coverage, payments, etc.)

The problem with the search function on the website is that it sends you to the PA's case page, not the actual case that you are looking for, then you'll have to select the name of the patient you are looking for from the family's dropdown menu which in return updates the information on the page.

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SQLite is most probably the best tool for your use case, much, much preferable to Excel.

Can you dump the database, or at least capture rows or tables? Anyway, once you have a workable input way like a .CSV or something like html tables, it will be pretty easy to design a database schema to host your data efficiently. Details will be needed to make a more precise advice/guidance but in all cases there is a solution waiting.

Edit: to be fair, I'm known to be an almost unconditional SQLite fan (with robust reasons).

Edited by jchd

This wonderful site allows debugging and testing regular expressions (many flavors available). An absolute must have in your bookmarks.
Another excellent RegExp tutorial. Don't forget downloading your copy of up-to-date pcretest.exe and pcregrep.exe here
RegExp tutorial: enough to get started
PCRE v8.33 regexp documentation latest available release and currently implemented in AutoIt beta.

SQLitespeed is another feature-rich premier SQLite manager (includes import/export). Well worth a try.
SQLite Expert (freeware Personal Edition or payware Pro version) is a very useful SQLite database manager.
An excellent eBook covering almost every aspect of SQLite3: a must-read for anyone doing serious work.
SQL tutorial (covers "generic" SQL, but most of it applies to SQLite as well)
A work-in-progress SQLite3 tutorial. Don't miss other LxyzTHW pages!
SQLite official website with full documentation (may be newer than the SQLite library that comes standard with AutoIt)

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