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

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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

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