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EZ-Catalog Import
Introduction
The EZ-Catalog Import allows you to import data into your catalog from an external source, such as a personal computer spreadsheet or database. Importing and exporting a catalog file is somewhat technical and will require some patience and perseverance. After reading these instructions, if you still need some help, feel free to call technical support at 208-356-6887.
Input File Type
The file to be imported must be in a very specific, but common format called a delimited format. The term “delimited” refers to a character or series of characters to indicate (delimit) the separation between the data fields for each product. Some examples would be the product name, description, and price. There are two kinds of delimiters. First, the character(s) that indicated the separation between fields. A very common delimiter is a comma (,). In fact, this is such a common delimiter that this file format is often referred to as a “comma delimited file.” Second, the character that encloses each field, usually a double quote (“). The enclosure character is optional in a delimited file.
Unfortunately, the comma and the double quote, usually cause problems with a catalog import because these same characters are very often used in the product title or description. The program doing the import can not distinguish between a comma for punctuation versus one of delimiting a new data field. For that reason, we suggest that you select a different character such as a double ampersand (&&) or a tilde (~). Unfortunately, most spreadsheet and database programs do not allow you to create files with these delimiters. You will often have to manipulate the file before you import it. There are also concerns about using apostrophes in descriptions. Follow the link below for more details.
For more detailed instructions on preparing a delimited file using a SPREAD SHEET, Click on the link below. These instructions will address the special concerns about apostrophes, commas, and double quotes and what can be done.
Spreadsheet instructions.
Data Fields in the Import File
The data for the catalog is stored in a number of files (database tables) on the server. This version of the import is designed so that a single file can be imported to load data into these files. All of the data fields can be put in a single row of the input file.There are a few fields that are required, some that are recommended, and a larger number of fields that are optional. If you are using product options and option values, the import file must follow a careful layout. The link below will indicate all data field that are available to import. For a complete LIST OF ALL FIELDS and a their descriptions, Click on the link below.
List and descriptions of all data fields
Step by Step Import Instructions
  1. From the Construction Tab, click on the EZ-Catalog link.
  2. Click the EZ-Import link.
  3. Click on the "Import a File" Button. Then you will see a browse button next to an open field.
  4. Click the browse button and choose the file on your computer that you have created with your catalog information.
  5. Click the appropriate radio button whether the file is delimited by a comma or double ampersands (&&), depending on how you saved your file. Click the continue button.
  6. Map your data to the correct fields
In the drop down box next to 'Category,' you will choose the data field that contains the category name of your first item. This is option 0. If you followed the directions given, then option 0 will go with block 1, (category). Option 1 will go with block 2, (title). Option 2 will go to block 3, (Left Picture). And so on and so forth. Fill in all of the available options. The next time you choose to import a catalog, the system will remember the data field mapping you did on your last import.

After choosing each field with the appropriate option, you will need to select from the following options:
  • Overwrite Products and Categories. All of the data in the categories and catalog files will be erased and replaced by the data in the imported file.
  • Overwrite Nothing. No data in your catalog will be changed. The imported data will be added to the existing category and catalog files.
  • Overwrite Products only. The data in your category will remain. However, all data in the catalog files will be erased and replace with data from the imported file.
  • After choosing the radio buttons that you want, click on the 'Continue' button.
  • Review your data to make sure the files are as you would like them.
This brings you to a page that gives you all of your categories in your catalog listed as links. Take this opportunity to review the catalog information. If, what you see there is not correct, you can then click on the 'Restore Backup of Catalog'. This will restore your catalog as it was after your last import! If you are happy with the import, you can click on any of the categories to see the items entered. Otherwise, click on the 'Return to Main Menu' button to return to your three blue boxes.
Restore Backup
Every time you import a catalog file the existing files are automatically backed up. The “Restore Backup” feature will erase the existing category and catalog files and restore the data from this restored file. This is a very nice “oops” feature. However, remember that the next time you import, the old back up file is replaced. So if you imported a file twice in a row, you could no longer retrieve the first back up.
Special Concerns
CATEGORIES. The current catalog import does not allow you to import just the category information. In fact, if you do an Overwrite of the Categories, you will lose all of information associated with category except the name. In the future, you will be able to export and import all category information.
PRODUCT OPTIONS AND VALID VALUES. If you are using product options and associated valid values, your import file must be structured in a very specific manner. For each product option and valid value combination, you must have a row in your import file. The associated product number (Stock number) for the option and value must in each row. You can either repeat the other product information or “indent” the record in the table. Refer to a previous link on this page for more information about building a spreadsheet file, which addresses these special rows in the spread sheet.
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