Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

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msandin
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Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by msandin » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:09 am

Folks,

Where can I find out more about the "format" of the field "category" in a Products CSV. How are multi-level categories depicted?

From what I see looking at the CSV file with Excel, WordPad, and a Hex Editor:

1) The field is a quoted string.
2) Categories are separated with a colon (:)

Our products are automotive parts. At the top level of categories we have four(4) year ranges... ie "1964-1966", "1967-1968", "1969-1970" and "1971-1973".

Within each year category there are 20+ sub-categories which apply to all four top level categories... ie "Accessories", "Fasteners", "Brake and Clutch" etc.

Within each sub-category, there may be one or more sub-sub-categories... ie:

Under "Accessories" there are: "Car Covers", "Shirts", "Signs"... etc.
Under "Fasteners" there are: "Plugs and Grommets", "Exterior Hardware", "Engine Fasteners"... etc.
Under "Brake and Clutch" there are: "Master Cylinders", "Wheel Bearings", "Brake Lines, Hoses, Fluid"... etc

QUESTIONS

1) For a given part, how should the "Category" field in the CSV appear?
2) What is the function of the colon(:) that I see. Is it a category level separator? or is it more complex?
3) Any given part will exist in one or more top level categories... How is this indicated?

There are more questions, but if someone can help with the above, perhaps it will become more clear to me.

COMMENTS

The reason for this post is our need to coordinate our in-house computer system with AbleCommerce. They are two distinct systems and our implementation of AbleCommerce is not providing the category function as we need. We just upgraded to R8 build 7345 and are testing it in a "work" area on the server.

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Katie
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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by Katie » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:03 am

Hi,

It sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of the CSV data.
1) For a given part, how should the "Category" field in the CSV appear?
Something like this -
"1964-1966:Accessories:Car Covers"
2) What is the function of the colon(:) that I see. Is it a category level separator? or is it more complex?
Yes, it is a category level separator.
3) Any given part will exist in one or more top level categories... How is this indicated?
A comma will be used. So, you might see something like this -

"1964-1966:Accessories:Car Covers,1967-1968:Accessories:Car Covers"

Whenever someone has trouble with the data import, I always suggest that you create a test product and do an export with the fields you plan to be using for your import. This makes it super easy to see exactly how the data will need to be formatted.

I hope this helps!
Katie
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msandin
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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by msandin » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:11 am

Katie
Katie,

We obviously do not understand what is going on with our category issue.

Background…

The developer of the site contracted with a local university guru some years ago (AC R5 or earlier I think) to create a program to populate the entire website using a series of five(5) MS access tables. I created those tables for him from our Visual FoxPro in-house system.

The developer has now “updated” to a test site with “Gold R8 build 7345”. He has populated it with data from the existing active site which is (http://www.virginiaclassicmustang.com/default.aspx). He has hired another “guru” company to make other changes that were needed. Right now the “category” issues really have us stumped. The rebuild from the access tables was no longer applicable and we were advised to look at the “native” import/export code. It is imperative that we have a programmatic procedure to keep the AC web site in line with the in-house system.

The QUESTIONS as we see them now are:

1) Where is the category information stored in AC R8? I have a sneaky feeling it is in a table than the parts table. It almost looks to me that the info in the parts table is being refreshed from someplace else. The reason I ask is that I used AC R8 to make a copied part. I then an entire "export" to a csv file. I used excel to remove all records except for the header and the newly copied record. I modified the category cell of the copied part to match up with what you had described in your previous forum post. I then "imported" it as a change, AC said that it worked OK. However when I look at it, the entire cell has reverted back to the old.

Additionally, when we try to modify the category through AC R8, any change we make doesn’t stay changed it reverts. In the live system which is AC R5 I think, a category stays changed.

2) Would we be out of line to expect that we should be able to create a full csv file programmatically from our FoxPro stuff and totally rebuild the AC parts table(s) using import?

Thanks for your help…

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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by Katie » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:12 pm

It sounds like you have a very custom integration, but hopefully you can utilize the data import/export feature that is built-in.

The category information is stored in the table "ac_Categories". I've never heard of an "parts" table...so I can't really answer your 2nd question because this "parts" table must be something custom (unless you meant "products" table?). If it were me, I would try to stick with the native features (Categories and Products) so you can take advantage of the built-in features.

If you are having problems with changes and updates, then check the Configure > Store > General page. If you are using the Lucene search provider, then that could be your problem. Lucene creates and maintains an index of the database. This helps improve performance. The indexes are automatically updated when you make changes through the admin interface, but if you make direct database updates, then you need to run the index manually from the Website > Indexes page.

I hope this has been a little helpful for you...

Katie
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http://help.ablecommerce.com - product support
http://wiki.ablecommerce.com - developer support

msandin
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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by msandin » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:45 pm

Thanks, Katie. I did mean products... in our FoxPro DB I called it parts...

I'll do some more research

msandin
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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by msandin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:57 pm

Katie

Things are working great in my quest for importing data from our Visual FoxPro "Back End Software" to AC R8. I have a question about the field "navigateurl". In our test data export file it looks something like "http://ltdev1.com/65-68-COUPE-AND-CONVE ... -P104.aspx". I figured out that:

1) http://ltdev1.com/ is the base url of our test site. Our live site is http://www.virginiaclassicmustang.com/

2) The stuff between the base url and -p104.aspx is our product description.

3) the number 104 is the productid of this item.

We've discovered that if we put either url followed by -pxxx.aspx into a browser (where xxx is a valid productid #), the page for that item is displayed. It doesn't seem to matter what characters are between the url and the dash.

My questions, Katie are:

1) What is "navigateurl" used for? Who uses it?

2) How is this field created? If I leave it blank on my import of the tab delimited file, will AC build it?

Thanks so much for your help Katie!

Miles Sandin

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Re: Products CSV Gold R8 build 7345

Post by Naveed » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:36 am

NavigateUrl is a generated field and its value is not saved. It value is calculated based on the product id and name/title. You are not needed to specify a value when importing product data.

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