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I want to sort products by manufacturer, but also allow store manager to override this easily.

My first idea was to use category-product position and set it while creating product programmatically, but I couldn't find any appropriate method (it used to be possible in 1.9 with assignProduct - Set Category Product Position of Products ).

My new idea is to use SQL to update all products with position 0 based on manufacturer name. Manufacturer name can be found in eav_attribute_option_value and position is in catalog_category_product_index, but how can I join them?

Thank you in advance for any hints on either approach to the task

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I have found another solution, that is a little bit hacky, but acceptable in my case. I have added new product attribute called "positioner" with default value 500 and "Used for Sorting in Product Listing" set to yes. While creating new products I override the default:

if(in_array($manufacturer,['Special manufacturer 1','Special manufacturer 2']) && is_null($product->getData('positioner'))){
    $product->addData(array('positioner' => '100'));
}

If shop manager wants to change order he simply has to change position attribute of a product. PS: to sort by new attribute by default you have to select correct attribute in

configuration -> catalog -> catalog -> storefront -> Product Listing Sort by

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