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Article easy populate

Using Easy Populate
Easy Populate can save an osCommerce shop a tremendous amount of time and work. But setting it up correctly is not always so easy. Hopefully this article will shed some light on this problem.

Configuring the FileThe first thing to do is to make sure the file is set up correctly. The first settings that may need to be changed is the path to the temp directory. The temp directory is what Easy populate uses to store the files as it moves them around. The shop owner needs to create it in the main part of the site (non-admin side). When it is created, be sure to set the permissions of the file to 755 (777 is sometimes needed). In the admin/easypopulate.php file, find the following:

$tempdir = "/catalog/temp/";
$tempdir2 = "/catalog/temp/";
If your shop is located in a directory named catalog, then the above settings are correct. Otherwise, you will need to alter the above to make it fit your shop.

If you have Header Tags installed, you will need to enable the option to allow you to add these to your spreadsheet.

If you do not use attributes, you should set the option to prevent the attributes from being placed in the spreadsheet file. This will greatly reduce the number of columns in that file.

There are other settings in the file that should be looked at. If you are going to use Froogle, for example, then the path in the Froogle settings will need to be altered.

Once the above settings are correct, you can proceed to the spreadsheet file.

Configuring the Spreadsheet
The spreadsheet file can be created/edited with Excel, Open Office (free) and possibly a few other spreadsheet programs. The file needs to be in the tab-delimited format, unless the option to change this has been changed in the above file. Unless you have a good reason for doing so, you should not change this format. For any file you use, you have to be sure to have the product_model stated. This is what Easy Populate uses to set up everything. Without it, Easy populate is lost. Likewise, the last field in each row must end with EOREOR. This is how Easy Populate determines when the row ends. Without it, all of the data will be seen as one entry. There are several other fields that are needed and these are described in the install file that comes with the contribution.

Note that Easy Populate does not delete previous entries. It will overwrite existing items but if the new spreadhseet file does not change the existing item in the database, then that existing item will not change. In this case, if you want that item deleted, you will need to go to admin->catalog and delete the product yurself.

Easy Populate is one of the few must-have contributions. The amount of time it saves the shop owner is trememndous. And once set up, it works flawlessly.

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