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 “$” symbol, or any other symbols.


    Status - valid values for this field are limited to ' 1 ', or ' 0 '. It designates the product's availability. For example, a value of  ' 1 ' means the product is in stock, and available. Contrariwise,  a  ' 0' value indicates  the product is not available for purchase, and it will not be displayed in your Store. If you don ot provide a value for this column, your products will not successfully update. Products that are not listed in your new (or revised) .csv file can automatically be set as "Out of Stock", by enabling the appropriate option, in the last step of the Magento import process.To set the value as in stock for all products specify a value of  ' 1 ' for first product in your file, and spread it for all products.


    Quantity -  the product's available quantity is specified within this column's value field. If you specify a ' 0 ' value, or leave the field blank, the product will be displayed in your Store's front end as 'Out of stock'.

    Category - allows you to easily specify the category into which your product should be placed, during import. If the product should be imported into a subcategory,  use the pipe ( ' | ' ) character, as a separation delimiter between the parent, and any subsequent subcategories. As an example, 'Computers|Keyboards' designates that the product will be assigned to the 'Keyboards' subcategory, within the 'Computers' parent category.

    If you need to assign the same product to multiple categories, use a 'double delimiter' (typing the ' | ' character twice, in succession), in your .csv file. For example: "Computers|Keyboards||Computers|Other" (notice the double 'delimiter' between 'Keyboards and 'Computers') specifies that the product will be assigned both to 'Keyboards', and also to the ''Other' subcategory, under the 'Computers' parent category, during the import process..

    The Pipe is used as a category delimiter. The Category delimiter character should be specified in the 5th step of the import procedure. It is used to separate category names and specify the full category tree path for a given category. The Category path is very similar to the 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 ...\

    If your supplier provides a source file that has categories in separate columns, they can be merged into an appropriate, importable format using the Expressions field, or you can manually merge them using Microsoft Excel. Perform the following steps to merge categories using the Expressions field (it is recommended that this method be used with Automated Product Import for Magento):

        1).   In the Import Wizard's fifth step, 'Assign .csv Columns to Database Fields', 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)] references a column name within the .csv file, and ' N ' specifies the column number, or sort order.

                                              '|' - specifies the category delimiter (which was chosen in the previous step)
        3). 
    Complete the Magento Import, checking that the categories were correctly allocated.

    To merge category columns using Microsoft Excel, use the following formula:

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


    Media Gallery - The Media Gallery facilitates the importing of your product's images. You may upload pictures from your local computer, or from external web URLs. Note that prior to importing images (if it has not already been done), an FTP connection has to be set up, and properly configured. Check the following articles, how to upload images from local pc and how to upload images if you have external image URLs for assistance, if necessary.


    If the vendor provides a product list in Microsoft Excel format, it can be converted into .CSV format, using Excel, OpenOffice, or an equivalent application, using the 'Save As' option. Specifically, choosing 'File -> Save As', will offer a dialog box that specifies a list of alternative file formats. Among the file extensions offered, 'Text CSV'  will be listed among the format choices. Saving the file into .CSV format will export the first active worksheet with correctly specified delimiters.

    * To automatically schedule synchronization of your  Magento products with those of your supplier, take a look at our Automated Product Import addon. 

    For information regarding product importation, and other limits in Store Manager for Magento,  Click here.

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


Select 'Import', and click 'Next' ( > ), to continue.

3. Enter the name of the file to be imported, or use the browse button to select it via navigation.


*Note: You may select 'Load Settings', to recall a previously saved configuration.

To import an .xml file, select the 'Import/Export Wizard', and perform the following steps:

1) Transform the source .xml data, and output a .csv formatted file, by manually linking the XML nodes to CSV columns, or perform automatic conversion by pressing the 'Link Automatically' button.

Link XML Nodes

2) Instantiate the .csv file import process:

After launching the 'Import/Export Wizard', the source file preview dialog shows the part of the .csv file that was selected for import. There are no options to set, but you should carefully review the contents of this page. 

It is particularly important to verify that the field delimiter(s)  and quote character(s), if used, are accurately specified.

If you carefully check the first line of the example, you'll notice that some words are enclosed in quotes ("), and are separated by a semicolon (;) symbol. These are important options you must pay particular attention to, as you will have to specify/configure these settings on the next page. Usually it is sufficient to review the first line, and it is not necessary to investigate the entire file. You may also enable and set the beginning point (row #) from which you want to start the import.process.

  1. The fields delimiter, and quote character selection page contains very important settings. If you specify wrong values here, the Magento import may not work correctly, or even not at all.

    select fields delimiter


    The Delimiter character specifies the delimiter to be used to separate values (columns) in the .csv file. The most popular delimiters are comma (,), semicolon (;) and the tab character ( ), although other symbols may be used, as well. The prior sample dialog designated the comma symbol as the delimiter, and values were quoted with the ' symbol. As a suggestion, you may specify your settings as displayed above.

    Note: The .csv file contains data in row -column format, and delimiter characters are used to separate the column values. If an incorrect delimiter is specified, the file will not be parsed properly, and the import of products will not be performed.

    The 'Image Gallery delimiter character' designates the character that will be used to separate images, during import into the Image Gallery.

    The 'Category delimiter character' is not a native .csv setting, and it is used only in, and by, the Store Manager application. Categories are organized in a form of tree, where a 'Parent' category may contain one, or more subcategories, and each sub, or 'Child' category may contain one, or more, other categories. Category delimiter character is used to separate category names and specify full category tree path for given category.Please refer to 'Step 1 - category column', for an example. The Category path is very similar to the directory path used to specify a fully qualified file name in Windows, in which the directories are separated by a backslash (\) character, ie... 'C:\Program Files\eMagicOne\Store Manager for Magento\'.

    A further example of a category path for 'Sample Subcategory' is illustrated in the image below, for the 'Hardware|Graphics Cards\Sample Subcategory\'.. The Pipe (|) character is used as a separator.

    Category tree sample


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

    Local directory with files - indicates the directory on your PC which contains the files that you intend to upload.

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

    Delete Images from FTP - if this option is checked, images for the Imported products will actually be erased, after the FTP process is completed.

    Import images
     - Enable this option, in order to upload images to you server, via ftp. Be sure that you have previously specified correct FTP details on the Tools -> Preferences -> FTP tab.  The following caveats should be noted: 

  • If this option is checked during import, all images selected in the import configuration file will be uploaded to the FTP server,  and subsequently imported into your Store database, and stored in the relative path specified by your settings (ie... 'image_gallery/images/test.jpg')
  • If this option is selected, but the image(s) indicated is not accessible, the picture(s) will not be uploaded. The file reference designated, and the image record path specified, will be displayed in the image's place, within the database record, e.g. 'test.jpg'
  • If this option is not checked, the images will not be uploaded, but their path, and filename, will be recorded and displayed within the updated database record, ie ... 'image_gallery/images/test.jpg'.

Generate new file name and upload as new image if image with current name already exists - if an image in the .csv file has the same name as an already existing image, it will not replace the existing image, but the image to be copied will be saved under a modified name.

Local directory with images - specifies the folder on the local PC which contains the images to be uploaded. Note that the images' names should be specified in the .csv file, being sure that when the columns containing the images' names are assigned, that the correct column structure is maintained, relative to the
 target database (see step 7).

Resize rule - allows you to resize the Images during the Import process.


During import, take into account the current category, in which the imported product is located. As an example, the product 'Funnel neck', in the file to import, is specified only in one category - 'Women', but in the target Store database it has previously been assigned to multiple categories.

Assign to multiple categories


To update the target database, additionally assigning the category 'Women', check 'Keep current categories association (s)', which allows the product to be saved in the additional category(ies), while also maintaining the pre-existing category structure.

Category options

The remaining option, in this step of the import process, 'Use ID as category path', allows the assigning of products to a category(ies), specified  by the identifier, without providing an indication of the category path.
    
    2. Select Store View.

    3. The next step allows for the Linking of columns from the .csv file, to their relative, 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 import data.

By default, the topmost option (First row) in the.csv file contains field names, and not values. It should be checked if the first row contains actual data, otherwise be sure that it remains unchecked.

Identify products by. The Magento Import Products Wizard will search for a product using the identification method selected in this field. The product will be modified, if found, If the selection does not previously exist, a new product will be added.

Identify products by...

The Source .csv file may contain multiple records with identical Name values. These products will be considered as one - currently imported product(s) will overwrite previously imported product(s) that have the same key field values. Note that sometimes a key field may be blank (contain no User specified value). Blank fields contain the same value for all records. It is required that each key field within all .csv columns contain a valid assigned value .

'Database Fields' displays the list of fields in your database that are eligible to receive import data. It may contain columns (fields) such as:

    • sort order - the order in which fields are listed.
    • fields - values that represent data that can be updated via import within the underlying database
    • csv col - the number of the column in the .csv file that is linked to this field. It designates the numeric value of the link between the database field, and the .csv column.
    • expression - special formula that allows for the addition of information, or facilitates the changing of existing data, based upon the application of one, or more, logical rules, designating what action(s) should be performed on the field values that also may be determined by the evaluation of the expression. 

To assign .csv columns to database fields, select a field in the left pane, and click the appropriate column in the right pane.

[Auto link all] button - If this choice is selected, the system will automatically try to determine, and set appropriate relationships between the fields and the underlying database columns. The Auto fill option will work only if the .csv column names are the same as the database field names ("translated").

[Unlink all] button - unlink all "csv col" values listed in the left pane

Click 'Next', if you're done.

Store Manager requires a specific formatting for product attributes. To view this format, export a few products (with attributes). You may also view an example format below. Please note that Excel can be used to merge attributes, in case they are in separate columns. Please contact your administrator for help, or perform a Google topical search, for additional information.

Also attributes may be imported from the columns of a .csv file. This is convenient if you are updating products from a supplier's .csv file. If you are importing products directly between stores, you can use the default attributes import system, in which product attributes are delimited by rows, rather than columns.

To import attributes from columns, create an additional field for each attribute. Once created, you will be presented with 4 additional options, 'Option, Value, Prefix, and Price'. You need to assign attribute value, prefix and price values for each attribute column of your file to appropriate attribute options of database in each additional field.


Pay attention to the 'Categories Path' field, during this step of the import process. To successfully import products, specify the full category path where the selected items are to be imported.

The path must include the root category, and its sub-categories, the '|' character serves as a directory separator.

As an example, refer to the screenshot below, which specifies the 'Categories' path as follows:

Default Category|Shoes, or Default Category|Clothing, or Default Category|Bags, etc, where Default Category is the root category in the categories tree:

Category Path


If the default (root) category is not specified in your import file, it can be added by executing the following expression:

CONCAT('Default Category|',[CSV_COL(x)]) ,

where COL(x) refers to the column's number in the csv file that matches the category path:

Expression Editor for Default Category


   4. The next import wizard page includes Base Formats and Separators The fields may already contain default values, which may be changed, if necessary. 


    5. The products, as of this stage of the process, have not yet been imported into your database. On the Import Preview page you may review how the .csv file will be processed, using the designated product import settings, which were specified in the prior steps. 

Check whether all columns that you want to be imported are filled with data. If some of them are blank, it indicates that either you haven't assigned a  .csv column, or the corresponding field in the source source (.csv) file is empty. 

Columns that were not assigned will not be imported, and empty values will overwrite existing data values.

A red blinking arrow will be shown to draw your attention to any errors that may have occurred. If data are assigned correctly, this arrow will be absent at the bottom of the window.

    6. Import options page settings may affect the Import results. Please read and carefully verify your selection(s).


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

The Default manufacturer is set almost the same way as the Default category, except that the product may not have a manufacturer specified at all, which is not important. Also, you can uncheck the option if you do not want to create a new manufacturer, and the currently import field does not exist in the underlying database.

Delete existing attributes when importing new - if checked, Magento Import will clear all current product attributes, and then add and assign new attributes. If unchecked, it will just add new attributes, which may lead to duplicate attributes being created.

Mark unlisted products as "Out of Stock" (This is specified in Magento as the '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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