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Alpha testing of the Store import tool from CS-Cart 2.2.x, 3.0.x to 4.0.x. We need your help. Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
  • imac
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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:27 PM #1

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce that the Store import tool for CS-Cart is soon entering to the alpha testing stage.

In order to give the tool some proper testing, we need 3 to 5 live stores to try the import on.

Of course, we will not test the import tool on any production stores.

Instead, we ask you to assist us by letting us deploy and test your store locally. We will install it on our servers (closed for the general public) and upgrade it to version 4.0.x using the Store import tool. This will give us extremely valuable information and help us release the final version of the tool sooner.

If you are interested in helping us test the CS-Cart Store import tool, please follow these simple steps:

- Back up your database
- Archive the whole CS-Cart directory, together with the DB backup
- Send us a link to the archive in a Help Desk ticket. (Please do not upload or attach the file to the ticket; just provide a download link to the archive.)
- After we confirm that the archive is downloaded, you can remove it from the public access

We assure you that we will take all the necessary security precautions to keep your data safe. We will not disclose or use any sensitive information from your database. Also, all the e-mail addresses in the DB will be changed to avoid accidental messages being sent to the actual customers and admins.

Currently, we need the following CS-Cart editions and versions:
- Ultimate: 3.0.1-3.0.6
- Professional: 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 3.0.1-3.0.6
- Multi-Vendor: 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 3.0.1-3.0.6

By letting us test the Store import tool on your store now, you help the whole CS-Cart community.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Ilya Makarov,
CS-Cart Architect Team
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  • StellarBytes
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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:02 PM #2

Done, Ticket ID: #100930016
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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:24 AM #3

What are you using to archive?
Regards,
Jim

 
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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:30 AM #4

Got it archived and just created ticket #100930194.
Regards,
Jim

 

Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:20 PM #5

Ticket ID: #100930721
John Carroll
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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:57 PM #6

Can you use 2.2 version

 
  • imac
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Posted 09 August 2013 - 06:47 AM #7

Can you use 2.2 version


The Store Import tool works only with v2.2.4 & v2.2.5 of 2.2.x branch.
3.0.x branch (3.0.1 - 3.0.6) is supported comletly.
Ilya Makarov,
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  • tbirnseth
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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:55 PM #8

Imac,
I think this is a great opportunity for cs-cart to demonstrate that they really do understand merchant needs and to describe WHY what a merchant expects may not be reasonable.

I STRONGLY suggest that you do a specific guide for import from various versions and what will and will not be imported. If something won't be imported you can describe why so people understand. But you can't just say things like "Some settings may not be imported". Also, when you speak of addons are you referring only to cs-cart provided addons or are you referring to 3rd party addons as well.

Personally I'd rather you NOT import my addon settings and/or any data associated with them for V4. Given that there is zero compatibility with any V2/3 addon with V4, it seems pointless to try and move them forward considering the addon may not even be supported in V4.

The Store Import tool works only with v2.2.4 & v2.2.5.

You're not going to support store import from V3 versions? Wow! Sure glad I didn't move. Maybe shouldn't move to V4 either then.... Just demonstrating the logic...

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:06 PM #9

ID: #100932581

 
  • StellarBytes
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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:29 PM #10

You're not going to support store import from V3 versions? Wow! Sure glad I didn't move. Maybe shouldn't move to V4 either then.... Just demonstrating the logic...

Agreed with everything else you said there, it does seem stupid that stores I upgraded from V2 to V3 have extra database columns and tables for addons which either are not available for V3.

In my correspondence with CS, the Store Import tool only works with 2.2.4 and 2.2.5 from V2 and 3.0.1-3.0.6 from V3 releases. Still no response as to whether it is best practise to upgrade V2.2.4/5 stores to V3.0.X then to 4, or if the upgrade routine will be the same either way - no doubt the "settings" which won't be carried over will include important data which really shouldn't be lost (eg. product reviews as per v2>v3 upgrade).
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  • tbirnseth
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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:47 PM #11

For a store import tool to be useful, one should be able to choose what's imported. As I've observed, here's the process most merchants would go through to move their store from a prior version to a newer version.
  • Create a store from scratch of the new version.
  • Use demo products to get general look/feel for the presentation they want to create.
  • Adjust admin settings to their preferences
  • Run some special controller that will clear out the demo data (categories, products, reviews, pages, etc.)
  • Use an import tool to bring in their products, categories, orders, customers, etc. WITHOUT CHANGING SETTINGS (or at least optionally changing settings).
  • Play around some more to get things behaving/running the way they want.
  • Once final, close the original store and do the necessary adjustments to use the new store as the document root.
  • Do another store import to capture any CHANGED or NEW data from the prior import. Generally this is normally only orders, customers, categories and products. Note that it could be a month or more of background activity working on the new store so things tend to get out of sync.
  • Take the new store live.
Unfortunately, cs-cart seems to think that a merchant does nothing else but play with their software and does everything all at once. In reality this is far from the truth and most merchants are actually in the business of selling their wares versus playing with software versions. And when they do, it's a background activity as time allows, not a focused day or two where everything else gets put aside.

If cs-cart every figured that out and supported it, they would find a much greater willingness to move to newer versions because the tools to do so would actually SUPPORT the business they are working with versus detracting from it.

Addendum: In the end, one only really wants to update order/customer changes (new, status changes, modified info) on the final import. This is just to get the new store in sync with the old.

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  • imac
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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:40 AM #12

Imac,
I think this is a great opportunity for cs-cart to demonstrate that they really do understand merchant needs and to describe WHY what a merchant expects may not be reasonable.

I STRONGLY suggest that you do a specific guide for import from various versions and what will and will not be imported. If something won't be imported you can describe why so people understand. But you can't just say things like "Some settings may not be imported". Also, when you speak of addons are you referring only to cs-cart provided addons or are you referring to 3rd party addons as well.

see. http://forum.cs-cart...post__p__166556
We will provide more details on this soon.

I'm referrring only to built-in CS-Cart add-ons.

You're not going to support store import from V3 versions? Wow! Sure glad I didn't move. Maybe shouldn't move to V4 either then.... Just demonstrating the logic...

I meant the v2.2.x branch. Updated the post to make it more clear.
Take a look at first post in this thread all the supported versions are listed.
Ilya Makarov,
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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:06 AM #13

Agreed with everything else you said there, it does seem stupid that stores I upgraded from V2 to V3 have extra database columns and tables for addons which either are not available for V3.

In my correspondence with CS, the Store Import tool only works with 2.2.4 and 2.2.5 from V2 and 3.0.1-3.0.6 from V3 releases. Still no response as to whether it is best practise to upgrade V2.2.4/5 stores to V3.0.X then to 4, or if the upgrade routine will be the same either way - no doubt the "settings" which won't be carried over will include important data which really shouldn't be lost (eg. product reviews as per v2>v3 upgrade).


It is preferrable to upgrade from 2.2.4/5 to 4.0.2 using new Store import tool. The new Store import add-on (to be included in CS-Cart 4.0.2) will be better then the version in CS-Cart 3.

Store import from CS-Cart 2.2.4/5 to 3 has quite a different logic than the one we are working on (v2,v3 -> v4). The new tool will work similarly to a usual DB upgrade and this should be more stable and faster (also for big DB tables).

As for the add-on data (reviews/reward points/configurable products), the way it is going to be transfered will be anounced a bit later.
Ilya Makarov,
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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:53 AM #14

For a store import tool to be useful, one should be able to choose what's imported. As I've observed, here's the process most merchants would go through to move their store from a prior version to a newer version.

  • Create a store from scratch of the new version.
  • Use demo products to get general look/feel for the presentation they want to create.
  • Adjust admin settings to their preferences
  • Run some special controller that will clear out the demo data (categories, products, reviews, pages, etc.)
  • Use an import tool to bring in their products, categories, orders, customers, etc. WITHOUT CHANGING SETTINGS (or at least optionally changing settings).
  • Play around some more to get things behaving/running the way they want.
  • Once final, close the original store and do the necessary adjustments to use the new store as the document root.
  • Do another store import to capture any CHANGED or NEW data from the prior import. Generally this is normally only orders, customers, categories and products. Note that it could be a month or more of background activity working on the new store so things tend to get out of sync.
  • Take the new store live.
If cs-cart every figured that out and supported it, they would find a much greater willingness to move to newer versions because the tools to do so would actually SUPPORT the business they are working with versus detracting from it.

Addendum: In the end, one only really wants to update order/customer changes (new, status changes, modified info) on the final import. This is just to get the new store in sync with the old.


Thanks for the hint. I agree with the idea that the settings transfer should be optional.

We will also consider giving the opportunity to transfer only certain objects like orders, products, and users.
Ilya Makarov,
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Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:56 PM #15

I just finished the compress process and it is ready for upload. I created a ticket #: 100935455.

 
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Posted 15 August 2013 - 02:23 PM #16

Do you still need a MV 3.0.1 Edition for testing?

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:24 AM #17

Dear friends,


I would like to share our vision and hear your opinions on how the Store import add-on should work.
This is how we picture the database import process:

You have an installed CS-Cart 2.2.4/5 or CS-Cart 3.0.x store, and you need to migrate the data from this store to a new CS-Cart 4.0.2 one using the Store Import add-on in CS-Cart 4.0.2.


Import the data from your old store to the new one with the Store Import add-on.

By doing this before actually customizing your new store, you will make it easier to modify the layout and blocks, because you will be dealing with the same data as in your old store.


Also, the add-on will be able to import the block, layout, and settings data from CS-Cart 3.0.x, so you will have your storefront block structure imported, and customizing will be much easier.



Make necessary modifications in the new storefront appearance.

This may include modifying the CSS styles, layouts, locations, etc. This stage can take some time, say, several weeks to months.


During this stage, the old CS-Cart store (2.2.4/5 or 3.0.x) continues to work as usual, taking orders and serving customers.



When you are finished with the storefront customization, use the Store import add-on again to perform data import from the old CS-Cart 2.2.4/5 or 3.0.x store.

This import *must* exclude blocks and settings, so that the imported data does not overwrite your storefront modifications.



Close the old store for the general public (the Close storefront option in the administration panel) and open the new one. You can now use your new store live.


As noticed by Tony, it may be a good idea to let the user pick the objects to import from the old store. Although, this approach can raise some tricky problems.

For example, importing products becomes quite ambiguous: should all the related data be imported together with them? Product options, images, files, related add-on data, categories, reviews, etc. can all be considered necessary components of a product.


Here is use case that is likely to happen if a user can pick the objects to import:
A user decides to import products, but not to import categories.
This way, an imported product will become “homeless”—a product without a corresponding category. It will be imported but never shown in the admin panel or storefront, because there will be no place for it to belong.

And this is just one dependency; imagine what happens if products are imported without reviews, SEO names, or other components.


The main problem with giving a user the choice of objects to import is that maintaining all the object dependencies becomes a real mess, and may lead to inconsistency of the imported data.


This is why we decided to import all the data, with the only exceptions for blocks and settings, which you will be able to exclude from the import.


Your opinion is crucial for us. Please tell us what you think about the proposed import process.

We are keen to hear your ideas and suggestions.

If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to ask.
Ilya Makarov,
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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:06 AM #18

Hi Ilya, your approach sounds good to me. I think the option to omit items that affect appearance; blocks etc is a really good one.

 
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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:51 PM #19

Everything should be imported on the final import before the upgraded store is switched to a live store with the exception of:-

Templates (including .tpl and .css)
Layouts (including blocks and locations)

This *should* ensure all customer, user, product (all product settings, options, etc. including all addon data) and order data is up to date.
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  • tbirnseth
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Posted 16 August 2013 - 06:28 PM #20

I don't agree with Stellar... The customer should be able to select. Maybe the default is all for everything, but one should NOT assume that one-size-fits-all.

When importing products, all related data associated with that product should also be imported. As it relates to categories... If the product already exists, don't update the cscart_product_categories table since the merchant has already associated this product with categories either from the 1st import or from manual changes. Many merchants will use an upgrade as an opportunity to restructure their store.

So selections would be:
Order (including users)
Users only
complete product (products, categories, prices, features, options, etc.)
products only (all but categories)

Addon data should be selectable by addon. I.e. news (included or start fresh)

The approach of starting with an import before doing any site development will work. Though a real step-by-step users guide will be critical. It also needs to be complete and descriptive (written by a technical writer, not a developer).

My two cents....

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