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Reinhard Taborsky

Magento Import. Why .csv?


One of the things you cannot avoid in eCommerce business is working with .csv files. Virtually all shopping platforms, including Magento, support this format. No other way to store data can be considered a remotely equal alternative. So, whenever you get to import products to Magento, you are obliged to work with this format. However, a lot of store owners have constant issues with Magento import because of .csv data files. So, why is it still csv that we apply in every import procedure and what are the pros and cons of its usage?

What is it?

.csv or Comma-separated value format allows to store all the tabular data in plain-text form. A file looks like a sequence of characters and consists of fields, separated by a delimiter like TAB or comma. Whenever you want to export data from your store, import new products to Magento, update database with the new info from the supplier, you'll have to use a csv file as a medium and storage.

What's so good in this?

The popularity of the format is quite understandable.They say, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This statement is absolutely true when it comes to .csv. It has a simple structure and is rather easy to deal with. .csv works with Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel, scripting languages such as PHP and databases such as mySQL can all use text files. It’s also quite easy to convert .csv to .xml with the help of any available converter.

Another important issue is compatibility. It's one of the most painful problems for programmers to get the data in a compatible format. Almost all the shopping carts and modules for them are csv-oriented. Thanks to this you are not restricted to any particular platforms anymore. If you want to change your platform to a different one, it’s easy to export your data from your current store to a CSV and import to any store you want.

Why are there so many problems?

However, there would be no reason to write this if everything was so easy and faultless. The use of .csv is the cause of the endless repetition of the same errors that waste loads of developers’ time (bad escaping, failing to handle null fields, etc.)

One of the most common problems in .csv is missing or incorrect values in the fields. Bad formatting of a csv file can cause failure of import or errors in product display. The problem occurs with CSV files more often than MS Excel.

Another common problem during Magento .csv import is duplicated products. If a product that you’re importing already exists in your catalog it will be duplicated. To avoid this issue, be sure that you’re either importing to an empty catalog or that you aren’t re-importing products that you already have online.

One more issue comes up when your csv file for Magento import doesn’t correspond to Magento csv. Therefore you need to pay much attention to the fields and their order while working on magento csv import.

Still, even taking into consideration all these difficulties in use, csv is not likely to be replaced by some other format any time soon. Thus it is better to find the right solutions for the issues mentioned to make import process less painful and more accurate.

What’s the way out?

It is better to avoid csv import errors than to fix them. With this aim Magento offers technical support and import/export modules. However, even advanced software can not guarantee accurate data import. Modules are difficult for installation and adjustment to a specific store configurations. That is why, an automated online service is a beneficial alternative. File2Cart allows smooth and accurate Magento product import from csv without data loss or duplication. It provides customization to meet specific store requirements and can be used properly even by non-technical users.

Wise merchants should not be bothered by certain .csv difficulties. You will find more benefits than drawbacks in using .csv to store data. Make sure your file is properly organized and updated. File2Cart will take care of the rest, so that you could develop your Magento store successfully. Register an account right now!!!

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Cart2Cart  Perfect service, profesional support. Cart2Cart
Date Written: 06 December 2011
Reinhard Taborsky
Cart2Cart  I imported products with your one-time import plan. It was quite alright, for now the store functions fluently and all products are imported correctly. I consider using your scheduled import option, hope it works well ...  Cart2Cart
Date Written: 01 June 2012
Silvia Fox