Data transfers are often underrated. Not so many merchants see the benefits at first sight, and the true value of the processes stays clear mostly to those who strive to expand business prospects. Import and export help to migrate, and organize data, to synchronize not related systems and enrich backend operations, arrange workflows of all levels of complexity. Also, this tool allows you to update, replace, and delete product data that is useful for large stores with thousands of goods in the catalog.
Let’s go a little explicit here and see what one can get with the right use of data exchanges within Magento 2.
What are the import and export options with the native functionality
If you want to add new products to the store or enlarge the customer base, the native Magento 2 import and export work just fine for the goal. Both features are installed by default and, thus, easily accessible. The familiar Magento 2 interface makes the configuration intuitive. The functionality supports the following entity types:
- products and product images;
- advanced pricing (tier prices);
- customer data and customer addresses;
- stock sources.
Data transfers via the native Magento 2 tool demand only the usage of CSV (and its versions compressed in ZIP, solely for import). The file format (‘comma-separated value’) is ideal for composing tables with store data, and it can be processed by many applications. The table must have a specific structure based on a transferred entity and its attribute codes. See the details in the official guide.
The import file size can’t exceed 2MB by default. However, the bar can be lifted by specifying a new size in the php.ini file. All the data modifications must be done before the CSV file uploading, otherwise, the altered file must be re-uploaded. Once you add the file into the system, it undergoes validation. If the data structures compare the requirements, the import will follow the set-up behavior.
The native import and export functionality is comprehensible due to the limited number of settings involved. It is beneficial when you need basic data extraction or implementation. In case you look for more flexible solutions, you can take a look at third-party modules.
How to enhance data operations with FireBear Improved Import and Export
FireBear Improved Import and Export is a multifunctional solution that makes data transfers boost business growth opportunities. The extension focuses on both in-store data management and cross-platform data interactions. Fully compatible with the native Magento 2 import and export tool, it provides users with additional features and gives the ability to select between manual import and export routine or automatic data retrieval.
Merchants get the ability to go beyond with Improved Import and Export in:
- Automatic database updates;
- Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2;
- Database synchronization with an e-commerce system;
- Magento 2 and ERP or CRM integration;
- Accounting software and PIM implementation;
- Magento 2 and dropshipping platform integration.
Despite the increased number of implemented features, you can configure all the import and export steps on a single page.
The most important action is specifying the entity type for a transfer. Improved Import and Export supports a variety of entities related to the Open Source, Commerce and Cloud editions. See them in the table below:
- Customers and Customer Addresses
- Advanced Pricing (tier prices)
- Cart Price Rules
- URL Rewrites
- CMS Blocks and CMS Pages
- Search Terms and Search Synonyms
- Stock Sources and Stock Source Quantity
- Company Roles
- Quotes and Negotiable Quotes
- Requisition Lists
- Shared Catalogs
- Gift Cards
- Page Hierarchy
The import file type is not limited to a CSV format anymore, and you are free to choose the one you are most comfortable with. With the FireBear extension, you can run transfers where data file sizes go up to 600MB.
The selection of import sources adds more flexibility to import and export. You don’t have to restrict your options with a single way of data retrieval. Take a look at the table below with all the possible combinations for transfers of any specifics:
- REST and SOAP API
- FTP and SFTP
- Google Sheets
- File Upload
- ZIP and TAR
With the built-in mapping functionality, the mistakes in the table content are not so crucial. You can make necessary modifications right in the job, and they will be applied automatically to whole columns.
The last few words about automation in the extension. To enable repetitive updates without admin involvement, schedule cron. Thus, you will be able to refresh your database regularly, having configured the job just once.
And that’s it. Got a tingling sensation of interest after reading our ways of improving a business? Feel free to drop by the Improved Import and Export product page for more.