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Posts Tagged ‘database’

Importing a CSV of products to Magento

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We have recently designed a highly functional new online store for a client of ours using the advanced Magento shopping cart, taking eCommerce for this business to an entirely new level! We ran into a small snag during the initial stages of development as the client has a proprietary database system that stores detailed information for several hundred products. Their database software held everything from product name, pricing information, description. The client did not have the time to recreate all of the product information in the back-end of Magento using the built in tools. So, the challenge: How do we extract this information from their locally installed database information in a way that could be easily imported and put to work in Magento?

Fortunately, the database storing the client product details provides a mechanism to export product information to a CSV file. While it wasn’t pretty, the data was all there on the export. Sorting through 30 fields of data we didn’t need, we found fields for product name, model, color, asking price, category, and photo name. The trick now was figuring out how to map and then import this data into Magento.

The trick that helps you with a Magento import is knowing what’s absolutely necessary to import, and supplying that data in your own custom xls file. To do that, we added a product manually through the Magento interface. Here’s how:

  • Click on catalog/manage products
  • Click on Add Product
  • Click through to enter a name, description, short description, sku, weight, status (enabled), and set visibility.
  • Go to prices, enter a price, and tax class
  • Click to the inventory area and set an initial quantity, then change stock availability to in stock
  • Click to the category area and assign the new product to a category

Now save your product. If everything went according to plan, you will see your new product listed in your store under the selected category you selected previously. Great! Now that we have a functional product to work with, one that appears in the store, it’s time to export that data to a CSV file.

Exporting Magento items:

  • Go to system, import/export, profiles from the admin panel
  • Click on export all products
  • The default values are fine, CSV/Tab Separated, attribute names, all fields
  • Click on run profile to generate your CSV file

Now look in your Magento directory on your server, and find the var/export folder. The file export_all_products.csv will be on your server, download this to your local computer and open it in your favorite spreadsheet program (Excel works well!).

Now comes the tricky part. View export_all_products.csv side by side with a CSV of the data from your other database product. You are going to need to make the data from your previous database match the Magento data. I don’t want to tell you exactly how to do it, there are many different paths you can take to get to the same result. Find the fastest way that works for you. For me, it was as easy as deleting all of the columns from the old database CSV that weren’t used in Magento, renaming the column names to match similar columns in Magento, then creating columns that Magento needed that did NOT exist in the old data and pre-populating it with standard info. The fill function in Excel is extremely useful for this.

At the very least, you will want to make sure you have these columns:

  • store
  • websites
  • attribute
  • type
  • category
  • sku
  • name
  • url_key
  • url_path
  • price
  • weight
  • description
  • short description
  • status
  • tax_class_id
  • visibility
  • enable
  • qty
  • product_name
  • product_type_id

Try to be as complete as possible, and include as many (if not all) of the fields from the original Magento export as you can in your new set of data to import. Leaving out something important could result in a botched import!

When you’re all finished and, depending on the size of data you’re dealing with, several minutes/hours/days/weeks later, you will have a new XLS file that you can save, ready for import to Magento. Go to System, Import, Profiles. Import all products. Be sure to increase the “number of records” to a higher value, like 3, if you’ve already modified and improved your Magento memory settings. I also like to import using the MS Excel XML (save to this format first) as it’s less prone to data errors caused by improper characters in the data stream. Save the file as XML Spreadsheet 2003, change the data type, then use the upload file tool to upload your XML file.

The process CAN take a long time, so be sure you leave the import window up during the process. With a little luck, all of your products have been imported! There is a way to do this while including images, but it gets a little complicated. With the method I’ve discussed, you will need to go in and manually upload images to each item. While that can be somewhat labor intensive, I like having Magento create proper names and file sizes for me for each product.

Enjoy!


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seenBEST Web Design

Computer Repair and IT Support Company my PC Techs Announces New Web Design, SEO, and Online Marketing Division

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Phoenix, Arizona, September 06, 2010

my PC Techs, privately owned provider of expert computer repair and IT support solutions, today announced a new web design and online marketing division. The new division, “seenBEST Web Design,” will specialize in web design, website development, search engine optimization, and online marketing. my PC Techs has provided expert computer repair and website solutions for several years under the single brand my PC Techs. The decision was made to offer web site design, SEO and internet marketing solutions under a new product name, separate from computer repair services, due to rapid company growth in both areas. As a result, both companies are now in an even better position to continue building upon their reputation of exceptional customer service and affordable pricing to new and existing business clients.

With a complete range of website solutions, seenBEST Web Design seamlessly blends traditional website design and development services together with cutting-edge online marketing and website promotion technologies. The result provides clients with websites that not only look amazing, but also get found by prospective customers, resulting in increased sales and leads while drastically reducing advertising costs.

Here is an overview of services now provided by seenBEST Web Design:

Web Design and Development Solutions

  • New Website Design
  • Web Page Redesign
  • eCommerce and Online Shopping Carts
  • ColdFusion, PHP, .NET Programs
  • Blogs, Forums, Web Applications
  • Custom MS SQL and MySQL Database Solutions
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Joomla, WordPress, and Magento Development
  • Web Hosting and Domains
  • Email Services
  • Flash, Animation, and Web Video

Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing Solutions

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Landing Pages
  • Usability and Site Analysis
  • Local Search, Targeted Search Solutions
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns
  • Keyword Research and Development
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Campaigns

The Founder and co-owner of both my PC Techs and seenBEST Web Design, Andre Morris, explains the company change: “We are excited about the creation of our new division for web services. Whereas my PC Techs on site technology services are primarily offered to clients in the Phoenix metro area, and Arizona, seenBEST Web Design will allow us to open up our marketing efforts to a national audience. We believe that our new business structure will make it even easier for us to help business owners reduce costly and ineffective print, radio, and television marketing campaigns with low cost, highly effective website and online marketing solutions.”

Unlike traditional web design companies, seenBEST Web Design staffs a team of online marketing and social media experts and is more of an online marketing agency than just another design firm. Their positioning statement, “When you want the best website. When you need it to be seen.” is an accurate summation of the types of services they provide. They aim to educate business owners of one fact: A website is worthless if no one ever visits it. Unfortunately, many businesses fall into the trap of overpaying for website design and development and wind up with a fancy website and little else. This is due, largely in part, to the fact that most web site design companies know very little about online marketing. As a result, they fail to mention these important options to prospective clients.

seenBEST Web Design goes far beyond basic web design services and combines web site design packages with online marketing and search engine optimization. During an initial free consultation, clients will work with a seenBEST Web Specialist who will explain all of the various options available and will help put together a custom design and marketing package based specifically on company objectives and budget. The result is an amazing website complete with integrated online marketing solutions.

For information on web design and online marketing solutions provided by seenBEST Web Design, the company can be contacted by phone at (602)-456-0150 or visit the website at www.seenbest-web-design.com

###

Contact Information:
Sabrina Pellegrino
602-456-0150
sabrina@mypctechs.com
http://www.mypctechs.com


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