I am building a consumer site in Joomla 1.5. I am using the SOBI2 plugin to deliver a paid-subscription directory of manufacturers and service providers.
But I have several large excel spreadsheets containing product spec information including manufacturer and product names and names of corresponding product photographs. Each spreadsheet contains hundreds of products within a single product category. I am looking for a means of easily importing this data and displaying it in an indexed and searchable catalog. I must say that I am not going to sell products from within this catalog so I need no payment structure at all. But I would still like users to view products individually and in comparison mode with other similar products. I want the products to be displayed in templates that are aligned with the rest of the site. If this was integrated into joomla itself that would be best.
If the product listings could be automatically linked to subscribing manufacturers or retailers within my SOBI2 directory that would be great. If that link could be displayed within the product information screen that would be great too.