User Story: Import Inventory into Magento Automatically
Magento is one of the many e-commerce platforms available out there but isn’t for the faint of heart. While super powerful, it requires the right team in place to be properly configured for the not only the customer, but also the development team supporting it. Anthony, the founder of Project Assistant, has a team of web developers and marketing experts who love to find new ways to automate aspects of their company’s internal processes and in turn, implement these processes for their client’s use when needed.
The web development team needed a way to reduce time spent importing available product quantity into Go To Lights, a designer lighting fixture store that uses Magento to help generate leads, display the product catalog and facilitate online transactions and interact with customers. American Lighting, one of the premier brands on Go To Lights, offered to send the developers a spreadsheet containing available quantities for their products. The team knew there was a way to import inventory into Magento automatically by having American Lighting add the spreadsheet to a server and then programmatically import the data into the store on a recurring basis.
They were already familiar with the Bulk Import/Export Tool by Commerce Extensions, an extension allows them to manage all aspects of product data but the bulk tool required more information than just product quantities and required the manual process of placing a spreadsheet on a server and then using the backend of Magento to then import/export product data. What they needed was a trimmed down version of the script that only required the SKU and quantity of a product. Anthony has had a stellar experience when working with the developer of Commerce Extensions in the past so he reached out to their development team and had them provide the exact script he needed.
To create an extra level of security for Go To Lights, a separate server was built to act as a buffer between American Lighting, who were sending us inventory data, and the application server. Below is a diagram of how the system is built.
Commerce Extensions will provide the necessary PHP files you will need to place on your server. Along with the PHP file, you’ll receive a script for Advanced Data Profiles in Magento. Within this script are the FTP credentials needed to access the FTP server as well as other variables such as the filename and location. The FTP server was created using a small 512MB VPS on Project Assistant hosting and access was given to American Lighting with instructions on filename, CSV settings and more. If you have a similar problem with your inventory and would like assistance in setting this up for your Magento installation, please let us know.