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uRapidflow Process: how to build it

In my first post for the InventCommerce blog I will talk you through the urapidflow feature and extension which is incredibly useful for importing/exporting products with multiple attributes in bulk. Let me walk you through it…


So as already mentioned the uRapidflow is a very important feature and extension for wholesale or retailers to import/export products with multiple attributes. Perhaps you need to import in bulk or maybe to update products in bulk using just skus; uRapidflow helps to reduce manual updating for categories, attributes and products.

In fact the extension, and its different versions, provides several features that fall outside of the scope of this discussion. It is a comprehensive, well written data handler that completely replaces and far extends the standard magento dataflow module, not only in being feature rich, but also in speed. Dataflow averages about 1 row per second, whereas Rapidflow is capable of consuming between 100 - 500 rows per second. This is one of the major uses of the extension. Consider the difference in time required to import 100 000 SKU's. The difference is vast.

Here is an easy to follow implementation process for this feature:

First you will need to have ionCube loader and Zip PHP installed; if the website you are working on is hosted somewhere else there is a good chance that these are not already installed. If they are not installed you will get an error message during the uRapidflow installation process which I have received myself leading to me mentioning it at this pointing the process. If you receive this error message just install these programs:

Once installed follow the steps below to implement and use uRapidflow:

1) Log into the Magento Admin and Disable the Magento Cache

   a. Flush the Magento Cache and Cache Storage

   b. If you have APC cache enabled as Magento backend cache refresh this as well.

2) Download and install free Unirgy package manager Magento         extension: http://download.unirgy.com/Unirgy_Installer-latest.zip

   a. Upload the installer files via FTP to the corresponding path in Magento

   b. Log into the Magento Admin and Flush the Magento Cache and Cache Storage

   c. Go to System > Tools > Unirgy Installer

   d. Click on "Add Licenses" tab.

3)  If you wish to install purchased extensions automatically:

   a. go to  System > Configuration > Advanced > Simple Upgrades and configure local FTP.

   b. if your web service user does not have file write permissions go to the "Manage Modules" tab. If you choose to install purchased extensions:

      >MANUALLY:  Click on each "Hover/Click" link for every extension, download and install.      

      >AUTOMATICALLY:   Select all extensions, and choose Upgrade/Reinstall action.

c. Clear the cache and re-login to Magento admin.

NOTE:-Now that is all installed I will explain how to actually use of uRapidflow. First of all we have to set up a profile which will later be used to perform the operations; either the import or export of categories, products or attributes and also to add, edit or delete.

4) To setup uRapidflow profiles

   a. Go to Rapidflow profile manager

<p"> b. Click add profile> fill the fields and click save and continue. <p"> Dry Run = Yes

No data will actually be imported, but the import file will be validated and errors will be logged.

   >If stock quantity is 0, mark product as Out of Stock = Yes

> Delete old image = Yes

>Action on missing image file = WARNING and skip image field update

  If Yes, will attempt to import image files from directory specified in System > Configuration > RapidFlow > Default Dirs > Images Dir.

  If the configuration is relative, imported file location will be used, i.e. by default var/urapidflow/import/images.

NOTE: -The Products data type can import only images that are associated with product attributes, like image, small_image, and thumbnail. To import gallery images, use Products Extra data type profile.

       Does the images attribute contain http or https URL?

       >If no - Save raw URL in image product attributes. It is template developer's responsibility to make it work on frontend.

       >f yes - Attempt to download the images into Magento's media folder during import.

NOTE: - Image file names are Case Sensitive (for example: SHIRT.JPG is different than SHIRT.jpg). So if you are importing images make sure ALL image extensions are lowercase for consistency.

This should always be enabled. It will create Colour, Size, Brand etc attribute values on the fly.

>f Yes, create dropdown options for attributes that do not have yet this option. For example, if the column (attribute) is ‘Colour’ and new value is ‘Blue’ and it doesn't exist yet for this attribute, it will be automatically created. It will be case insensitive and trim white spaces.

The following settings should be left alone unless there is a unique need for them.

When setting Default Values for Import Columns, if ALL products are going to have the same value for a field it is easier to define in the Import Profile than to add those fields to the Import CSV File.

Common fields that you can use are:

   1. Status = Enabled

   2. Attribute Set = Default (only if you have 1 Attribute Set)

   3. Tax Class = Taxable Goods (only if ALL items are taxable)

   4. Visibility = Catalog, Search (only if there are NO Configurable or Grouped Products....I.E. Simple Products Only)

   5. Websites = list of websites the product is valid for

 This is NOT necessary if there is only one website

 

e. Automatic Reindex after Import

  Choose the Indexes that you want to have Rebuilt automatically after the import is complete. Common Ones when importing new items are:

   1. Catalog Search Index

   2. Product Flat Data

 

f. Setup "Create New Products Only" Profile

g. Setup "Update Qty and Price" Profile

 

h. Re-index Product Prices and Stock Status

i.Setup uRapidflow Pro Import of Configurable Product Associations, Grouped Product Associations, Product Category Associations, etc. Give the Profile Title a memorable name

o. Ex: Import Categories and Groups

 

 

Setting up profiles with the different aspects done here, now we will move on to run this profile. It is easy task to do because need to be careful while creating profiles as lots of settings are there which are kind of conditions to run profile as per requirement.The following steps will show you the process of Importing Products into Magento using uRapidflow.

1. Login to Magento Admin and click on System -> RapidFlow

2. Click on already created profiles, ex: Import Products

3. Now click on Save and Run

It will start process and will show progress as showed in the image below:

4. Click on the Profile Status tab to see the results of the last Import

 

5. Click on Export Excel Report to download an excel file that will identify all Warnings and Errors with the Import Process

In this example there are 0 errors and 3,802 warnings. These particular warnings are letting you know that there was no image to import for a particular product.

6. If there is a 2nd Rapidflow Profile (ex: Import Grids) repeat the same steps as above. This second profile will import Complex product data such as:

   >Configurable Product Associations

   >Grouped Product Associations

   >Category Product Associations

   >Bundle Product Associations

   >And much more depending on your particular setup

 

So that is it, everything you need to work with uRapiflow. It is important however to mention that Magento do have their own extension for the bulk import/export of products or categories; the Magento Mass Import. This extension is open source. I have included some of its features below:

   >Import new products

   >Update existing products

   >User tips between create and update modes:

   >Import downloadable products

   >Import Images

   >Update stock

   >Handle end of life products

   >Handle new products after the initial import

However I have talked you through the uRapidflow importer as I believe that it is much faster than any other import technology. As well as b eing much easier to use and understand. I am definitely in favour of this extension! I hope this post has been of interest, enjoy using uRap idflow!

Thanks, Bhavika.