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.

 

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