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I am working on a solution to automate the creation of CSV files for importing products to Magento using Google Spreadsheet service.

The motivation for doing that is to give a merchant a simple tool to create and update its store catalog without the needing to know anything about product attributes, store ids, website ids, separate stings inside the same cell (like category list, simple product) etc.

The staring point of this is a set of spreadsheets that will act as lookup tables and will provide data for validate content inside the products spreadsheet: - Attributes - with a column for each product attribute that is required for creating a new product like status, is_in_stock, visibility, store, website, product_type - ConfigAttributes - with a column for each configurable attribute (color, size) and it's values - AttributeSets - with following columns: attribute_set, based_on, attributes - Categories - with following columns: category_name, category_id

Next we will take the advantage of Google Apps Script to do the hard work for us: Create a product import template spreadsheet for each product type (simple, configurable etc.). The column names for each template will be store inside a JSON object:

var Mage = { SpreadsheetTemplate : { SimpleProducts : { Columns : ['sku', 'name', 'attribute_set']
}, ConfigurableProducts : { Columns : ['sku', 'name', 'attribute_set', 'config_attributes'] } } }

The script will prompt a dailog box asking for which attribute set should it create the template. This information will be used in order to create additional columns and data vlidation dropdowns for the spreadsheet.

There is more but I think you can get the general idea.

What do you think about this direction?

If you think it's a good idea I will be happy if you can join me creating this tool.

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This is in fact a great idea and there are already few implementations. There is a great article by Ashley Schroder.

Also there was some extension on Magento connect allowing importing configurable products from Google Spreadsheet.

Also there is an extension integrating MAGMI features with Google Spreadsheet into Magento admin here.

The idea of keeping the spreadsheet in an online editor application right in browser is overall good, it's just like the evolution wants it to be. I think many people agree that whole task of products data entry turns out much more technically problematic than it should be and this approach makes things easier. However there are many more issues making this routine (catalog entry) really problematic. For example the frustrating fact that "import format" is not similar to "export format" in Magento out of box, or thin things like related products, configurable, cross-selling links which are hard to figure how to do. So the important key point here is to keep it all-purpose, simple and consistent. Also ability of transferring in both directions (import/export) and supporting maximum fields is crucial.

Overall this is a big field where one can make things better - mixing technologies always gives great results.

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