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From the Support Team: Using Magento’s Import/Export Profile

This post is part of a series by the Magento Enterprise Edition subscription support team covering tips, tricks and hints to some of the most common, and uncommon, issues as submitted by support customers.

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Although it is fairly simple to do, many Magento users offer encounter difficulties when attempting to use the import functionality built in to Magento.  We see a fair number of inquiries about this here at the Magento Enterprise Support Desk, so we’ve decided to write a little tutorial to help you better understand and use Magento’s Import Profile.

First, let’s take a look at how to create an import file, which will include all the data we want to bring into Magento.  To get the correct fields and values, we recommend exporting a product, i.e. a simple product or configurable product, through the Admin.  This is done through ‘System -> Import/Export -> Profiles’

In the out-of-the-box Magento configuration, there are a couple of default “Export profiles” that you may use depending on which data you would like to export.  This depends on the data which you wish to export, and there are options for customers, products, stock, etc.  Running the profile will open a new window or tab which will show the progress of the export profile, as you can see in the example below:

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The export file is saved in the /var/export folder in your running Magento instance.  The screenshot below shows a sample of the export file created when running the “Export All Products” profile, filtering only the simple products:

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Now that you have a template to work with, edit the file and add the relevant information which you would like to import.

We now come to the most important part of the process which is often missed when saving the import file and causes many of the issues which are referred to us.

It is very important to note that the import file must be in UTF-8 encoding to ensure that the file can be read and processed by Magento. Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Apple Numbers and GNU Iconv, amongst many other applications have the capabilities of encoding a file in this format.

In addition to that, the PHP memory limit must be set with a value that meets the Magento System Requirements.

Once you have completed updating the file and checked that the memory limit has met the system requirements, you may now run the import profile in the Admin back office under ‘System -> Import/Export -> Profiles’.

In this tutorial, we are going to use “Import All Products”.  First, we must upload the file and click “Save and Continue Editing” so that the file will be uploaded into folder /var/import in the server.  After saving, select the uploaded file from the dropdown list and run the profile as we see below:

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The screenshot below shows that we have successfully imported our data into Magento:

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