In this post I’ll run through two ways that we improve the default Magento ImportExport module when importing products to Magento stores. The two improvements I’ll cover are: importing directly from a Google Docs spreadsheets and improving the multi-line format to make generating the import files easier.
Background to the Magento ImportExport Module
The ImportExport module itself is such a drastic improvement on the old DataFlow module it’s almost unbelievable, so let me first start by saying it’s not half bad to start with. Andreas does a brilliant job of describing the current file format, it’s in German but Google Translate plus the excellent example tables will make it quite readable. Vinai’s presentation at Magento Imagine 2011 is also required reading to understand how the new module works, and most importantly how easy it is to extend.
The two things I didn’t really like about the current functionality were the need to get a single local file to the server for processing and the multi-line format for configurable products and multi-store/site/category/image products. Here’s the changes made to improve on these.