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Mibble

Easy Populate Version 3

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Ok peoples, it is time to get everyone's thoughts on what is needed for easypopulate version 3.

Some may want the 'delete' function, just try to understand how the delete function works, and you will see why that should probably be s separate function, because if you set something wrong in your easypopulate file, you could lose your whole database.

Anyway, please, constructive criticism, thoughts, etc only. This is not a question/answer on how to use easypopulate (see the title of the forum, contribution announcements???).

 

Thanks!


John Oligario

 

Knowledge Base Contributions

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Easy Populate is a very important file for owners with virtual inventories that need to maintain their inventory.

 

Currently I have two solutions to manage my site. I have a custom update program that updates the Qty, cost and marks up the retail a given percentage that is set in the code.

 

I use Easy Populate for intial installation of products, usually 25,000+ at a time.

 

The features that should be included to perfect EP are the following:

 

- Ability to on the fly adjust the retail price by percentage. (Round of to .99)

(Would be cool to set categories or products a percentage to mark up and have it updated every time you run a easy populate qty/model/price update.)

- Able to delete products that have been discontinued (Use date tracking where if the price is older than the rest to delete it)

- Product Options & Attributes (done)

- Easy to add custom fields for heavily modified shops

- Check for any problems with a file that may be corrupt before inserting itself into the database (Maybe build in a backup and restore feature)

- Have most of the customizeable settings of the easy populate file put into the database for easier adjustment.

- Foreign price file compatibility allowing you to setup field structures so easy Populate can read them. Have a radio button for a defined pricefile and then execute the update. Saves time parsing a file to be compatible with Easy Populate.

 

I think that would make the ultimate Easy Populate, hope it happens.

 

Cheers,

 

Brad

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integration with qtpro to adjust individual attribute inventory counts would be a great and very useful feature

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to integrate with other contributions, those of you who know the contributions are goin gto need to be involved in explaining how they work,


John Oligario

 

Knowledge Base Contributions

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Hi Mibb!!

 

Ease of Integration with Download Controller, There seem to be a lot of folk who are building digital music stores and having spent the w/e trying to fit together EP 2.76 and EP 2.76 (4Master Products) which are both needed if you want to sell "albums" and tracks digitally, would love to have a working EP that would handle Master Slave far failed miserably

 

The other thing would be a more coherent documenation, I know a lot of the stuff can be found by ploughing through the forums but the thread on EP is quite a long one (although I do enjoy a lot of your posts!!) and time consuming

 

I am quite willing to offer any of my limited knowledge on both the above mods and also any help you need with testing as I have a couple of off-line local host set-ups just for that purpose if that helps

 

all the best

 

Steve

Edited by Sierrab

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My grammar was so faulty in the last posting, I thought I should repost to clarify what I meant!!!

 

Hi Mibb!!

 

Ease of Integration with Download Controller, There seem to be a lot of folk who are building digital music stores and having spent the w/e trying to fit together EP 2.76 and EP 2.76-4Master Products which are both needed if you want to sell "albums" and tracks digitally, would love to have a working EP that would handle both DC and MS.

(So far I have failed miserably)

 

The other thing would be a more coherent documenation, I know a lot of the stuff can be found by ploughing through the forums but the thread on EP is quite a long one (although I do enjoy a lot of your posts!!) and time consuming

 

I am quite willing to offer any of my limited knowledge on both the above mods and also any help you need with testing as I have a couple of off-line local host set-ups just for that purpose if that helps

 

all the best

 

Steve

Edited by Sierrab

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I continue to think that the way to go with Easy Populate is to make it modular, so that instead of integrating it with every contribution under the sun, the contributions can integrate with it. The Import/Export Module System was a first stab at this. The goal was to make import and export modules work like payment, shipping, and order total modules work. If you want one that works with QT pro or reads XML, then write it.

 

Almost everything that I see here could be implemented as a module:

 

1. QT Pro data.

2. Download Controller data.

3. XML

4. A delete action (i.e. upload a list of products to delete)

5. Customized formats (each format would have to be custom coded, but...)

 

Rather than put the weight of supporting five different formats into one monolithic file, why not separate it out into about five files for the framework, another eight or so files for the base import/export methods (of which most people will only use one or two), and a potentially unlimited number of alternate methods.

 

Btw, it also included an admin system for the settings, so that people didn't have to comb through the code for them.

 

My $.02,

Matt


Always back up before making changes.

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Ok peoples, it is time to get everyone's thoughts on what is needed for easypopulate version 3.

Some may want the 'delete' function, just try to understand how the delete function works, and you will see why that should probably be s separate function, because if you set something wrong in your easypopulate file, you could lose your whole database.

Anyway, please, constructive criticism, thoughts, etc only.  This is not a question/answer on how to use easypopulate (see the title of the forum, contribution announcements???).

 

Thanks!

 

How about an initial DB check creating list of available DB files and fields,

with option to include/exclude in the download/upload.

Could ease process, and minimize risk of errors if you e.g. need to only

correct prices.

damsbo

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Hi Mibble,

 

The last suggestion re an auto search of the db with a follow up option of choosing which tables and fields to include sounds like a great idea. How far down the road with EZ Pop 3 are you.

 

I have failed miserably to get the current one to perform for me as I would like, It's the only contrib that I have failed to get working,

 

I just hate giving up, but if there is any chance of a new one that would include the above then I might just wait.

 

All the best

 

Steve

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I would love Easy Populate to include all fields in the database. This way it would be easy to synchronize my ERP system with the data on the web. Most of our customers place orders by phone or fax, and they are entered directly into our ERP. I found the "Synchronize multiple db" contribution, but that assumes that the two databases are alike, which is not the case.

I am planning to do a daily export from our ERP and then importing all data into the osCommerce database.

This is needed so the cusromers can see their orders online and more importantly, so they can ask for RMA online (using the RMA Return contrib).

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When I insert new categories I wold like EP3 to make the categories in both langueges if I use a multilingual shop.

 

---------

 

In the categories if i have:

v_categories_name_1 | v_categories_name_2 | v_categories_name_3 |

Cars | General Motors | Pontiac |

Cars | Pontiac 2 | |

 

if v_categories_name_3 field is empty put the product in v_categories_name_2

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This one is major for those on low cost hosting plans: a way to split up the generation results.

 

As Mibble said, timeouts are not an EasyPopulate issue, but a server one.

 

Some hosts limit SQL queries to a certain amount per hour/day/etc. Something I've run into before. And of course if you are downloading 25,000 products at a time, those chances increase. We already have a split upload feature, we need to add a split download one as well.

 

I suggest this:

 

Add a split download option which essentially adds a LIMIT parameter to the query for downloads with a variable set via admin (or flat files, whatever). When the limit is reached, EP lets you download the file (or write it in chunks to the /tmp dir) thus far and displays a page with a continue button. Each press will compute another $limit_value items. Thus people on these hosts can self requlate their host's limitations for this crucial contrib.

 

I was going to do this, but then I moved to a better host. :)

 

I haven't looked at the code, so I don't know if it's as simple as adding a LIMIT to the query. So, any other suggestions if that's not the case?

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Hi John

 

It seems to me that with the new implementation of attributes sets plus many people could potentially benefit from integration with EP with not too much effort as all sets and supporting info. are stored in the database.

 

Thoughts Download follows:

 

Currently I do this:

1. Adding 'All' attributes Sets to flagged EP loaded products:

For example 'I' use an EP hack to add ALL existing attributes sets to each product (that has a specific model suffix) that is updated or created using EP. This is easy using a case statement on the model number and the available ASP functions. This is all I need for 'my' purpose.

 

Suggested Development for general use:

2.1

Use EP load to add individual sets

 

To make something that is useful to all I think it would be almost as easy to add fields to the EP source file to flag adding sets. e.g. by adding a set name, such as Shirt Size Set to an ASP field creates that set; this is similar to existing attributes functionality but adds sets instead of individual attributes.

 

OR

 

2.2 Create Groups of Sets

 

In this approach ASP would be expanded to enable Groups of Sets in the db:

eg: Shirt Sets Group = Shirt Size Set, Shirt Colour Set, Shirt Gender Set etc.

 

Then EP just calls the Group add function (when it encounters a group name) to add all the relevant sets eg. Shirt Sets Group and all attributes sets for shirts are added automagically.

 

I am not sure which (if any?) is useful to most? If its not really needed then that's of interest to me too as I don't need it just now either!

Any comments/ideas/thoughts welcome.

 

regards

Chris.

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Automatic Import once uploaded

 

:thumbsup: Cron compatible import option

:thumbsup: Email confirmation of import

 

Our stock files are uploaded, pre-split, by a stock control system. It'd be great if the site were to run the import silently, so you dont need to log in to admin and run the import x number of times.

 

My attempts so far

 

I have tried to get this working using a cron task to automatically run EasyPopulate every 10 mins, but only of a file has been uploaded. This means that we upload files stock1, stock2, stock3 and DoImport. The cron task runs a script, the script will then execute

 

(for each file)

wget --output-document=- --timeout=300 --http-user=username --http-passwd=password http://www.server.com/catalog/admin/easypo...=INSERT_INTO_DB 2>&1 > /dev/null

 

only if the Doimport file exists. Doimport is then deleted, so the script doesn't run in another 10 mins. (wget allows us to 'log in' to admin)

 

Problem is,

A ) the script will run the import for stock1, stock2 etc immediately, so the server gets tied up trying to do all the imports symultaneously, the site slows to a crawl and none of the imports happen. The error log eventually says 'giving up' for each file.

B ) The user gets no feedback if imports fail. An email would be nice!

 

Anyone else looking for similar functionality?

 

MB

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I've integrated Easy Populate into my website, but I have yet to utilize it. I would love to be able to create a database in FileMaker of all my products, and then use Easy Populate to upload the files including images and everything.

 

Additionally, I would like to be able to have the ability to set Vendor Name, Price (Cost), & Item Number from Multi-Vendor Shipping and also MSRP Price, and also Specials Prices, and also Featured Products.

 

Oh and also, the ability to select products to cross-sell with other products (Xsell contribution).

 

I think that is about it for now...

 

Thanks,

 

PsiliPharm

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I'm agreeing with the Specials integration. Right now I'm having a problem with EZP shifting my specials to other products since the product IDs change when I do an upload.

 

I really like EZP and would love to have a Specials field in it so I could do it all in one place.

 

I'd be fine with uploading my whole data file if it actually deleted products that wern't on it anymore, sort or an overwrite feature. It sounds scary, but having to go through and manually delete everything is pretty tedious.

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I was just thinking that XML import as an option that allows one to set database table & field names and input values for them. If I am correct, this will allow one to customize their import capabilities.

 

Thank You,

 

PsiliPharm

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I need the ability to upload an XML feed from my wholesaler. Their feed updates stock (instock/Out) and adds new products on the fly and deletes discontinued

 

Oh how good life would be to be able to use it.

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I'd like the variable that designates the product to be the osc product number. Or so I think.... This allows us to change product descriptions without messing up links.

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Make hyphens OK

 

I upload title information and I must make sure there are no hyphens in the description field or the program will error out. I know that SQL is OK with hyphens, so I would like to see EP work with hyphens as well

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