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We're at the early stages of a reasonably large Magento project that will have a catalog of over 15,000 products.

The big problem is that the customer doesn't have any information on the products apart from the supplier and the product SKU.

The client is willing to use their company workforce to collect the data (e.g. from the various supplier websites), so that's not a problem. The issue is, without knowing anything about the products we're unable to model them in Magento (e.g. attribute sets and the like)

Is there an accepted practice or system (commercial or otherwise) that's used in these cases? At this stage we're thinking of making a web interface that allows them to record information about the products, which we will then use to import the data into Magento. But even this still has the issue of not knowing what attributes we should make available, as we have to be well structured in the way users input the data (being mindful of the old "garbage in, garbage out" adage!)

I'm not expecting a comprehensive answer, but any pointers in the right direction would be very helpful.

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    Use a PIM system as an intermediate stage for collecting the data, and make Magento a slave to the PIM. In this setup Magento should regard the PIM as the source of truth for attributes, attribute sets, categorisation and products. There are many PIM systems available in an open source setup (e.g. Akeneo, Pimcore, etc) which could help you. Most of these have (commercial) connections to Magento. – Vincent Hornikx Feb 7 at 21:32

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