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Creating variations

This best practice teaches you how to create items and variations using ElasticSync.

To benefit from this best practice, you should be familiar the basic functionality of ElasticSync. Check the Importing data with ElasticSync page of the manual for general information about ElasticSync.

1. Requirements

To import items and variations using ElasticSync as described here, the following data must be saved in the system:

  • Attributes

  • Attribute values

  • Categories

  • Sales prices

2. Info

Go to Setup » Settings » ElasticSync to find the button Delete cache. Alternatively, you can find this button in any of the syncs you created.

This button allows you to reset the ElasticSync cache in order to reimport a file that does not contain any changes.

Also helpful is the Test run button.

EN elasticsync bp variations testrun
Figure 1. Test run button

This imports the first 10 rows of a file without cache. This allows you to check if all values have been assigned correctly before you start syncing all rows.

Check the manual to find out which values are valid for these fields.

Go to Data » Log to access the error messages related to the sync.

3. Example data for creating variations

Download the example CSV file and the JSON file that contains the sync.

3.1. Example file

The following sample file has been used for the sync.

3.1.1. Example sync

You can download the complete sync as a zipped JSON file here.

3.2. General

The data that is saved globally at the item level, e.g. the name, the description, etc. should be saved in every row that contains variations of an item. Alternatively, you can create a separate mapping with specific filters in which you need to specify the description only in the row of the main variation.

Data that is variation based must be entered into the relevant rows of the variations.

When creating the variations, it is important that the structure of the attributes and values are saved in the file matches that of the mapping.

3.3. Variation numbers

In this example, we will create a main variation with 4 variations. For mapping the variations, we use the main variation number.

Because the sync imports data row by row, the main variation is at the top of the file.

There, we manually save the variation number in the field of the same name. The field Main variation number remains empty.

This variation number is now written into the field Main variation number of the variations in order to map them to the main variation. Otherwise, the variations would be imported as separate main variations.

You can also enter the variation numbers of the child variations. If you leave the field empty, the system generates the numbers automatically.

The file will look like this:

EN elasticsync bp variations number
Figure 2. Entering the numbers for main variation and variations
Variation numbers must be unique!

Both the number of the main variation and those of the child variations must be unique. The import fails if numbers are assigned more than once.

3.4. Attributes

In our example, we selected attribute selection combination in the format attribute:value;attribute:value:

EN elasticsync bp variations attributes
Figure 3. Creating variations using the attribute selection combination

The first row of the main variation has not been assigned a combination so it is not linked to any attributes.

Main variation without attributes

If you work with variation items, we recommend that you do not assign any attributes to the main variation. This provides you with more flexibility when you create variations. If you assign an attribute to the main variation, you can only create variations with the same attributes.

3.5. Images

In our sync, we will import the image URLs in one multi-URL mapping. For that, the field Multi URL must be selected in the mapping. The format of the URL is saved as follows: image1url;positionImage1,image2url;positionImage2

You can link several categories in one mapping by specifying them separated by commas. You can either specify category names or category IDs. Also, make sure to specify the full category path for category names. The levels are separated by a semicolon.

EN elasticsync bp variations categories
Figure 4. Correct spelling of separators and paths are essential for the import.
Mapping and file

Make sure that the values in the file match the mapping. This is because you can select different values in the mapping. For example, for the field Default category, you can select either the ID or the name. As such, the CSV file must contain either the ID or the name. You cannot use the ID in the mapping but the name in the file.

4. Synchronisation

For the synchronisation, it is important that a variation-specific synchronisation field is used. A good choice is the variation number or the variation ID.

You need to specify the action Import new data, update existing.

5. Mapping

In the mapping, we map the fields in the CSV file with the fields in plentymarkets.

EN elasticsync bp variations mapping new
Figure 5. You need to create a mapping

We recommend that you only map those fields that you actually want to import. Unnecessary fields can result in errors and should best be deactivated.

There are some mandatory fields for creating items with variations. These fields must be mapped for the sync to work. Those mandatory fields are:

  • Default category

  • Main variation number

  • Variation number

  • If you want to import stock, the following values must be part of the mapping: Warehouse, Quantity, Storage location

The sync is now ready to go and you can start it.

Test run

We recommend that you do a test run before the first sync. This allows you to check if the sync functions as expected. If the sync does not perform as expected, you can now correct it before it is run for real.

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