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Uploading product and page databases using Excel
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Last Updated
7th of August, 2008

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If you wish to use Microsoft Excel to upload your products and/or pages database data, you have to be careful that Excel does not alter your data. Many database uploads fail because Excel inserts extra characters into your text file that the ShopSite database cannot process. These issues exist because Excel is designed for handling spreadsheets as opposed to databases; but, with the tips below, you will be able to use it without any problems.

The easiest workaround is a simple copy and paste. When you are ready to upload your data:

1. Back up your database - go to Utilities->Database->Backup then click 'Proceed' to back up your database. If something goes wrong with your database upload, restoring your site to its pre-upload state is as easy as returning to Utilities->Database->Backup and clicking 'Proceed'.

2. Select and Copy your data - Open the Excel file you will be uploading to the database. Click and select all of the cells that you will be importing to the database, then click CTRL-C to copy the data.

3. Paste data into text editor - Open a text editor such as Notepad (in MS Windows, Start->All Programs->Accessories->Notepad), then paste the data into your Notepad file. Click File->Save As in Notepad and save the data as a text file in directory where you can easily find it.

4. Upload your data - in your back office, go to Utilities->Database->Upload; select whether you are uploading Pages or Products, then click 'Upload'; click browse and select the text file you saved from Notepad; leave the 'Field Separator' and the 'Item Separator' set to the default, then click 'Proceed'.

5. If you have included the column names in the first row of your data and the column names match the column names in the ShopSite database, ShopSite will automatically recognize your columns; if it doesn't, you will need to click the link to match your columns to the corresponding columns in the ShopSite database.

6. Proceed with the upload - upload your data to the database, complete a full regeneration on your site (Utilities->Publish->Regenerate) and then check your site products or pages to make sure the upload was successful.

If you are the type of person who prefers to "do things the hard way", you could:

1. Save the Excel file in txt format.

2. Open the file in Microsoft Word.

3. Find and replace all instances of double quotes ("") with **.

4. Find and replace all single quotes (") with nothing.

5. Find and replace all your previous double asterisks (**) with single quotes (").

6. Save the file and proceed with the upload.

If you enjoy finding creative ways to simplify "the hard way of doing things," or if you are looking to justify that Visual Basic class you took back in college, you could write a Microsoft Word macro that would process these character replacements automatically for you.

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