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Easy Populate Questions - Modifying Existing Install

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I had previously paid an employee to set up my website and he chose to use osCommerce as the shopping cart. He set it up and modified for me for a few years. I've moved the business and he is no longer with me so I'm trying to get up to speed on doing this myself. I don't have any osC experience and very little HTML. I've figured out most of what I need but have a couple more questions.


1. v_status column : I can download the FULL catalog tab-delimited text file of the existing products (Easy Populate) , convert it Excel and can see the columns including one called v_status which for all items has an entry of ACTIVE. The question is, do I need to leave products that are now obsolete in the Excel file and somehow label them "INACTIVE" or can I just delete the row for that product in which case I would wonder why the column exists. Will deleting the row delete them from the osC cart ?


2. colors / sizes : Each row (product) contains many many columns including colors/sizes/etc that may not be available for that product. When I add new products do I need to copy/paste all those columns ? Do I need to include those columns at all in the Excel file since this is an existing cart ?


3. delete second language : My employee spoke Spanish (I don't really speak it well) so he included Spanish as a second language and I see Spanish entries for everything. The question is can I just use the Admin feature to remove the Spanish language ? Should I then download the tab-delimited file and start from there ?


4. categories / subcategories : I produce 2-4 different catalogs (print) per year and my employee had set up each (seasonal) catalog as a category at the root level, as I click down into the seasonal catalog I get another list of categories for the different products. Does this seem like a good way to do it ? It seems that in the Excel (EP) file some products are listed more than once (multiple rows same product) as they are sold in mulitiple seasonal catalogs. The only difference is the categories_name_1 (or 2, etc.). Should I continue this practice.


5. product database : So it looks to me like in order to add products I do the following : (please confirm)

a. add new lines in the Excel (EP) file that reference JPEG photos and contain code numbers, prices, categories (seasonal and product type)

b. generate the JPEG photos and upload to the images directory

c. upload the Excel (EP) file - not sure how yet but I assume it's easy


6. product attributes : For each product it looks to me like I need to use the Admin function one at a time to add the specific attributes (size, color) that apply to that product. Is that right ? Is there a way to specify these applicable attributes in the Excel (EP) file ? It appears that each product has columns representing all possible attributes in the existing EP file.


Thank you so much in advance - I'm getting close ... What a great open source community this osC has spawned!



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