Consolidating product information in PIM is a major step, but how to collect it from different sources (ERP, CSVs, databases) and then export it to other systems and channels (ERP, CSVs, e-commerce website, mobile app) is another challenge.

Let’s take a quick look at how the import and export connectors work by watching this short video.

Akeneo Feature: Import and Export Connectors

 

To answer the above mentioned problem statement, Akeneo has introduced the Connectors Framework. Connectors are external modules designed to interact with third party systems like e-commerce website, mobile app, ERP etc. Let's see how these connectors helps in importing and exporting the product information among different sources.

 

The main purpose of a connector is to:

  • Transform incoming data into an understandable format for Akeneo API – for an import connector
  • Transform outgoing data from Akeneo API to the desired format – for an  export connector

 

The connector also have access to other integrated services of Akeneo such as the scheduler, fields mapping, configuration, scope selection etc.

For example, you can implement a connector to import data (products, categories, attributes) from different sources (ERP or CSV files) into Akeneo, and you can implement another connector to export your product information from Akeneo to your favorite e-commerce app (Shopify, Magento, Drupal Commerce, RBS Change etc.).

 

Importing & exporting of product data is pretty convenient, especially if you want to update your catalog with external sources: vendors, ERP, etc. (Import) or if you want to disseminate your catalog to third parties: E-commerce platform, mobile application, etc (Export)

 

There are two options for the connectors to process the file to Import/Export the product information:

  • Can be executed directly from the UI Akeneo PIM (uploading/downloading file) or from a given path in the configuration of the import/export profile, enabling the Akeneo PIM to fetch/drop the file when executing the command.
  • When importing product data, Akeneo PIM extracts the data from the file and converts them to save in the PIM. When exporting the product data, Akeneo PIM extracts data from the PIM and converts it to push in a certain format to a file or directly to a third party application (eg Magento).

 

Depending on the import profile, the import may create proposals to review so that the products are not directly updated.

 

 

Here is the transcript of the video

 

Hi, Let’s see how easy it is to import products from external source such as a CSV file into Akeneo PIM using Akeneo’s native CSV connector.

 

Let’s login to Akeneo using our administrator or supervisor credentials having permissions to run import and exports.

 

Now first let us have a look at the existing listing of products by clicking on manage products quick navigation from our dashboard page.

 

We can use filters to filter products, say view only Aphrodite. We can see that we have only 4 SKUs of Aphrodite, aphroidite red, aphrodite purple, yellow and blue.

 

Now let’s move to collect, import profiles to import some more aphrodite colours.

 

Let’s filter to view CSV connector from the list of available connectors. Now select the CSV_product_connector and click on upload and import.

 

Let’s take a quick look at the prepared CSV that we will upload to insert new products. It contains all the akeneo fields as per the format supported by the connector. You may also notice that the image URL can also be mentioned to import images.You may wish to add or remove some columns based on your needs.

 

Now simply click upload and import and select the CSV file from which you wish to import product information.

 

Click Upload and Import Now. That’s it, our products are imported. View the report for success or failure messages.

 

Now lets go to products to verify the added products.

As our filter still remains to filter products having Aphrodite in their code, so we can easily view the list of newly added aphrodite products, aphrodite brown, grey, pink and green.

 

Just click on any of them to view the details of the product information added by the CSV import.

You can also view the added image. If you wish, you may edit or add more information to the existing attributes and save to update the details in PIM.

 

Export

 

Now lets take a look on how to export the products from PIM to a simple CSV using the CSV product export profile.

 

Let’s login to Akeneo using our administrator or supervisor credentials having permissions to run import and exports.

 

Now first let us have a look at the existing listing of products by clicking on manage products quick navigation from our dashboard page.

 

To export the product information, click on spread from the top navigation menu and select Export profiles. Filter to display CSV connector specific profiles only. Now, click on CSV product export and  then export now button start the export process.

 

Wait for the export to finish and view the report for its success or failure. You can also download the log of the export. Now let’s download the CSV file and have a look at it. You may notice that this time we got a zip file by name product.zip that contains the product CSV along with the files folder. The CSV contains all the attributes of the product in the standard Akeneo format along with path to the associated product images. The files folder contains the product wise images.