Datafeed Studio V3.4 Released

This is maintenance release with several bugs quashed.

Full changelog :

- fixed bug during Export process that prevented exporting to target categories that contained ampersands
- added check to diagnostics.php for presence of cURL library
- fixed bug where custom products with a merchant set would be incorrectly removed during import
- fixed bug with API product synchronisation
- export sites now respect product override values when exporting
- added new ‘In Stock’ search option to admin interface and shortcode search that limits results to ones marked as ‘in stock’
- updated TradeDoubler feed instructions to reflect changes in their new interface
- added STOCK_MSG, CATEGORY, SUBCATEGORY, IS_PREORDER and PREORDER_MSG to fields available in priceboxes
- export site generated shortcode query now respects the global ‘Min Word Length’ setting when generating the search terms
- updated list of available Amazon API categories
- spaces in click references (stores and WordPress plugin) are now automatically replaced with dashes to prevent URL problems
- fixed bug where description field value didn’t allow spaces when using shortode syntax (spaces must be entered as plus signs now)
- fixed bug where spaces were not allowed in custom fields when using shortcode syntax (spaces must be entered as plus signs now)
- added dummy ‘nologo.gif’ to be used for API merchants that don’t have an automatic logo
- fixed bug where Zone contents disappeared on New/Edit datafeed screen when error
- improved performance of import process (around 1/5 of previous time for large databases)
- added support for click reference tracking for products added via the Affiliate Window API
- updated upgrade instructions to include reference to RewriteBase for subfolder installations
- added new WordPress plugin options to automatically add values to all queries
- made stock indicator field available to pricebox templates (%STOCK_MSG%)
- made userfields accessible in priceboxes (%USERFIELD1%..%USERFIELD4%)
- updated LinkShare API URLs
- added merchant name field to the set of export site fields (%MERCHANT_NAME%)
- fixed bug when using the same products in multiple export sites

No database patches are required for this release. For upgrade instructions see the main README.txt in the root Datafeed Studio folder.

Download.

Datafeed Studio v3.3 Released

Datafeed Studio v3.3 is now available to download.

Human After All

Keep reading for more information on what’s new in this release.

Export Site Custom Fields

If you are a user of the ‘Export Site’ site type (where you can export products from your database into posts on a compatible CMS, e.g. WordPress) then you’ll be pleased to hear that you can now map product fields as custom fields on the post.

This is useful if your theme is driven by custom fields. Note that you can still use the product fields as normal inside the actual post template – nothing has changed there.

Suspend Feed Option

If you temporarily want to suspend a merchant from being imported there is now a new checkbox on the Edit Datafeed screen that allows you to do just this.

If checked all products from the merchant are removed from your database during the next full import – but the merchant still remains on your datafeed list screen so you can easily reactivate them.

Cheapest Product

For store sites, a new template variable has been added named ‘cheapest_product’ which contains information about the cheapest product from the list of matching products for the product being viewed.

This is utilised in the updated store templates to display a short sentence above the product description with a link directly to the merchant providing the cheapest price (see here for an example).

API Auto Refresh Improvements

The tool that DS provides (admin/bin/apirefresh.php) that keeps any products that have been added via network APIs in synch has been improved.

Now, if an API product fails to synch for more than 5 consecutive attempts it will be deleted from your database.

You can also now specify a maximum number of products to be synched (e.g. apirefresh.php 1000). As the tool sorts products by the date of last refresh this means you can effectively cycle through your API products doing this – and have more control in ensuring you don’t hit any API access limits for your affiliate network accounts.

Full Changelog

The full changelog is shown below :

- added support for mapping custom fields to Export Site (e.g. so you can export products to WordPress themes that are driven by custom fields)
- added option to suspend a datafeed (i.e. leave it in the list but not imported)
- fixed bug where filter type of created filter was not set as the default when viewed again
- added cheapest product information to display product template (stores)
- improved performance of auto addition of API products
- if a synchronisation refresh for an API product fails for more than 5 consecutive attempts the product is now deleted
- fixed bug on store sites with the URL of main product picture if a custom URL had been set
- added support for searching by (auto) category/subcategory
- added Amazon US and Custom to merchants listed in search screen
- fixed bug that prevented auto addition and successful refresh of Amazon US products
- in addition to the UK and US Amazon APIs you can now configure another country in the 'Amazon Custom API' tab
- added optional parameter to background apifresh.php script to limit the number of API products updated each run
- prevented searches at the store/price comparison site front-ends that consist of fewer characters than the configured minimum word length
- removed redundant menu options from Client site type
- made DISPLAY_PRICE variable available to use in export templates
- removed image references in admin site tabs CSS to prevent problems in IE
- now reports Curl error message if feed download fails
- fixed bug where Lite license would count API feeds towards the allowed amount
- updated wording for 'Sites' to be 'Sites or Clients' throughout the system
- fixed bug where free license only allowed 1 site instead of 2
- updated help with respect to multiple sites

Upgrading

As usual see the README.txt file for details on upgrading an existing installation.

Only three SQL statements added to the database patch file for this release, but as one of them adds a new column to your products table note that this statement could take longer than usual if you have a large database.

Link to download.

Datafeed Studio V3.2 Released

ap123small.jpg

V3.2 of Datafeed Studio is now available to download.

This version has several bug fixes (see below for full details) and also introduces a new ‘Auto Products’ feature, initially for the Amazon and Affiliate Window networks.

Note that this release also requires you to register any sites that access your Datafeed Studio installation (e.g. API clients, including sites that use the WordPress plugin) and you will need to register your license from the admin page to agree with the (now spelled out) terms of use.

As clients to your installation must now be registered as sites (from the admin home page) Datafeed Studio can now filter out API access to only trusted clients for increased security.

Auto Products

The new ‘Auto Products’ feature (found in Config->Auto Products) allows you to automatically do a lookup against the supported networks every time Datafeed Studio does a product search and add matching products from their systems into your database, for possible inclusion into the search results presented to the user.

(This replaces the existing ‘Auto Amazon’ feature found in Store Sites and also means that the ‘title’ attribute in a WordPress search is no longer used for the keywords in an Amazon lookup).

The ‘Auto Products’ feature should mean a wider range of merchants are automatically displayed in your price comparison results – and the relevance accuracy should be greatly improved over the old ‘Auto Amazon’ feature).

Changelog

- increased allowed sites on demo license to 2
- API search screen now displays current number of API products already in database
- added more detail to the apirefresh.log
- added new 'client' site type for restricting API access to designated IP addresses
- added license registration feature
- set max_results for WordPress plugin searchbox result to 50
- fixed country code of automatically generated Affiliate Window merchants
- added 'Auto Products' feature to automatically include matching products from Amazon and Affiliate Window APIs
- added max_results option for Affiliate Window network
- added fix for prices when doing an Apparel category search using the Amazon API
- included resize.js in coolblue pricebox theme to prevent IE/FF JS warnings
- fixed position of 'deep_link' in 'LinkShare CSV Pipe' parser
- added status of PHP system() function to diagnostics.php script
- added more documentation to the API client example
- added gunzip decompression to the default 'LinkShare CSV Pipe' parser (post download script)
- removed redundant post/page creation options from Price Compare site menu
- corrected typo in invalid license message
- fixed bug where an overridden deep link would not redirect to the correct location
- now outputs 404 error code (and monitor email) if the 'Unknown Site' error message is generated
- fixed error in the image URL of the pricebox category/category_flat themes
- made PC Page product links to be "nofollow" in the default template
- added new parser field, 'Clickref Function', for situations where the 'Extra Tracking Value' option isn't suitable for adding a click reference (e.g. WebGains network).
- added an index to the sub_category_id field of the products table to improve performance when displaying subcategories

Upgrading

As usual see the README.txt file for details on upgrading an existing installation.

Note that there’s a few indexes added to the database in the patch file this time around so if you have a large product database this may take longer than usual.

V3.1 Released – Geolocation, WordPress searching and more

Datafeed Studio V3.1 - Geolocation

This new release sees the addition of Geolocation, WordPress searching and several bug fixes.

Geolocation Support

Datafeed Studio now allows you to serve up different price comparison listing results based on the country of your site visitor.

To enable this each feed can now be associated with a country (zone) – and only feeds that match the visitors country will be included in the results.

Note that Geolocation is disabled by default but can be useful if you have a strong mix of traffic from different countries and you are signed up to international affiliate networks.

Geolocation can be enabled from the ‘Geolocation’ tab of the main Datafeed Studio configuration page where you can select which countries your feeds support (if a visitor comes from an unsupported country they will be served results from your default country setting in the ‘General Settings’ tab).

You will also find a new ‘Countries’ tab in the admin panel that allows you to alter the currency symbol displayed as well as the ability to specify a default ‘No Products’ message for a country (which can include HTML) to override the default message.

Countries can also be assigned to a ‘Zone’ – e.g. you could group all Euro currency based countries into a single named Zone if assigning against a feed against a single country is too granular for your needs.

WordPress Searching

A popular feature request has been the ability to add searching to the WordPress plugin, i.e. to display price boxes automatically generated from user queries.

With V3.1 this is now possible with the addition of two new shortcodes.

To do this in a page or post requires just two lines in your content.

Firstly :

[ds_search]

will display the search form on your site within your page.

Then somewhere within the same page (or post) place the following line to control the placement of the price comparison result listing.

[ds_search_result]

That’s all there is to it :-)

Export Site fixes

This release sees a number of fixes with the ‘Export Site’ functionality that allows you to export products into other systems (like WordPress or Joomla) as individual posts/pages.

There’s also a new Export Site option where you can choose to enable or disable updating products that have already been exported.

Monitor Alerts

Previously you could receive an email if a store displayed no matching price compare results for a product.

This feature has now been extended to the WordPress plugin – and you can also now nominate a minimum and maximum threshold for the email, e.g. if the maximum is set to 50 then any price listings that contain more products than that will result in an email to you.

Upgrade Notes – Important!

As usual see the main README.txt file for upgrading notes.

Note that this time around there’s a fair bit of SQL (mostly populating the new country data) – and there’s an important bit at line 333 of the patch.sql file which sets the default country association of existing feeds to be ‘GBR’ :

alter table datafeeds add column country_code varchar(3) default ‘GBR’;

US affiliates will probably want to change the ‘GBR’ to ‘USA’ – if you are based in another country use the appropriate ISO 3-digit country code for your location.

Also, after upgrading, be sure to go to the Config tab and set your ‘Default Country’ and double-check your Amazon API credentials are correct as this release has split the Amazon UK and USA APIs into two separate configuration screens.

Download

V3.1 is available from here.

Datafeed Studio V3 Released

Datafeed Studio V3 is out now and ready for download. Existing customers should note that a V2 license is not compatible – see end of post for more details!

Price Boxes

DS V3 sees big changes around the way price comparison listings (now named ‘Price Boxes’) work, both under the covers and the way they are displayed.

From V3 you can finally edit the style of Price Boxes using a GUI editor in the admin site – no more hacking the WordPress plugin or store template!

What’s more – the Price Box style can be shared between the plugin and stores. The styles can be found in the ‘Price Boxes’ admin tab. From here you can Preview existing boxes and edit / create new ones as shown below.

pricebox_editor.jpg

The default Price Box has also undergone some changes. Now subsequent prices from the same merchant are hidden by default – and clicking the link will dynamically include them in the result (you can disable this behaviour by opting for the ‘flat’ Price Box theme instead).

pricebox_default.jpg

As an example over how much you can change the appearance of Price Boxes – this is another supplied style, named ‘category’.

pricebox_category.jpg

Again – there is a flat variant of this style if you prefer to include all prices for a merchant.

Selection of which Price Box to use is in the ‘General Settings’ of each store – and a new menu appears in the updated WordPress plugin where you can pick which one to use as a default.

Users of the WordPress plugin who use the shortcode syntax can override this on a per query basis if desired, i.e.

[ds query='+elephant' pricebox=coolblue]

to opt for the ‘coolblue’ pricebox style for this particular query.

Talking of the WordPress plugin, this release also sees client-side caching added to the plugin. With this enabled the plugin will cache Price Box results locally until the designated expiry time elapses (previously the plugin would contact your DS server each time). This results in much less bandwidth being used between your WP install and your DS server and is highly recommended.

Export Sites

V3 also sees the introduction of a new site type – named an Export site. This is a special type of site in that it allows you to export DS product categories into a 3rd party system like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla (basically anything that supports the MetaWeblog API system) as individual posts.

export_site.jpg

This is ideal for those of you that want to quickly build a store site outside of the native DS store builder. All you have to do is define the mappings between DS categories and the target system categories and away you go (you can also edit the template used to create the pages).

export_site_result.jpg

DS remembers which products have already been created, so if you run a subsequent import for the same Export site only new products will be added.

New Networks

V3 also sees support added for Google Affiliate Network (GAN), LinkShare and SilverTap feeds. There is also an API Search client for LinkShare.

gan.png

linkshare.gif

silvertap.jpeg

DS Free, Lite and Pro

From V3 there are three versions of Datafeed Studio available to purchase which vary in the number of feeds, sites and support level on offer.

See the order page for more details.

Upgrading and Licenses (Important)

If you are an existing V2 (or earlier) Datafeed Studio customer then you will need a new license BEFORE to upgrading to DS V3.

if you purchased V2 in 2010 then you are entitled to a FREE upgrade to DS V3 Pro. If you ordered prior to 2010 then there is a charge of £49 for a new license, should you choose to upgrade.

To obtain a new license send your existing ‘license.txt’ file to support along with the email address the license is registered against to start arranging the payment/delivery of a new one.

Once you have your new license the new version of DS can be installed in the usual manner (see the README.txt for full details).

Datafeed Studio V2.8.1 Released – User Field Support

Datafeed Studio V2.8.1

This is a smaller incremental release after the big API changes of V2.8.

The main new feature is the addition of User Fields. Previously when mapping a feeds columns to the Datafeed Studio database format you were restricted to the fixed set of common fields, e.g. name, price, description, etc. with no scope for supporting special fields that might not be part of the common set.

This all changes with 2.8.1 which sees the introduction of four user fields, which you can map to any column in your feed. You can then access these in your templates (using the field names userfield1..userfield4), e.g. if you wanted to use them in a DS store site, you could add:

${p/userfield1}

within your templates, or if modifying the WordPress plugin output, you could access it in traditional PHP way like so :

{$product['userfield1']}

within the rendering section of the plugin.

More Amazon Results - previously Amazon API searches only returned the first page of products from an API call (typically around 10 items). You can now configure a new ‘Max Results’ option in the Amazon API configuration page to have a larger result set returned.

One Per Merchant Option – a few customers have enquired about the option of limiting the number of items returned per merchant in a price compare listing to just one. With 2.8.1 you can do this, either by enabling the ‘One Per Merchant Option’ when doing a search via the admin site, or when using the shortcode syntax, using the new ‘one_per_merchant_ extra field, e.g. [ds query='+banana' | one_per_merchant=on].

Merchant Description in Output – since the first release DS has add a merchant description field associated with a feed but it’s never been utilised in the output. Now this field is part of the product meaning you can access it if you wish from your templates (field name is merchant_description). Some ideas for this are adding merchant delivery information, or special offers.

Note that the DS standard templates don’t include this information – but if you want to customise yours (or even the WordPress plugin template) then this field is now available to you.

Optional Automatic Categories – Don’t like automatic categories and sick of seeing them cluttering up the DS admin site? Good news! From 2.8.1 there’s a new ‘Disable Automatic Categories’ option in the ‘Import Settings’ configuration screen that will delete created automatic categories from the next time you import.

Faster – a new database index should result in faster category displays when using DS store sites (thanks to David @ Affiliate Stores for the tip!).

Import Process more Robust – the import process will now skip feed files which it can’t open, instead of terminating the whole process. Skipped feeds will have their status set to ‘FAILED – NO FILE FOUND’ on the datafeed list screen.

Random Category Change – the ‘random product’ category has now been replaced with a ‘Latest Products’ category as the random option didn’t scale well with large databases.

Home Page Product Total – the number of products displayed on the home page now respects the “Items Per Page” configuration option (except if it is a manual category).

New PHP API function – the PHP API library (in extra/apiclient) that you can use to embed DS from within your existing PHP web sites has a new function, ‘dsapic_get_products()’ that only returns the products (with no rendering). This can be useful for developers if they want to do custom rendering or filtering before displaying products.

As usual, please read the upgrade instructions in the main README.TXT file before upgrading, and note, that unlike the previous release, this version does require some database changes to be applied, again, see the readme file for more detail on the best way of doing this.

You can download 2.8.1 here.

 

Datafeed Studio V2.8 Released with Web Service API and User Functions

Muno guitar loves Datafeed Studio

Apart from a couple of minor bug fixes, the main thrust of this 2.8 release is the introduction of a Web Service (REST) API that allows you to access your products remotely.

Product API

The first client of the new API is the Datafeed Studio WordPress plugin.

The upshot is that you can now access your Datafeed Studio products from any WordPress installation, even if it isn’t on the same physical host as your server!

There’s also example code in the ‘extra/apiclient’ folder which will show you how you can, with just a couple of lines of PHP code, include a price compare box on any PHP enabled web page that connects to your main Datafeed Studio site to get the product details.

This is great for including on one-page quick-hitters, e.g. this Punch Bags site, when you don’t really want to go through the hassle of installing WordPress, or if you just prefer writing your own SEO optimised HTML pages but still want to have some dynamic product content.

Please note that the API must be enabled from the Config->Datafeed Studio API screen for the new WordPress plugin / API clients to work.

In future releases the API will be expanded to offer more services so watch this space ;-)

User Functions

Another technical new feature in this release is the ability to create and access user defined PHP functions in the front-end store templates by creating a file in the new “user” folder named functions.inc.

Any PHP functions defined in this file will be available to use in the store templates.

For example, if you had the function :

function boo() {
	echo("Boo!");
}

In your front-end store template you could invoke this by doing :

<p tal:content="php:boo()"></p>

Note that PHP functions can also be used in the “tal:condition” attribute so you could write your own conditional functions.

ChangeLog

The full changelog is as follows :

  • import process now does a “slug” call on the mykey for the rare cases where a mykey has non-standard characters (i.e. spaces)
  • set CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER to 0 in CJ API to fix problems on some hosts if invalid/no certificate found
  • support for user PHP functions. Any PHP functions defined in the file ‘user/functions.inc’ will be available to use in front-end templates
  • made site $LOGOTEXT setting capable more flexible with accepting HTML/quotes
  • added Help link for manual feeds
  • removed redundant view log/import links on datafeed list screen for webservice merchants
  • no longer defaults to first parser in list when creating a feed
  • new config option to delete (automatic) feed files after import to save disk space
  • cache folder created as part of installation process
  • new standlone PHP API client library for accessing DS products from any PHP web page (see extra/apiclient folder for example usage)
  • dynamic category type option now automatically set when creating dynamic categories
  • support for remote content units via new built-in REST API server
  • set connection timeout of 60 seconds when trying to downlod a feed
  • cached file names are now based on a hashing algorithm
  • CJ API fix to allow multiple products from the same merchant to be added at once

This release also contains the beta code for the forthcoming voucher code integration.

If you would like to test this drop me a line.

Upgrading – Important!

Existing users please see the main README.txt for general upgrade instructions (note that there are no database changes required for this release).

Also, if you are upgrading be aware that the the following lines must must be added to your .htaccess file :

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule api/v1/(.*)$ api/v1/index.php [L]

immediately after the “RewriteBase /” line.

Download

V2.8 is available from here.

V2.7.1 Released – Custom Fields, Sexy Searching and Flexible Imports

brobee.jpg

Datafeed Studio V2.7.1 is now ready to download.

New in this release is support for custom fields, more flexibility around the import process – and some sexy new options for the WordPress plugin (and searching in general).

Custom Fields

Custom fields allow you to associate ‘key value’ pairs against the products in your database, e.g. you might want to create a custom field named ‘Colour’ and then manually tag certain products with this field and the desired value.

You can then create custom searches to only include products that match one or more of these custom field values (along with the usual search criteria).

There’s no limit to the number of custom fields you can create in the system, and custom fields can be combined so if you had a custom field of ‘Colour’ and ‘Size’ you could perform a search for blue widgets that weigh 10kg.

New Price Compare Syntax

The next major feature is vastly more powerful searching for the WordPress plugin – which has also been incorporated into the main admin site search, PHP get_products() API call and the ‘Price Compare this Product’ option when you edit a product.

With the quick search syntax you can combine multiple search options in just one line of text, e.g.

+xbox +360 -elite | min_price=50 max_price=100 exclude_merchants=1,2,3

Would search your product database for products that contain the words “xbox” and “360″ but would omit entries that contain the word “elite”. It would also only include products that cost between 50-100 and wouldn’t include products from merchants 1,2 or 3.

The new separator bar (pipe character ‘|’) after the search term indicates that extra options follow. You can omit the bar and extra options if you don’t need them for the search you want to perform.

Extra options have the syntax name=value (note that spaces aren’t allowed). Separate multiple extra options with a space.

Glossary of Available Extra Options

cf
Indicates a custom field, e.g. if you have created a custom field in your database named “colour”, the option cf=colour:red would include products that have this custom field with the value of ‘red’. Note the special custom field syntax of “cf=field name:field value”. Multiple “cf” options can be included in one search, e.g. “+notebook | cf=colour:black cf=hdsize:60GB”
description
Only return products that contain the value (anywhere) in their description field, e.g. description=’bass guitar’
exclude_merchants
Comma separated list of datafeed IDs to exclude from the search results, e.g. exclude_merchants=1,2,3. Handy for excluding Argos :-p
include_custom
If set to ‘on’, custom products will also be included in the search results, e.g. include_custom=on
max_price
Maximum price of products to include, e.g. max_price=100
max_results
Maximum number of results to return, e.g. max_results=25
min_price
Minimum price of products to include, e.g. min_price=50
model_number
Only return products that contain this value (anywhere) in their model_number field, e.g. model_number=S900
mykey_query
Only return the product with this key, e.g. “mykey_query=123_12345678″
only_merchants
Comma separated list of datafeed IDs to restrict the search to, e.g. only_merchants=59,92
order_direction
Direction of sorted results, one of “asc” or “desc” depending on preferred order, e.g. order_direction=desc.
order_field
Field which to sort results by, e.g. order_field=p.display_price to sort by price, or order_field=d.merchant_name to sort by the name of the merchant.

Import Process changes

You can now import more than one feed at a time on the admin interface (previously the only options were a single feed or ‘Import ALL’) by selecting the checkbox next to each feed you want to import.

The backend import process (admin/bin/import.php) which you can use to automate importing has also been extended. You can now specify a comma-separated list of feed IDs to import, e.h.

$ php import.php 1,2,3

or even specify a range of merchants, e.g.

$ php import.php a-f

will only import feeds for merchants that begin with the letters A through to F.

(The existing import options of “all” or a single feed ID are still there.)

Other Changes

There’s a new config option named ‘Include Product Name on Click References?’, which if enabled, will automatically append the product name to click references (previously only the product ID (key) was passed to the merchant).

This will help you read your affiliate network statistics and see what products are doing the business.

There’s also a few small non-critical bug fixes

Upgrading

See the README.txt file for details on upgrading from an earlier version. Note that if you are upgrading from V2.7.0 then only a single database change (see patch.sql) is needed for this release so you might just prefer executing that in phpMyAdmin (or a similar tool) instead of running the patch.php command to save time.

To download the latest version click here.

ps. if any users are interested in potentially Beta trialling voucher code integration in the New Year give me a shout. Merry Xmas :-p

V2.7.0 Released – API Days

Datafeed Studio V2.7.0

V2.7.0 is now available to download.

This version has some major new features over the previous version, including :

  • API Support for Affiliate Window (Shop Window V3) and Commission Junction.
  • a GUI for the main configuration file
  • Support for Amazon used prices
  • Simple spam filtering (‘human test’) for user reviews
  • now uses libcurl instead of wget to download feeds – should make Datafeed Studio compatible with more hosts

For the full details see the CHANGELOG.txt file inside the distribution zip.

The biggest change is the new “API Search” tab on the admin interface, this replaces the old “Amazon Search” but acts in a similar fashion.

Instead of being restricted to just Amazon, you can now choose to search the Affiliate Window (Shop Window V3) or CJ networks for products to add to your database without having to download a feed file for the merchant.

In theory, you could now use Datafeed Studio without having to download a single feed file (I might have to rethink the name :-p ).

However, in practise this feature is most likely to be used to augment rather than replace your database, the situations I find it good for are when you are promoting a single product, which is available on lesser known merchants but you don’t really want to go to the trouble of downloading the merchant’s entire feed.

With the API you can just select what products you want from a particular merchant and add them to your own Datafeed Studio database. From that point on Datafeed Studio will treat it like it’s a “normal” product – and even keep any price changes (or other product information) in synch should it change.

This is done by the new “apirefresh.php” script, which replaces the now deprecated “amazon.php” script present in previous releases – but acts in the same way, except does it’s business cross-network.

If you are upgrading see the notes in the README.txt file for the usual upgrade instructions.

If you have any feedback on any of the new features, especially the API implementation, or if you have an API that you want supported, drop me a line.

Download v2.7.0.

Datafeed Studio V2.6 Released

automatic slugs

Yep – V2.6 is out the door and ready for download :-)

This is a major release if you use the “affiliate store” system of Datafeed Studio as the application now finally supports subcategories and automatic SEO friendly URLs of categories and products.

What took me so long? Well, personally, I always try to go that extra mile when I create affiliate store sites and manually create categories (including custom products), ensuring unique content…and supposedly a higher ranking on the search engines so I’ve never really put it as a high priority as I handcraft the slugs/permalinks myself.

Of course, not everyone has as much time as me so I’ve reluctantly caved in :-p

From this release on Datafeed Studio generates a SEO friendly URL for your product automatically (e.g. blue-widget.html) during the import process.

A new configuration option in the Site Editor named ‘Use Automatic Slugs‘ (enabled by default) allows you to toggle display of automatically generated slugs on and off. For new stores, you should leave it set, but you probably want to leave it off for old stores which already have pages indexed in the search engines.

Categories have also undergone a major makeover in this release. As well as the old manual and dynamic categories, this release introduces a third “auto” type. As their name suggests, these are created automatically from the categories provided by the merchants in their feeds.

The powerful thing about these categories is that you can add one or more matches to a particular category, e.g. you might have a category created automatically with the name ‘Wii’, you can then add additional ‘matches’ for terms such as ‘Wii Hardware’ or ‘Wii Consoles’ and any products matching these terms in their category description will be grouped into the main ‘Wii’ category.

That’s enough good news. The bad news is that these are such big changes (I nearly made this a V3 release, given the nature of the changes) meaning that if you have developed any custom themes these will need updating slightly in order to work properly.

Basically all this entails is prefixing URLs with the variable ${site/url}. Check out the layout.html and macros.html for any store theme and you should be able to work out the changes. If not, contact me and I’ll assist further. (If you have just updated the CSS then you don’t have to worry about this).

Apart from the slug and category changes, there’s a few minor bug fixes as usual, and little changes here and there, like the ability to nominate the home page category to display random products and additional permission checks during the install process. See the CHANGELOG.txt file in the distribution for more info.

To download click here. If you are upgrading please read the specific instructions in the README.TXT file.

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