We need a way to import data without wiping out all the current non-complex data in the system. For instance, if I’m importing a spreadsheet, and don’t include the qty column, the system should not wipe out the existing qty values in the system. If we wanted it to do that, we’d include the qty column and put values in there.
For an example of why this would be important, please see my bug report where I initially reported this as a bug:
When I import a csv using the new 1.5 import feature, and if I do not include qty and visibility in the csv file, they both get reset for all imported products. Qty becomes 0 for everything and visibility becomes “Catalog, Search” for everything. I am using the “Append Complex Data” import behavior.
You can test this by importing data for a product. Set the inventory to 100 and the visibility to “not visible individually” in Magento. Then, create a csv file that has a sku and a name column. After importing, the inventory will now be 0 and the visibility will be “catalog, search” even though we were appending data and those fields were not defined in the csv.
So far, these are the only fields I’ve had a problem with if they are not included in the csv. Especially for the qty field, this is critical because inventory can change rapidly and I don’t want to be uploading out of date inventory data.