Automatic or semi-automatic import
The Import Wizard allows you to import information completely automatically or semi-automatically, depending on how your database is set up and how much control you want over the import.
Either way you should remember that the more products you place into a department, the longer it will take for a customer to access this department on the Internet.

Fully automatic import

If your database includes categories for the products in it or has entries which can be used as categories, then you can import products completely automatically. In this mode the Wizard will import the products and automatically create the departments required, based on categories in your database. If you later re-import information, it will locate these departments and overwrite updated information in the products in these departments, regardless of their location. This is great for updating prices, for example. So it may well be worthwhile to create categories for your products in your main database.

A department will be created for each category. However: Each category must have a unique name for this to work. Otherwise departments will be overwriting each other. The wizard can also create sub-departments. In the Import Wizard version, The uniqueness of products are determined by the "Item Number" field of the ShopFactory. You need to map the column in the database your importing from. If any item has an empty "Item Number", Import wizard will assign a value to such item such as 'genid_xx' where xx is an integer value, and the assigned values for two of such items are distinguished from each other.

Note of caution:
Let us say you are selling computers and you have hardware for PCs and Apple. In your existing database you have categories which define a product as PC or Apple, and sub categories which state if it is software or hardware.

If you now select sub category as category for the import (after all it is the closest category describing the product), then the two departments will be joined in ShopFactory, as Import Wizard can not tell them apart since both are called Hardware). It would need a category listing such as PC/ hardware and Apple/hardware to tell them apart — or semi manual import where you have to adjust this in ShopFactory after the import.

Semi Automatic import

This method allows you to completely control, which products go into which departments of your shop.

  • Start by launching ShopFactory.
  • Now create the department structure for your new shop (even better if you have done this on paper first). This means you create all the departments in your shop, which will contain the products.
  • Where necessary create sub-departments. This will make it easy for the customer to navigate to the product he is searching for.
  • Save the shop file.
  • Close ShopFactory.

When you now use the import wizard, you will import the product information directly into the departments. So in the Wizard you select the department, then you locate the products in your existing database, and click on the + button, to add the selected Products automatically to the selected department.

Updating information imported earlier

If you have imported product information from an existing database, you may want to at times update some of the information in ShopFactory, for example by importing only updated prices.

This works of course best in fully automatic import mode, but can also be done in semi automatic mode.

Simply open the Wizard, select the configuration file created for the first import, and go to the mapping tool.

Map the product name and if required the category, the price and any other fields which need updating. If you do not want information to be re-imported, for example because you have made changes in ShopFactory which you do not want to have overwritten, simply deselect these fields by setting the drop down menu to display the empty field.

Then continue with the import, as with a new import.