Can I load the data into a custom object using a RSS feed provided by an external vendor?
Is there any kind of parser/a method that will consume the RSS and let me fetch data from external service?
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I do this currently to track some posts on DFC. I created a gist here:
Which is the core class. It adds data if there is no matching custom object in the system. I schedule it to hit three times a day, and then there's a util class which sends out an email to let people know new blog posts have arrived.
Ron Hess has built a slick parser and shared it on developer.force.com: http://developer.force.com/projectpage?id=a0630000002ahp8AAA
Check these out.
My Developer Edition came with built-in
XMLDom class. Probably it's their standard code (no idea if I can post it here) but it's kind of crude (from 2007).