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Why are Product Features Not Part of Product Info Exports? Or am I missing something?

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  • Why are Product Features Not Part of Product Info Exports? Or am I missing something?

    Why is there a specific upload for Product Features instead of it being part of a regular product info upload file?

    Here's the example file:
    id prodfeaturetitle prodfeature
    ID01 Feature Title Feature description

    These headers do not show up in Products>>Export/Import>>Products:ExportData And as far as I can tell, there's no way to export the info from these fields.

    Why not?

    I wanted to use one of the fields to hold UPC codes for data feeds since we already use the extra fields for other purposes.

    In this day and age, there should be a dedicated UPC field anyway.


  • #2
    They're not part of the main product database and can't be exported thru the Export/Import tool. The only way to do it is to use the API. cbsteven created an awesome Google Sheet with instructions for interfacing with the API and accessing tables that aren't available via the admin panel.
    http://forums.3dcart.com/forum/shopp...advanced-users
    Chris
    TC Life Safety
    TC Wireless

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    • #3
      Thanks for that link tclifesafety Sadly, we're no where near skilled enough in SQL or programming to risk messing with it. What a bummer that stuff like this isn't part of 3dcart. I've never experienced an application like this (other than Amazon Seller Central) where it's so difficult to get to and modify your own data in an efficient manner.

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      • #4
        I feel your pain. The product import / export and product management in general are cumbersome. Wish that it was a flat file with options, 6 images, etc. I would love it if there was dialogue on the topic but that seems unlikely.

        BP
        Last edited by Brtp4; 03-23-2015, 11:16 AM.

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        • #5
          Honestly JustPoppin , it's not difficult to use, and just using SELECT statements isn't going to affect data on your store. It's worth a shot, since you can't get the data out otherwise.
          Chris
          TC Life Safety
          TC Wireless

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tclifesafety View Post
            Honestly JustPoppin , it's not difficult to use, and just using SELECT statements isn't going to affect data on your store.
            OK, window into my ignorance... can you please explain what you mean by that? :-)

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            • #7
              There are different kinds of SQL statements that can affect a table in a database. SELECT statements simply select data based on conditions you give it - nothing is altered.

              UPDATE statements will change existing information in a table. DELETE will delete data from a table based on conditions you include in the statement. WHERE conditions are used to narrow down the data that is returned.

              When one of your product pages is loaded, a SQL statement is triggered on the products (and other) table and returned in the HTML.

              ​The first example cbsteven gives in the spreadsheet is a statement to select customers who opted-in to the mailing list. The query looks like this:
              Code:
              SELECT email,custenabled,maillist from customers WHERE maillist=1;
              This query returns the email address, a binary value showing whether the customer opted-in to the list (custenabled returns a 0 [no] or 1 [yes]), and what mailing list they subscribed to. The WHERE clause narrows down the query to only return customers who did opt-in (WHERE maillist=1).

              To export product features, this is the query I ran in the sheet:
              Code:
              select p.id,p.name, p.manufacturer, p.mfgid,pf.ProdFeature,pf.ProdFeatureTitle FROM products p INNER JOIN prod_addfeatures pf ON (p.catalogid = pf.ProductID) ORDER BY p.id;
              That example is a little more advanced because I wanted data from two tables: products and prod_addfeatures. So I joined the two tables on a common field: catalogID. This will return the id, name, manufacturer, mfgid, productFeature and productFeature-title for any product that exists in both tables.

              w3schools has a good basic tutorial on SQL: http://www.w3schools.com/sql/default.asp

              Hope that helped and didn't further confuse :)
              Chris
              TC Life Safety
              TC Wireless

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              • #8
                It was very kind of you to provide those details. Thank you. Unfortunately, more proof of how far outside my wheelhouse this particular thing is. I'm really impressed with what you guys are able to do.

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                • #9
                  I am way behind the curve on this API stuff. are you guys using a piece of software to access API stuff? or how do this work? I am clueless, but needing to start learning as I need to do some large product additions and price/ cost maintenance as well as inventory on thousands of products weekly.

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                  • #10
                    ForcedFabllc , checkout cbsteven's post here: http://forums.3dcart.com/forum/shopp...advanced-users
                    Chris
                    TC Life Safety
                    TC Wireless

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                    • #11
                      See I am not sure I grasp the concept, maybe I have a misguided idea of what API is in my head since I have little to know computer knowledge.

                      Is API basiclly ran off spreadsheets? There is no actual software you use? I always imagined it was a program with a User interface that you used to do things. It makes a little more sense after seeing his google doc. I am totally new to how databases work on this end of things. I always had visions of software not just spreadsheets. I dread spreadsheets because I get overwhelmed and lost in the the sheer amount of stuff in front of me, but I have been trying to learn and wrap my head around the workings and functions to gain a better understanding and to start using this stuff as I know its needed to really take our store to the next level. Are there any good starting points for this sort of stuff to help get a better understanding? like online classes or what not? I was using treehouse to learn more HTML and CSS but this is more pressing then learning how to tweak the template now.

                      sorry for the off shoot, maybe ill start a thread for all those getting to my position that have very little IT background, but are growing to a point where we need to learn crash coarse on this stuff to grow more.

                      Jon

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                      • #12
                        Jon, your instincts were correct. cbsteven likely created his application in a spreadsheet because it's easily accessible to non-programmers. This isn't typical - normally you'd access an API from your own application and present the data it in a web page (or iOS/Android app) that you develop.

                        API is short for Application Programming Interface. It's basically a framework for how other applications can interact with a piece of software. If the developers of an application want other developers to be able to build onto (or connect to) their software, they will decide what they want users to be able to do and develop an API to allow them access to certain features programatically. Think of it like a dictionary - the API defines how you are allowed to interact with the data and what types of data are available.

                        In 3dCart's case, they made an API available to allow other companies to develop apps that work with their software. The newsletter integration with Constant Contact, for instance, was likely developed by Constant Contact using the 3dCart and Constant Contact API's. The ability for your store to pull in shipping rates from UPS and FedEx is possible because 3dCart is using UPS and FedEx's APIs. The AddThis social sharing functionality was developed using the Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest, etc..'s APIs. And so on.

                        Each API will be different depending on what the developers want to make available. What will be somewhat consistent is how you (as a developer) access the API. For web applications, common languages are Javascript, PHP, RubyOnRails, Python, Perl.

                        I'm by no means a strong developer, but I know enough to be dangerous. I'd suggest learning as much as you can about Javascript, then play around with different API's. Codeacademy has some really good tutorials on different API's, such as YouTube and Evernote.

                        If you want to learn more about 3dCart's API, visit https://apirest.3dcart.com/Help.

                        Hope that give you a little more insight.
                        Chris
                        TC Life Safety
                        TC Wireless

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                        • #13
                          So basically API is allowing you to pull and push data from the server using certain call or write functions , the actual user interface is Dependant on what you want to do with the data. ITs just a basic protocol of talking to the system then? So if most of your data is going to be used in database spread sheet form you might as well use that to call the data pull from the server and allow it to load into a sheet format to easily move it between excel and the site. I think i am understanding this a bit more. I read up UPS's api white papers but had no idea what i was reading, but from what I gathered it was UPS laying out the protocol and how to make an application talk to their server to communicate rate quotes. what you would need to connect, send them data wise and how to call it all back into your software or application. It now starting to make sense.
                          so in reality you could actually write software to work with 3dcart API that was more basic user friendly something like zengine that would put a graphic User interface to the data rather then just code and what not. I am so too old for this! I kind of wish i was born in the 90s and grew up around more modern computer stuff.

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                          • #14
                            You've got it Jon. Believe me, it's not an age thing either. This stuff moves so fast and changes so quickly that it's tough to keep up with at any age.
                            Chris
                            TC Life Safety
                            TC Wireless

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