Magento has always lacked in it’s arsenal of import/export tools. Rare is the project these days that only requires an import of only simple products. If your client wants to have a large amount of configurable products – you are hosed. Get ready for hours upon hours of manual work.
Fret no more! Unirgy has had their uRapidFlow extension out for a while now, and I finally got around to actually using it. I wish I would have actually had my hands on it sooner, because it could have saved me so much time! I am honestly blown away at how robust and rock-solid this extension is, and I’m excited to show you some of the features that I have used so far. Let’s get started:
uRapidFlow is a high-speed import/export tool for Magento that can do almost anything you’d hope an import could do, and more. For a full list of features, check out the uRapidFlow site, and make sure to check out the Pro features on the “Addons” tab. You can buy the base uRapidFlow currently for $610, and the addon (uRapidFlow Pro) for an additional $670. For this review, I am using both. Do not let the price tag scare you away. It is easily worth every penny, and I hope to show you why.
With this extension, you can create as many import/export profiles as you’d like, as you may have many different types of import or export needs. When installed, you’ll have a new menu option under the System menu, and a nice grid display of all your profiles.
Something great that I learned about these profiles is that, should you need another separate profile that is similar, but has a couple minor differences, you don’t need to completely re-create a new profile (especially if you spent a bunch of time configuring all of the export columns and orders for an export profile). There is a tab on the left of ever profile, when it edit view, that has a json output of the configuration of that profile. Simply copy the json from the profile you want to copy, create a new profile, and paste in the json. You’ll then have an exact copy of that profile that you can easily modify.
The first thing we needed to use uRapidFlow was for categories. We had a client that required us to create thousands of categories. With uRapidFlow, importing categories is easy. When you create a new profile, you can select to make it a category profile. uRapidFlow allows you to import or export most if not all category attributes. For those projects that require a vast number of categories, this is a life saver! Below is a screenshot to give you an example of all the possible data options available for categories:
You can also use uRapidFlow to assign products to specific categories (with the “Fixed Row Format”, which I will discuss briefly later on), as well as set the sort order, just with a couple additions:
// Adding Products to Categories CCP,Golf/Balls/Pinnacle,sku123,20 CCP,Golf/Balls/Pinnacle,sku456,25 // Removing Products from Categories -CCP,Golf/Balls/Pinnacle,sku123
The next thing we tackled was products. The client we were working with had about 3100 products. They were all simple products (we have yet to test uRapidFlow with configurable, bundled, etc. types of products, but I know those are all doable). First thing to note is the speed. On a slow local Magento installation, the import only took 31 seconds for 3100 products, with images, and approximately 30 custom product attributes.
This particular client had a lot of dropdown and multiselect attributes. The risk of Magento’s built-in import with these types of attributes is if there is a misspelling or attributes in the spreadsheet that weren’t already populated in Magento, the values will not be imported. The awesome thing about uRapidFlow is that you can enable it to automatically populate any missing values. So, essentially, you can just create the attributes in Magento, and forget about populating the values. Let the import do it! (You can also have categories created during product import too by enabling that option.)
You can also associate products to categories. When importing products, you can add a column with the header “category.name”. No more need to figure out what the category ids are! Simply follow a format like this: “Category1>Subcategory1; Category1>Subcategory2”, and your products will be automatically associated to the categories. To make this even better: if the categories do not exist, it will actually auto-create them for you, and associate the product with the new category.
If you are wondering whether or not the data will import well or not, you can simply enable the “Dry Run” option. It will then process your entire CSV and let you know how many errors and warnings you had.
Not only that though – the error reporting is amazing. Magento’s built-in import tool will tell you how many errors you had, but it will not tell you which lines they were on or what the problem was. uRapidFlow (on dry run or on an actual import) will track, in detail, all of the errors with the import. You can export the reports as well, in two different formats. You can get a plain text export which will show you line-by-line which rows were successful, and which rows had errors. More amazing than that, you can export an Excel XML document which actually ouputs all of your CSV data with highlighted cells. By color code, it will tell you where errors and warnings are, which fields it did not import, and which fields it added a new attribute option value. It’s so well done you get a sense of awe when you open up the file. It gives you the confidence that you won’t have to troubleshoot a huge CSV file to figure out where the issues are.
Fixed Row Format
I won’t get into it in detail now, but beyond how awesome uRapidFlow is with importing and exporting products and categories, there still is so much more that this can do. For a lot more information on this, I encourage you to check it out on Unirgy’s wiki post on Fixed Row Format. Briefly, this allows you to create, update, delete, or rename numerous other data such as EAV attributes, attribute sets, product custom options, related products, product up sells, downloadable product data, and tier pricing, just to name a few. Here is a screenshot from the wiki article of all of the possibilities:
Even with the seemingly high price tag, this extension is worth it, and then some. There is so much it can do, and to cover it all, it would take a huge article. I hope to write another review on other features soon.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt excitement when using a Magento module before, but I feel it a lot when using uRapidFlow. Instead of feeling like it’s a good module, but you still wish it could to this or that – this module delivers everything you want, and it adds a bunch of extra goodies all over the place.
If this article helped you, please mention my review when you place your order for uRapidFlow!