How does Parseur work?

How does Parseur work cover image

Have you ever wondered how Parseur works?

Jump into this article to look into the inner workings of Parseur. And no, it's not magic!

Your first email

As a pet owner forum manager, you receive an email each time a user subscribes to your newsletter. In our example, emails are automatically generated from a form on your WordPress blog and the first email looks like this:

Hi, my name is Anna, and I have 3 dogs.

That email is directly sent to your newly created Parseur mailbox for it to be automatically processed. It's just an example and the way your emails arrive in the mailbox may vary, it doesn't matter for the rest of the article.

After a few seconds, your email arrives in your Parseur mailbox and you can create a template from it. Click the "Create template" button to create your template:

Ready to create your first template

Ready to create your first template

If you got lost or want to create another template later, here is how you your mailbox's document view looks like:

Your first email is in

Your first email is in

Click the + button to create a template

Click the + button to create a template

You then arrive in the wonderful template editor:

Parseur template editor

Parseur template editor

The next step would be to tell Parseur what we want to get and how we want to call it. In our example, we want to get the name of the new members and how many pets they have.

This is simply done by repeatedly selecting the data with the mouse, then naming the field accordingly. Like this:

Parseur template creation process

Parseur template creation process

So you see the name of the member (Anna) and her number of pets (3) have been recorded. But how did that happen?

Delimiters

Well, when you created the template, Parseur recorded your selection by saving the surrounding delimiters. After all, one can't rely on the field content itself since it's going to be different from an email to the next, right?

So here's what Parseur recorded:

Parseur template creation process

Parseur uses delimiters to locates the fields to extract

So "is" and ", and" are the starting and ending delimiters for the field "Name" and "have" and "dogs" are so for the field "Number of pets".

Second email, let the Parseuring begin!

Now, let's see what happens when we receive another, similar, email that reads:

Hi, my name is Bob, and I have 12 dogs.

So far so good, we see that this email is automatically processed since all delimiters were found and the data is correctly extracted, like that:

A new email comes in

A new email comes in

Third email, the cold reality of data extraction

But, as often, reality is a harsh mistress, and we receive the following email as Charlotte joins the forum:

Hi, my name is Charlotte, and I have 2 cats.

Now we have a little problem, we see that the "dog" delimiter can't be found in this email and so the parsing fails and Parseur asks you to create a new template.

Parseur failed to identify one delimiter...

Parseur failed to identify one delimiter...

Here is what it looks like in Parseur:

... hence fails to parse the email

... hence fails to parse the email

To get a better view of what happened, you can launch the template debugger, like this:

The template debugger will inform us about what happened

The template debugger will inform us about what happened

The template debugger helps you to see what part of the template is causing a mismatch. You can see the template debugger applied to our template trying to match our latest email:

Indeed, it choked on the last delimiter

Indeed, it choked on the last delimiter

But don't panic! There is a simple fix to this common issue: add a new field to your template, to take the new changing data into account, just like this:

This time we create a template to also capture the type of animal

This time we create a template to also capture the type of animal

It will then automatically process your latest email with a new field "Kind of pets". Now your new template is more robust and flexible.

Conclusion

I hope this articles helped you understand how Parseur works.

So, it's important to keep in mind, while creating your templates in the template editor, that any word that can possible change should be selected and put into a field. That will save you even more time and will reduce the number of templates that you need.

As always, feel free to contact us through the chat box or to contact@parseur.com shall you have any question.

Happy Parseuring!

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