Here’s one example:
It handles every kind of product import beautifully except images.
It should not be that hard to program Magento’s import system to handle multi-valued fields for importing things like related products, multiple categories, multi-valued attributes (e.g. an item with two colors), etc. It’s just simple string parsing. Handling image update vs. add vs. delete is only slightly more complex, and that hasn’t been done either.
In this newest version, you can import multiple spelled-out categories, apparently, but in a really silly and clunky way.
1.) You have to list each additional category on its own line beneath the main line for the item.
2.) It won’t create a new category if the specified category does not exist.
And it should not take an hour to import 1,000 products. I know that FINALLY in this latest version Magento is waking up to the fact that direct MySQL queries are at least 100x faster than using whatever labyrinthine object-oriented PHP methods they were using before. That’s a great first step. I just don’t understand why it wasn’t taken somewhere around version 0.1 and perfected by 1.0. How can you put out an ecommerce “solution” that requires everyone who uses to it spend hundreds of hours (and dollars) wrangling with it just to get a consistent set of steps for data import? What good are order management improvements or “The Find” feeds if there are no products to find!?
Anyway, I dream of a day when I can churn out a comma-delimited, UTF-8 encoded spreadsheet containing 5,000 lines for Magento, with related items, multiple categories, multi-valued attributes, image updates and new images all mixed in and the whole thing runs to completion on 5 minutes. That would be great. Maybe by version 3 or 4 we will get that.
(Alternatively, U RapidFlow by Unirgy claims to do all that right now, but it doesn’t look like he’s updated for version 1.5. http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/Unirgy/extension/3047/urapidflow
Also, this has to be the longest thread in all the magento forums, “The Quest For an Efficient Product Import Script” and yet magento has given the import function LAST priority: http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/201210/P1260/)