Unit 19.2. Reading Other Web Sites

Oracle provides an interesting package that allows PL/SQL to read Web pages like a text-only browser. This package is UTL_HTTP. UTL_HTTP reads HTML into a PL/SQL table or a VARCHAR2 variable. You are then free to analyze the resulting HTML source code.

A natural question is: Why would anyone be interested in analyzing the HTML of someone else’s Web site? There are numerous reasons. You might want to read a document, then, after having analyzed its contents, isolate the data you find most relevant, then load it into your database. You might also wish to read a document from your own site and save the text in the database. This saved text could serve as an audit trail of how the document source code changes over ...

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