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  • CSVI 4.0+
  • VirtueMart 2.0.2
  • Joomla 2.5+
  • PHP 5.3+

Creating the template

First we will create an import template in which we can store all our preference. Let's call the import page:

  1. Go to Components
  2. Go to CSVI / CSVI Pro
  3. Click on Process

Now you are on the process page, this is where the import and export takes place.

Set import

It's time to tell CSVI what you like to do, under the Manual import/export set the following options:

  • Import
  • VirtueMart
  • Product Import

finally click on Go.

You have now told CSVI that you want to do a product import for VirtueMart and CSVI loads the settings for this specific import.

Click on Save as new to save your template and give your template a name. There is a separate tutorial that explains how to manage your templates.

The template has now been created.

Setting the file options

The next step is to tell CSVI something about the file you want to import.

Setting the file options

  • Auto detect delimiters
    If your CSV file is using both the field delimiter and the text enclosure. You can set this to Yes otherwise it must be set to No and you can specify your own delimiters.
    Set delimiters
  • I'm Mac
    This is only needed if you are using a Mac computer and your file might be using Mac line-endings as opposed to Windows or Linux line-endings.
  • Use headers/nodes as configuration
    CSVI can read the fields you want to import from 2 locations:
    - Import file
    - Template fields
    If you set this to Yes, the first line from your import file will be used to read the fieldnames you want to import. If you set this to No, CSVI will use the fields you have specified on the fields tab. Important: the field names in your file must be valid CSVI fieldnames. Set this to No now for this tutorial.
  • Skip first line
    This can be used if you let CSVI take the fields from the template and not from the file and your file has your own column headers.
  • Overwrite existing data
    Overwrite existing data will overwrite all fields set in the import file for each product. If you set this to No, any existing product will be skipped if it exists.
  • Ignore non-existing items
    If set to Yes, ignore non-existing items will not create any new products.
  • Skip default value
    Default values set on the fields tab will not be used when set to Yes.
  • Collect debug information
    This is a very important option. Setting this to Yes will tell CSVI to create a detailed log of all steps taken during import. This is a very useful report to find any potential problems. Whenever you post a question on the forum, make sure you post this file also. It is the only way to help you out. The How to collect debug information article explains this in further detail.

Now that the file options are set, CSVI knows how to read your file. Click on Save to save your changes in your template and make sure they don't get lost.

Adding the fields

In this tutorial we are going to import the following fields:

  • product_sku
  • product_name
  • category_path
  • product_desc

To know what these fields represent have a look at the Visual Available Fields category.

Do not use fields that end with _id, for example virtuemart_product_id/virtuemart_category_id.

Adding the fields

Let's tell CSVI which fields you want to import.

  1. Under the Field name column, select the first field in your file, product_sku
  2. The other options we leave empty as they are fine
  3. Click on the + symbol
  4. Repeat step 1 - 3 for all the other fields

When you are done you have 4 fields here. To make sure we don't lose anything, click on Save again to save your template.

Fine-tuning of the options

The last step is to fine-tune our import settings.

Fine-tuning import options

  • Language
    In VirtueMart 2.0.2 it is necessary to choose the language for which you want to import your product descriptions. Before you can do this, make sure you have set in VirtueMart which languages you want VirtueMart to support. You can do this in the VirtueMart configuration.
  • Category separator
    The default value is to separate categories and sub-categories with a /. In case you are using something else, you can change that here.
  • Append categories
    If you want to add more categories to existing products but not delete the already existing categories set this option to Yes.
  • Import based on
    By default CSVI updates products based on the Product SKU. It is not recommended to change this unless you are sure what you are doing. You can check the tooltip for more information.
  • Unpublish products before import
    If you are doing a complete new product import and don't want old products to remain available. You can set this option to Yes and CSVI will unpublish all your products before it starts importing new products.
  • Use ICEcat data
    If you have an ICEcat account and would like to get product information from there, set this option to Yes. Make sure you have fulfilled all other ICEcat requirements too.

This completes setting up the template, click on Save 1 more time and now your template is ready for import.

Creating the import file

With the template ready it is necessary to create our import file. You can create your import in almost any kind of spreadsheet or text editor. There are a few things to look out for though. The file must:

  • be UTF-8 encoded
  • have correct delimiters

Let's create our CSV file. We are going to import a hammer with the product SKU H01 and we have categorized it as Hand Tool used to be Indoors.

"H01","Hammer","Hand Tool/Indoors","A great hammer to let out all your frustration","Y"

Save these 2 lines in a file or download the file by clicking here.

Import time

With our template configured and our file created, we are ready to import.

Import source

On the source option we will load the file from our computer. Click on Browse and select your import file. The last thing that remains is to click on the Process button in the top right hand corner.

The result

When the import is done you will see a screen like this:

Import result

Here it says Updated but that can also be Added if the product doesn't exist yet. There you go, you have succesfully done a VirtueMart Product Import.

What's next?

The next thing you can do is, experiment. There are a lot of more features in CSVI you can use for example:


Further reading

Other good sources of information are:

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