Magento, Dataflow and CSV Uploads.

Feb 25, 2014

CSV imports can be one of the most confusing aspect of Magento for the user, here is a quick tutorial on how to master the Magento CSV upload process.
1. Always use ‘System’ – ‘Import/Export’ – ‘Dataflow Profiles’ (‘Import’ and ‘Export’ are not required), Dataflow Profiles does have bugs, there is no documentation and there is a lot of misinformation on the web however once mastered creating and maintaining your product portfolio is easy.

2. Be aware that the single Dataflow unique identifer is the ‘sku’, any magento field or attribute can be updated independently with a CSV containing only two colums ‘sku’ and the field or attribute required.

3. Magento’s default ‘Import All Products’ can be used for all imports, the fields and attributes that are changed are purely controlled by the columns on your CSV.

4. CSV’s can be created in Microsoft Excel and manipulated as a .xls then saved as a ‘CSV (comma delimited) *.csv’ prior to being imported in to Magento, click Yes when you receive the below dialogue when saving.

5. Before Creating your own CSV templates do an export using System, Import/Export, Dataflow Profiles, Export all stock and use the data contained within that spreadsheet as your template, not all columns will be needed for the import.

6. When importing products use two CSV’s – one for the product fields and attributes and one for the product images (If you are considering adding related products and cross sell items a third spreadsheet should be used).

7. The product CSV should look like this (obviously, reference your Export from step 5 to change the text before use and as mentioned above save the file as a .csv prior to import)

Download (XLSX, 10KB)

There are many ‘gotchas’ involved in putting together the product spreadsheet but the worst of them can be avoided by using the format outlined in the attached magento_dataflow_product_sample.xlsx. Any additional ‘attributes can be added to the the end of the spreadsheet with the name of the attribute as the column title, I’ll speak about attributes in more detail later.

8. The Image CSV should look like this (obviously, change the text before use and as mentioned above save the file as a .csv prior to import)

Download (XLSX, 9KB)

9. Its is good to give your images a name that will allow it to beĀ  associated with the product for instance ‘sku1_1.jpg sku1_2.jpg sku2_1.jpg etc’

10. To speed up the creation of the image CSV it is useful to use a piece of software that allows you to make a .txt file from the file names of your image folder, there are many applications that can do this (google – ‘Making txt file from file names’), it can also be done using Command Prompt. I use ‘Karen’s Director Printer’ available here

11.Your Product Images should be uploaded to /Media/Import/

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