Norconex HTTP Collector 2.2.0 Now Available

Posted on July 22, 2015 by in Latest Releases

The latest release of Norconex HTTP Collector provides more content transformation capabilities, canonical URL support, increased stability, and more additional features.  

Norconex HTTP Collector 2.2 now availableAs the Internet grows, so does the demand for better ways to extract and process web data. Several commercial and open-source/free web crawling solutions have been available for years now. Unfortunately, most are limited by one or more of the following:

  • Feature set is too limited
  • Unfriendly and complex to setup
  • Poorly documented
  • Require strong programming skills
  • No longer supported or active
  • Integrates with a single search engine or repository
  • Geared solely on big data solutions (like the popular Apache Nutch has become)
  • Difficult to extend with your own features
  • High cost of ownership

Norconex is changing this with its full-featured, enterprise-class, open-source web crawler solution. Norconex HTTP Collector is entirely configurable using simple XML, yet offers many extension points for adventurous Java programmers. It integrates with virtually any repository or search engine (Solr, Elasticsearch, IDOL, GSA, etc.). You will find it is thoroughly documented in a single location, with sample configurations files working out of the box on any operating system.

The latest release builds upon the great community requests and feedback to provide the following highlights:

Canonical Links Detector

Canonical links are a way for the webmaster to help crawlers avoid duplicates by indicating the preferred URL for accessing a web page. The HTTP Collector now detects canonical links found in both HTML and HTTP headers.

The GenericCanonicalLinkDetector looks within the HTML <head> tags for a <link> tag following this pattern:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

It also looks for an HTTP response header field named “Link” with a value following this pattern:

<> rel="canonical"

The advantage for webmasters in defining canonical URLs in the HTTP response header over an HTML page is twofold. First, it allows web crawlers to reject non-canonical pages before they are downloaded (saving bandwidth). Second, they can apply to any content types, not just HTML pages.

URL Reports Creation

URLStatusCrawlerEventListener is a new crawler event listener that can produce spreadsheet-friendly reports on fetched URLs and their statuses. Among other things, it can be useful for finding broken links on a site being crawled.

Spoiled State Resolver

A new class called GenericSpoiledReferenceStrategizer allows you to specify how to handle URLs that were once valid, but turned “bad” on a subsequent crawl. You can chose to delete them from your repository, give them a single chance to recover on the next crawl, or simply ignore them.

Extra Filtering and Data Manipulation Options

Norconex HTTP Collector internally relies on the Norconex Importer library for parsing documents and manipulating text and metadata. The latest release of the Importer brings you several new options, such as:

  • CurrentDateTagger: Add the current date to a document.
  • DateMetadataFilter: Accepts or rejects a document based on the date value of a metadata field.
  • NumericMetadataFilter: Accepts or rejects a document based on the numeric value of a metadata field.
  • TextPatternTagger: Extracts and adds all text values matching the regular expression provided to a metadata field.

Want to crawl a filesystem instead?

Whether you are interested in crawling a local drive, a network drive, a FTP site, webav, or any other types of filesystems, Norconex Filesystem Collector is for you; it was recently upgraded to version 2.2.0 as well. Check its release notes for details.

Useful Links

Pascal Essiembre has been a successful Enterprise Application Developer for several years before founding Norconex in 2007 and remaining its president to this day. Pascal has been responsible for several successful Norconex enterprise search projects across North America. Pascal is also heading the Product Division of Norconex and leading Norconex Open-Source initiatives.