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EasyPopulate

What is EasyPopulate

EasyPopulate 2.76i is a very powerful tool for uploading or updating large quantities of data about your products. (It does not have the functionality to look at anything outside of the products tables.)

  • All the data is imported and exported through Tab-Delimited Text Files which can be easily edited using a spreadsheet. (Try the free Open Office software if you do not have MS Office)
  • You will need to remember to either preserve the formatting of the download when saving or remember to Save As a Tab-Delimited file.

You MUST have Product Model numbers allocated to your products for EasyPopulate to work. By default, this is limited to 12 characters - this has been doubled in later osCMax-specific versions.

There is a lot of information about how EasyPopulate works within the php file itself catalog/admin/easypopulate.php - so if you are stuck it is best to open this in wordpad and have a quick read through.

EasyPopulate Basics

Do not use Special Characters in your EasyPopulate.

  • product codes containing backslashes (/) or forward slashes (\) will cause problems.
  • using ' or in names may also cause problems ie. men's t-shirt

Worked Example

By far and away the easiest way to use EasyPopulate is to manually upload a couple of products to your database using the catalog tool and then simply Export EP or Froogle Products File using the Complete setting and have a look through the data in a spreadsheet.

Step by Step

  • First thing to do is BACKUP! You are going to editing/adding a lot of data to your -database which carries a high risk of errors.

You must BACKUP! before going any further.

Download your current data

  • Use the Export EP or Froogle Products File function to download a Complete record of your current database. If you have a large database it is better to use the filter by: function to limit the number of products by catalog folder, manufacturers or status.

 Screenshot of EasyPopulate











  • Click Build File
  • The query will run and your browser will download the .csv file.
  • Open this in MS Excel or OpenOffice
  • You will now see quite a lot of data in your spreadsheet (this can be initially quite daunting but if you take it slowly all will be come clear!)


  • The contents of the rows should be fairly self explanatory when you read through the contents. However, if you want more information about what the column headers mean click here
  • In order to edit data simply change it in the cell and save the document - remember to preserve the existing format as a .csv file.
  • To create a new record copy the entire last row of data and paste into the next spare row - then simply edit the contents to suit.
  • You may need to do a bit of trial and error to get comfortable with this.

Save your file

Ensure that you maintain the existing file structure. When uploading the file must be a .csv file.

Upload your file

  • Before you upload please double check that you have BACKED UP! It will take you 15 seconds to restore you database but many hours to rebuild from scratch. You have been warned!

  • Use the Upload and Import EP File
  • Click Choose File and browse to your file
  • Select the upload type from the drop down (Normal, Add New Only, Update Only)
  • Click Insert into db

Finished!

If you are successful then you should get a report on the screen detailing all the records that have been updated!, deleted!, or New!. Which should look a bit like this …

Adding Extra Fields

The extra fields functionality only works with the products & products_description tables

  • Open the catalog/admin/easypopulate.php file
  • Search for the following code

$custom_fields[TABLE_PRODUCTS] = array(); // this line is used if you have no custom fields to import/export
$custom_fields[TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION] = array(); // this line is used if you have no custom fields to import/export

  • Read the text around this section titled Define Custom Fields for your products database
  • If you wish to add an extra field then they will need to be in the following format:

$custom_fields[TABLE_PRODUCTS] = array( 'products_upc' => 'UPC', 'products_restock_quantity' => 'Restock' );
$custom_fields[TABLE_PRODUCTS_DESCRIPTION] = array( 'products_short_description' => 'short', 'products_viewed' => 'Viewed' );

  • Save the file and upload to your server

Splitting the Upload

EasyPopulate has the functionality to Split the file for you when you are uploading large volumes of data. If this does not work for you then I would suggest that you work with smaller numbers of products. Perhaps, download a sub-category, update/add to it, then re-upload.

Limitations with uploading large quantities of data

  • When sending data (or receiving) to the server you need to be aware that the server has a limit to the amount of time a query can take to execute. This is to prevent very long queries or those stuck in loops from crashing the whole server.
  • As a result of this uploading large numbers of records through EasyPopulate must be done by splitting the upload into smaller sets.

Not all servers are the same - experiment with how many yours can cope with. Some people have reported that they have managed to upload 1000s of line in one file, others max out at 500 - it depends on the volume of information. To be 100% sure of an upload with long descriptions - 300 is about the max.

  • You can also upload the .csv file to the temp/ directory on your server and then use “Import from Temp Dir” which should prevent errors caused by sending the data from your desktop pc.
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v2.5/easypopulate.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/30 04:34 (external edit)
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