what does parse mean in programming?


Ana Quil


If you work with development (whether part of the team or work in a company where you need to communicate with the tech team often), you’ll most likely come across the term data parsing. Simply put, it’s a process when one data format is transformed into another, more readable data format. But that’s a rather straightforward explanation.  

In this article we’ll dig a little deeper on what is parsing of data, and discuss whether building an in-house data parser is more beneficial to a business, or is it better to buy a data extraction solution that already does the parsing for you. 

What is data parsing?

Data parsing is a widely used method for data structuring; thus, you may discover many different descriptions while trying to find out what exactly it is. To make understanding this concept easier, we’ve put it into a simple definition

What does a parser do?  

A well-made parser will distinguish which information of the HTML string is needed, and in accordance to the parsers pre-written code and rules, it will pick out the necessary information and convert it into JSON, CSV or a table, for example.

It’s important to mention that a parser itself is not tied to a data format. It’s a tool that converts one data format into another, how it converts it and into what depends on how the parser was built.

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