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5. Import Products

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 If you use the Standard Edition of Store Manager for Magento, the number of products available for import is limited to 3000.
If you need to import more products, you'll need to upgrade to the PRO Edition. Please click this link for more information: http://www.mag-manager.com/store-manager-for-magento-plans-and-pricing

The Store Manager Import Wizard will greatly facilitate the updating of your Store database, via a simplified, and efficient set of routines and applications.

Pay careful attention to each Wizard's page, to ensure correct importation of products into Magento. Magento import, depending upon the extent and number of operations to be performed, can be a rather complicated procedure. It may also be destructive, if performed incorrectly. Be sure to create a database backup before importing products, especially if this is the first time that you are performing this task.


  1. Firstly, it is necessary to prepare a file in either CSV, XML, XLS, XLSX, or ODS format, for successful importation into Magento. Make sure that all necessary fields and data that you are planning to import, are  listed in the table, or file. The allowed list of fields that your file may include, along with detailed descriptions, follows:


    SKU - is a field in Magento that is required for all products. It is composed of a standard, alphanumeric string, that uniquely identifies the product, and is typically assigned by the Manufacturer, although you may create, and assign your own. It is a standard procedure that is accepted, and used internationally. You should be able to obtain this standard code for all your products, if not already included, by requesting it from your Supplier. This identifying field must be distinct from all other values within the database, and may be used for uniquely identifying products during a Magento import session. Refer to step 6, for further information pertaining to product identification.

    Product ID - is a field that is used internally within the database table. It should be of numeric type only, and must also constitute a unique value within the context of the table. Its value is assigned automatically by the system (shopping cart) and will not be imported from the source file, and must not be changed by the user (other database tables may contain references to this field, pointing to a specific product, or products)


    Price - represents the cost of the product, at retail (or that paid by the end user), before applicable taxes, or shipping charges, are applied. It should not contain any rebates, coupons, or bulk discounts. Prices should be whole numbers, with a maximum of two decimal places. Price fields are numeric; no text is permitted. Also, it must not include the “$”, or any other symbols.


    Status - this field acquires "1" or "0" value only. It states availability of the product. For example, value " 1 " means that product is available in stock. In case it has "0 " value than the product is not available for purchasing and will not be displayed at your Store. In case you skip this column, your products will be not updated. Products that are not listed in .csv file can be set as "Out of Stock", if you enable appropriate option at the last step of Magento import.To set the value as in stock for all products you can specify  1  value for first product in your file and spread it for all products.


    Quantity - you can set product quantity here. Please note that if you indicate "0 " or leave this field blank the product will be displayed at the your store's front end as "Out of stock".

    Category - specify the category your product belongs to. If the product should be imported into subcategory use pipe character "|" to separate parent and subcategory, for example: "Computers|Keyboards" - the product will be assigned to Keyboards category.

    If you need to assign the same product to multiple categories, use double delimiter, in your .csv file. Here is the example: "Computers|Keyboards||Computers|Other". After that the product will be assigned both to Keyboards and to Other category while Magento import.

    In our case Pipe is used as category delimiter. Category delimiter character should be specified on the 5-th step. It is used to separate category names and specify full category tree path for given category. Category path is very similar to directory path and is used to specify full file name in Windows, where every directory separated by backslash (\) character, like in the following example:  C:\Program Files\eMagicOne\Store Manager for ...\

    In case your supplier provides you with the file that has categories in a separate columns, you can merge them to get appropriate format using Expressions field or you can merge them using Excel manually. Please follow these steps to merge categories using Expression field (is recommended to use with Automated Product Import for Magento):

        1).   At the fifth step “Assign .csv Columns to Database Fields" of Import Wizard find the “Category Name” field

        2).   Set the following expressions for this field:

              CONCAT([CSV_COL(1)], '|', [CSV_COL(2)], '|' , ... , [CSV_COL(N)])

                                              where: [CSV_COL(N)] is the separate column of .csv file with the category name (N is the column number or sort order)

                                              '|' - is category delimiter (which has been chosen at the previous step)
        3). 
    Complete the Magento Import and check categories

    In order to merge category columns in Excel, please, use the following formula:

    =B2&"|"&C2
    where
    | - is category delimiter
    B2 - is your parent category column in file and 
    C2 - is sub category column in file.


    Media Gallery - allows you to import images for the product. You may upload pictures from your local computer or external web URLs. Please note that in order to import images you have to set-up a proper FTP connection. Please check these articles how to upload images from local pc and how to upload images if you have external image URLs if you need help.


    If your vendor provides you product list in Excel, you can convert your Excel files to the CSV format within the Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice application by using the Save As option. To do this you need to use File -> Save As dialog box which contains a list of alternative file formats. Among the file extensions offered, you can find Text CSV file format. By saving your file into CSV format, Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice will export the first active worksheet with the correct delimiters.

    If you want to synchronize Magento products with your supplier automatically on a schedule, you may be interested in Automated Product Import addon. 

    Are you interested to find out how many products it is possible to import to Magento? Click here to find the answer.

  2. To start Magento Import Products process click on 'Import/Export Products' button which starts the Import/Export Wizard. 


Select "Import" and click "Next >" button to continue.

3. Enter the file you need to import or use browse button to select one.


Also you can Load Settings to avoid reconfiguring each time. 

If you want to import a .xml file, after pressing Import/Export Wizard you should follow some steps:

1) To transform source .xml data to output .csv.  - there you should to link XML nodes to CSV columns manually or use the automate mode by pressing 'Link Automatically' button.

Link XML Nodes

2) After this import process becomes similar to import a .csv file.

If you use a file for import of .csv format, your next step after launching Import/Export Wizard should be:

Source file preview shows a part of .csv file selected to import. There are no options to set, but you should pay some attention to this page. 

What's so important to look for on this page is field delimiter and quote character, if some is used.

If you carefully check the very first line of the example, you'll notice that some words enclosed in quotes (") and are separated by semicolon (;) symbol. That are two important options you have to pay attention to - 

you will have to setup these settings on next page. Usually it is enough to see first line, no need to investigate entire file. Also you can enable and set the row # you want to start Magento import from.

  1. Select fields delimiter and quote character page contains some important settings. If you specify wrong values, Magento import may not work.

    select fields delimiter


    Delimiter character is the delimiter that is used to separate values (columns) in the .csv file. Most popular delimiters are comma (,), semicolon (;) and tab character ( ) however other symbols can be used as well. On previous sample page we have noticed that comma symbol was used as delimiter and values were quoted with " symbol. Specify two first settings as shown above.

    Note: csv file contains data in row - column format and delimiter character are used to separate one column from another. If you specify incorrect delimiter, file will not be parsed properly and Magento import of products will not be done.

    Image Gallery delimeter character  will be used to separate images in Image Gallery.

    Category delimiter character is not native .csv setting, it is used only in Store Manager. As you know categories are organized in a form of tree, where parent category can contain one or more subcategories, and subcategory can contain one or more other categories. Category delimiter character is used to separate category names and specify full category tree path for given category.See Step 1 - category column. Category path is very similar to directory path used to specify full file name in Windows, where every directory separated by backslash (\) character like this one C:\Program Files\eMagicOne\Store Manager for Magento\.

    As for example category path for "Sample Subcategory" (see image below) will be Hardware|Graphics Cards|Sample Subcategory. Pipe (|) character was used as separator.

    Category tree sample


    Import files - allows you to upload files for downloadable products to your FTP. (Please note that in order to import files you have to set-up a proper FTP connection).

    Local directory with files - indicate the directory on your PC which contains the files you would like to upload.

    Clear Image Gallery - if this option is checked, images for Imported products will be deleted (only Images' paths).

    Delete Images from FTP - if this option is checked, images for Imported products will be erased from FTP.

    Import images
     - Enable the option in order to upload images to you server via ftp. Please make sure that you have specified correct FTP defails in Tools -> Preferences -> FTP tab.  It should be noted the following conditions: 

  • If you check this option while import and all images  that prescribed in the file that is importing are accessible, these media files will be uploaded to the FTP server and to your store database with the path to them, as in example - image_gallery/images/test.jpg
  • If this option is selected and image indicated is not accessible, picture will not be uploaded. Only the record that is identical to the specified in your file will be displayed in the database, e.g. test.jpg
  • If you don't check this option, images will not be uploaded and the path like this - image_gallery/images/test.jpg will be recorded into database.

Generate new file name and upload as new image if image with current name already exists - if image in .csv file has the same name as already existing image then it will not replace the existing image - a new image with modified name will be created.

Local directory with images - indicate folder on your PC which contains images you would like to upload. Please note that images' names should be indicated in .csv file in correct columns and you will have to assign the columns with images' names
to appropriate database columns (see step 7).

Resize rule - allows you to resize all Images you would like to Import.


During import you can take into account the current category in which the imported product is located. For example, the product 'Funnel neck' in the file to import is specified only in one category - 'Women', but in the store 

database it have been already assigned to the multiple categories.

Assign to multiple categories


If you do not want to remove from all these categories and attach to only the category 'Women' you should check the 'Keep current categories association (s)'

Category options


This option allows to save the location of this product in other categories without changes.

Using the second option in this step of import process - 'Use ID as category path' - you can assign products to category(ies) by this identifier without indication the category path.
    
    2. Select Store View.

    3. The next step allows you to Link columns from .csv file to appropriate database fields.

Assign step

Link columns from .csv file to appropriate database fields. The left pane "Database Fields" shows the list of fields in your database that can receive Magento import data.

The topmost option on this page is First row in .csv file contains field names but not values. Obviously it should be checked if first row of .csv file contains data, otherwise uncheck this option.

Next option is Identify products by. Magento import products Wizard will search for a product using selected method of identification. The product will be modified if found, if not - new product will be added.

Source .csv file can contain multiple records with identical Name values. All these products will be considered as one - currently imported product will overwrite previously imported with the same key field values. Note that sometimes one of key fields may be blank. Obviously blank fields contain the same value for all records. It is required to assign .csv columns to key fields.

"Database Fields" shows the list of fields in your database that can receive Magento import data. It contains such columns:

    • # - the number of the column in .csv file corresponding to this field - the link between database field and .csv column.
    • Set Null - indicates that this field should not contain any data but should be set to Null. You can either specify column name or check this option, but not both of them at the same time.
    • Set Default - used to set some default value to a field, similar to Set Null, but in this case some value can be assigned to a field.
    • Default - enter the value assigned to a field.
    • Expression - can be used for calculations while Magento import. It is a good idea to use expressions to calculate the price (add 20% to your supplier's price), add quantity to your current stock (add new products to your current stock), etc. Please see an article for details.

To assign .csv column to database field you should select a field at the left pane and then click a column at the right pane.

[Auto link all] button - try to set correspondence automatically for all fields. Auto fill option will work only if .csv column name is the same as database field name ("translated").
[Unlink all] button - unlink all "csv col" values at the left pane
Click "Next" if you're done.

Store Manager requires a specific formatting for product attributes. You are welcome to export a few products with attributes and you'll see the format. Also you can see an example below. Please note, that you can use Excel to merge your attributes in case you have them in separate columns. You're welcome to contact your administrator for help or ask Google for help.

Also you can import attributes from separate columns of .csv file. Please, note that it is convenient to use if you are updating products from supplier .csv file. In case you are importing products from one store to another one, you can use default system of attributes import, where attributes specified for each products in separate row, not in columns.

To import attributes from separate columns you should create additional attribute field for each attribute. Once it is created, you will get 4 additional options: Option, Value, Prefix, Price. You need to assign attribute value, prefix and price for each attribute column of your file to appropriate attribute options of database in each additional field.



The next Import         4. Wizard page includes Base Formats and separators. They can be set by default. 


    5. Products were not imported to your database yet. On Magento Import Preview page you can see how .csv file was processed using Magento product import settings, which you specified at previous steps. Check whether all columns that you want to be imported are filled with data: some of them may be blank. This means that either you haven't assigned .csv column or it is empty in source (.csv) file. Columns that were not assigned will not be imported whereas empty values will overwrite existing.

Red blinking arrow will be shown to draw your attention if any errors occurred. If data are assigned correctly, then this arrow will be missed at the bottom of the window.

    6. Import options page settings may affect Magento Import results. Please read and check your selection carefully.


Default category. If category name is specified in .csv file and column is assigned to database field, Store Manager will create entire category tree for a product. If there's no "category name" column (in .csv) or it is not assigned, all products will be imported to a category specified as Default. If default category is not specified and there's no other way to determine which category products should be imported into, program will create "Default category" and place all new products there.

Default manufacturer is set almost the same as for category, except that product may not have manufacturer at all - it is not important. Also you can uncheck option in case you do not want to create new manufacturer if currently imported does not exist in database.

Delete existing attributes when importing new - if checked, Magento import will clear all current product attributes and then add new. If unchecked it will just add new - this may cause duplicate attributes.

Mark unlisted products as "Out of Stock" (in Magento this is "In Stock" property of a product) - all products that were not affected by Magento import will be marked as unavailable, but will not be deleted.

Cache import data - this option may speedup Magento import process. How does it work?
Store Manager does huge number of database operations while importing products. There are many tables affected by Magento import and lot data should be processed. With slow database connection it may take too long - several hours or even days - depending on number of records and connection speed. If cache option is checked, Store Manager will generate database backup file - the same as you can do using Backup/Restore wizard with "Product related tables only" option. After the backup is generated, program restores this backup on local database. All further import operations will be made locally, much faster than through remote connection. After Magento import is completed it will generate another backup - from local database and then restore this backup on your remote store.
With "Cache import data" option Magento import procedure will show several backup/restore progress dialog - this is normal behavior.

Note: Cache import data option ignored when currently connected to Embedded database.

Import Method
Add and Modify - will add new product if it is not available in database yet and modify those products that were found
Add Only - only add new products
Modify Only - only update existing products and do not add new entries, even if current product was not found
Just Add - this option may produce product duplicates, since Store Manager will not try to find existing products but will only add all products as new

Save Import Configuration
All import settings can be stored under some configuration. You can load it next time you decide to import products to Magento from a file with similar formatting, column names etc.
Also you can shutdown computer after Magento import is complete.

Attention! Magento Import process will start, when you press "Import" Button! Proceed only if all settings are made, otherwise press "Back" Button and check settings once more!

    7. In the last window of Magento Import Products Wizard there will be shown if any errors occurred during import process.

Most frequent Magento import errors are date, time and number conversion issues, caused by invalid format settings (specified at previous pages) or improperly assigned column (i.e. if you assign column containing category ID to parent_category database field). Date/time conversion errors might be ignored whereas other errors like this one (Could not find image: image_name.gif) has to be fixed.

In case you cannot see your products in Magento after import, please check related article:

   I cannot find / see new products on my Magento store / admin. What should I check?


Also here you can check related articles on Magento Import:

Magento Import: Fast, Cheap, High-Quality. Choose Any Two Options

How Many Products it is Possible to Import to Magento? Will it Work for a Million of Products?

7 Advantages of Import via Store Manager over Magento Admin Import

How to Import Products Avoiding Data Loss

Easy Import with Store Manager for Magento

How to Import Custom Options

Import Custom Options Easily

What is Magento Configurable Product and how to Import Magento Configurable Products?

Take Advantage of .xml Import with Store Manager for Magento

What is Expression? How to Use It Performing Magento Import?

How to Input Missing Data and Modify Existing On-The-Fly by Means of Expressions in the Process of Magento Import

Magento Import of Products Lasts Forever? A Few Tips to Speed It Up

Case Study: Magento Product Updates Run Slowly? Turn on the Speed!

How To Setup A Cron Job In Magento to Schedule Products Import

Magento Import: A Few Facts to Blow Your Mind


 

By eMagicOne Inc.

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