Feed Import Addon
Posted by Oksana Budnikova on 11 February 2016 12:42 AM

Feed import allows website administrator to import listings from the source which format differs from iLister format for direct listing import. Once configured, the feed can be used forever, until you decided to change its settings.

Please note that the feed file should contain less or equal number of images specified in the Listing Package.

How To Add a New Feed

You can add a new feed in Admin Panel -> Listing Management -> Feed Import -> Add a New Feed

How to Configure a Feed

Below is an example of how to configure a feed of the CSV format for automobile classifieds (iAuto). The specifics of iAuto is that it has a 2-level tree-type field and you should be careful creating feed mapping.

First of all, you need to fill in the "Add Feed" form, which has the following fields to complete:

  • Name — the name of the feed. Please specify a distinct name.
  • Description — the completion of a description is not obligatory.
  • Import Format — there are 3 feed formats supported:
    • CSV — in case you plan to use CSV, you will need to specify a delimiter of the CSV file. Available delimiters are listed in the "CSV File Delimiter" field below.
    • XLS
    • XML — this format requires from you to manually specify the correct listing node.XML-based feed takes as a basis the set of fields specified in the first listing node. If the second, or 158th listing has, for example, the "Year" field, while the first listing doesn't, "Year" data will not be included to mapping, and thus it will be ignored during the import.
  • CSV File Delimiter — is used only for CSV feed format. You need to choose the correct CSV delimiter from the drop-down list.
  • Path To Listing Node — listing node is the path from the root tag of an XML feed file to the tag which contains the tags representing listing information. As an example, the node can be: document.Clients.Client.listings.Car
  • Import Source — the path to the feed file. You can specify it by 3 ways:
    • an absolute or relative path to the feed file on your server, e.g. files/feed.csv. A relative path is specified relating to the root folder ('/') of the installation.
    • a link to the file, e.g.
    • FTP access, e.g. ftp://username:password@domain/path
  • Default Category — the listing category which all new imported listings will belong to. The list of categories is formed automatically of all existing categories.
  • Default User — imported listings will belong to the username of selected user. The list of users is generated automatically.
  • Default Package — assigned Listing Package with all its options for imported listings.
  • Enable free listing features — you should check which free listing features of the selected Listing Package will be activated for new listings after feed import. If no free listing features are available within the Package, you will not be able to activate any during the import.
  • Activate Listing — specifies if listings become active after the import.
  • Unique Field — this field will be considered a unique field of listing during the feed import. If selected, this field must be included to the mapping list for this feed.
  • Update On Match — works only if "Unique Field" is specified. When the feed is re-launched, the website checks existing listings by the field specified as Unique Field. Thus if this option is enabled, the website will update all listings containing the values of the field from "Unique Field" matching the values listed in the feed.
  • Delete On Miss — works only if "Unique Field" is specified. When the feed is re-launched, the website checks existing listings by the field specified as Unique Field. Thus if this option is enabled, the website will delete all listings containing the values of the field from "Unique Field" that are not listed (missing) in the feed.
  • Add Options — if ticked, the website will create new fields of the boolean type from the feed. In order to make this parameter work, you should map the values from the feed with the "OPTIONS KEY" parameter in iLister. Thus the website will know which data from the feed are considered to be new boolean fields in the website.
  • Add List Values — if checked, the website will add new values from the feed to related list-type fields of the website. To make this work, please map the values from the feed with the list-type fields in iLister.
  • Add Tree Values — if enabled, iLister will add new values from the feed to related tree-type fields of the website. To make this work, please map the values from the feed with the tree-type fields. Please note that there is no mapping for the values of the tree-type fields, the mapping works for the fields only.
  • Grouped Query Size — the number of listings in portion recorded to iLister database during the import. The less is the value, the slower feed import works and the fewer memory it uses.
  • Include this feed for automatic feed import — if checked, this feed will be automatically fetched in accordance to the Task Scheduler settings.
Feed Mapping

When the feed is created, you need to configure feed mapping.

Mapping means that you relate (connect) data from the feed to listing fields of the website.

Feed data are generated automatically into the drop-down "Property Name". Listing fields are listed next to it in the "Listing Field" section.

Mapping creates aliases, i.e. assigned names for records kept in the "Feed Mapping" table.

When mapping, please do the following:

  1. map as many fields as you can/need;
  2. map feed data representing listing boolean fields with "OPTIONS KEY", and feed property containing images with "PICTURES KEY". Please specify a delimiter if necessary. Please keep in mind that pictures from the feed are not copied and stored in the database or file system of your iLister-based website; and when imported listings are displayed, the pictures are taken directly from the source specified in the feed, and thus, they are not resized in accordance to the Listing Pictures settings.
  3. map the alias values of "OPTIONS KEY", list- and boolean-type fields (usually boolean-type fields are included to the "OPTIONS KEY").

When mapping the alias of options or list-type data, you need to manually type each value from the feed to the "Property Value" field and connect it to a corresponding "Listing Field Value" from the drop-down.

If a feed filed has a very long ID (more than the allowed 64 symbols), and this field is not mapped, the Feed Import will create new fields under the ID mask "Option#" (Option1, Option2, Option3...) with the field captions from the feed. It will map newly created fields with the long fields from the feed at the same time. Of course, new fields are created in the event of the enabled "Add Options" parameter.

How To Turn On Automatic Feed Fetch

In order to turn on an automatic fetch for a feed, it should have the option "Include this feed for automatic feed import" enabled. In this case this feed will be automatically fetched by the Task Scheduler script. The task_scheduler script is run by a cron job in accordance to its settings.

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