How to import data from FileMaker database to Magento 2

- E-Commerce, Magento 2, Our extensions

Magento 2 FileMaker Data Import

The following article is dedicated to the Magento 2 FileMaker integration. If you’ve just thought about replacing the standard Magento database with an alternative solution, we won’t do that. Instead, we will teach you how to import a table from a remote FileMaker database to Magento 2. Below, you can discover two different way of achieving this goal.

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The Common Way of Moving FileMaker Bases into Magento 2

Let’s start our exploration with a common way of moving FileMaker Bases into Magento 2. The approach is database-agnostic and always consists of three steps. First of all, you need to export a CSV file with the necessary information from the remote base. Next, it is required to edit it, making attributes (and sometimes their values) suitable for the Magento 2 requirements. Finally, the data can be transferred into your e-commerce store. Below, we explore each step in more detail.

CSV Export from FileMaker Database

For exporting data as a CSV file, you need to put it in one single field that contains all the data separated by a comma. Create a virtual list with that data and add an extra first line with column names as the first record in that virtual list. Note that the virtual list needs one single field with all the data separated by a comma.

If no virtual list is possible, create an extra field that contains all the data separated by a comma. There, create an additional record with column names just like in the example below. Check the official FileMaker Export Records guide for further information. You can also watch the following video:

As you can see, the procedure is extremely complicated. You cannot run it by clicking a few buttons or executing several lines of code. Instead, you need to do lots of preparations, and this is just the beginning of the community-proven way of moving FileMaker Bases into Magento 2. Luckily, we know a better solution to the problem, but let’s return to our mutton. The second step is described next.

Map Third-Party Attributes to Magento 2 Attributes

Congratulations! After a painful FileMaker exploration, you can create an output file with all the necessary information. If it is not a CSV, convert the data into this format since it is the only format supported by Magento. Now, you can edit the content.

Be very attentive to the details: if any attributes are not suitable for the platform requirements, this will cause errors. You need to review all attributes and match them to ones used in Magento 2. Otherwise, the import process won’t be 100% successful.

Furthermore, you may need to edit attribute values since the provided ones are not used on your website. Thus, the data editing process can be extremely time-consuming.

Another drawback is the inability to automate attributes matching by saving the created scheme for further updates. You have to re-edit the data from the same source every time it is provided.

Import FileMaker Table into Magento 2

Now, when your CSV file is updated, we can import it into Magento 2. The default tools are enough, but you face the same problem once again: the process cannot be automated. You have to launch import tools every time you need to transfer data from FileMaker to Magento 2.

Pros & Cons

Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of moving data from FileMaker to Magento 2 in a common way. As you might have already guessed, it has lots of drawbacks, but what are its positive aspects?

Pros

  1. You can transfer data from FileMaker to your Magento 2 website.

It is literally the only good thing about the default algorithm, but what are the negative aspects?

Cons

  1. CSV export is complicated and requires learning a lot of new information about the system.
  2. You should map attributes manually. The same is about their values.
  3. It is necessary to repeat the whole procedure every time an update is required: export data, edit files, import them into Magento 2.

Doesn’t look very promising, but we offer something much more user-friendly.

The Easy Way of Moving FileMaker Bases into Magento 2

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As you might have already guessed, the easy way of moving FileMaker bases into Magento 2 is based on a third-party extension, so meet the Improved Import & Export module – your number one time-saver when it comes to data transfers. The plugin completely revamps the standard procedure of data migration allowing you to automate all its steps.

FileMaker Database Connection

The first significant improvement is the ability to connect to FileMaker directly. It means that you don’t need to run the complicated CSV export process. Instead, the Improved Import & Export extension takes all the necessary information right from the database. And there is no need to edit files since they are no longer available!

Magento 2 FileMaker Data Import

Thus, the ability to connect to FileMaker directly leads to multiple benefits but doesn’t solve the problem of different data standards. But the provided solution will definitely surprise you. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension allows matching external attributes to the ones used in your database with the help of presets. You need to choose a mapping scheme that suits your integration. Alternatively, everything can be still done manually but in an intuitive manner.  Both features are described further in this post.

Besides, you get the ability to automate data transfers from FileMaker to Magento 2 entirely. The platform allows creating schedules or specifying triggers. Attributes matching schemes are saved for further updates and applied automatically. No CSV export from FileMaker is required. As a result, you only have to configure an import profile to automate all new updates. As for schedules and triggers, they are described in the corresponding sections of this article.

How to Import Data From FileMaker to Magento 2

Now, we’d like to draw your attention to the exact import from a remote FileMaker database to Magento 2 with the help of the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension. It contains just free tiny steps:

  1. Go to Magento 2 backend -> extension admin -> import section and create a new import profile (a few seconds).
  2. Configure the job by adding a schedule (or choosing a trigger), selecting an imported entity, matching attributes, etc (a few minutes).
  3. Save the job and launch the update (a few seconds).

In case of the standard procedure, only the FileMaker CSV export can take hours of time due to its complexity! The same is about attributes editing. And don’t forget that you have to repeat the whole algorithm from the very beginning, while our module allows automating all further updates, so you can dramatically reduce time expenditures with the Improved Import & Export extension. What are the pros and cons of this approach?

Pros & Cons

Don’t forget that the only positive aspect of the traditional approach to data transfers from a remote database to Magento 2 is the ability to move data from one place to another. As for  Improved Import & Export, it offers many more benefits. At the same time, the situation with drawbacks is the opposite.

Pros

  1. No file export is required.
  2. No data files editing is necessary.
  3. No coding skills are required.
  4. The whole import process is automated.
  5. Magento 2 and FileMaker are connected directly.

Cons

  1. Installing a third-party extension is required.

But it is no longer a problem due to our support team. If any troubles occur during the installation and the further extension configuration, our specialists will help you. Thus, the Improved Import & Export extension offers an entirely revamped process of transferring data from FileMaker to Magento 2 which have lots of advantages over a complicated standard procedure.

Now, we want to list some core FileMaker features and then proceed to the more in-depth exploration of the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension.

Get Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension

FileMaker Facts

Magento 2 FileMaker Data Import

FileMaker is often compared with MySQL, Microsoft Access, and Oracle. Being a cross-platform RDBMS, it has a robust advantage over some competitors – a GUI frontend. As for other features, they are:

  • FileMaker’s primary database model is Relational DBMS;
  • Its secondary database models is a key-value store;
  • FileMaker mountains its database since 1983; the latest release is dated to 17, May 2018;
  • The database is available under a commercial license model only;
  • It offers no cloud-based features;
  • Server operating systems of FileMaker include iOS, OS X, and Windows;
  • FileMaker supports data scheme, typing, XML, secondary indexes, and SQL;
  • APIs and other access methods are represented by Filemaker WebDirect, JDBC, and ODBC;
  • The only supported programming language is PHP;
  • Server-side scripts and triggers are supported;
  • At the same time, there are no partitioning methods;
  • Replication methods include master-slave replication and warm standby;
  • MapReduce is not available;
  • Foreign keys are supported;
  • Transaction concepts are not represented;
  • Concurrency and durability are available;
  • User concepts include simple rights management via user accounts and connection to external directory services.

Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension

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Below, we explore core features of the Improved Import & Export extension designed to enhance data transfers from FileMaker to Magento 2. Let’s begin with the advanced automation functionality.

Automated Import & Export Processes

As we’ve already mentioned, the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension offers two ways of automating data transfers: cron-based schedules and event-based triggers. You can choose one that suits your needs or combine the functionality of both.

Schedules

Since the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension fully supports cron, you can create any custom update schedules. It is only necessary to use the default cron syntax. If you have no ideas about what to do with it, select one of the predefined time intervals, which are fully customizable as well.

Besides, you can create a job that has no schedule. Let’s assume that updates from FileMaker are provided asynchronously, but you need to import them right after they are available. Create a profile with no schedule and run the update manually. Or you can still use the schedule with a high frequency of updates and launch the job manually whenever you need. At the same time, triggers may be helpful.

Below, the standard schedule configuration is illustrated:

Events

As for the triggers mentioned above, they also provide the ability to automate updates. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension lets you select either system or custom events to launch import/export processes. At the same time, you can create specific conditions to make data transfers more precise. For further information, follow this link: How to Run Magento 2 Import or Export After Specific System Event or Process.

Advanced Mapping Features

The advanced mapping functionality of our extension also helps a lot in automating the updates. The problem of different attributes can be solved in two ways: via mapping presets or in a user-friendly interface.

Mapping Presets

The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension reduces the complicated procedure of data files editing by introducing mapping presets. The whole process is reduced to a few clicks. It is no longer necessary to review each attribute. Instead, our module will analyze the input data, select unsuitable attributes, and match them to the corresponding Magento 2 designations.

Even the migration from Magento1 to Magento 2 is impossible without attributes matching. Below, you can see how the corresponding preset is applied turning the complicated procedure into something that even a child could master:

Matching Interface

If a specific preset is not available or you want to take the full control over the process, use the convenient matching interface of the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension. Manual attributes editing has never been so easy. You only need to select a third-party attribute in one column and specify the one used internally in front of it. Besides, it is possible to add a hardcoded attribute value in the appropriate column. Note that this action will add the same value for all items for the selected attribute. Everything looks as follows:

Attribute Values Mapping

In addition to attributes, the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension provides the ability to map their values. The process is almost identical to the one described above. You select an external attribute, choose its values, and specify the corresponding ones used in your database. You can freely use this feature to simplify the Magento 2 FileMaker import.

For instance, you have an external attribute “color” with two values (“lime-green” and “avocado-green”) in a remote FileMaker base. In your Magento 2 database, there is only one corresponding value (“green”). The Improved Import & Export extension provides the ability to match both external designations to the one used internally in the convenient interface. Thus, you no longer need to import unnecessary data. For further information about attribute values mapping, read this article: Attribute Values Mapping.

Attribute Values Editing

To extend the functionality related to attribute values, we’ve also introduced the ability to edit them in bulk. Now, you can add prefixes or suffixes as well as merge and split data modifying multiple attribute values simultaneously. Besides, the Improved Import & Export extension lets you create conditions to apply changes in a more precise manner. You can find more information here:  How to Modify Attribute Values During Import and Export in Magento 2.

Category Mapping

When it comes to product data updates, you may import items from catalogs with absolutely different categories. But it is no longer a problem since the Improved Import & Export extension allows mapping categories. You need to select an external category and specify the corresponding one used internally like shown below:

Furthermore, you can even create new categories during the import process. For further details about both features, follow this link: Category Mapping.

Attributes On The Fly

Another problem solved by the Improved Import & Export module is the lack of attributes. If an imported table is missing any data, add parameters necessary to generate it during the import. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension will create attributes on the fly automatically. Use the following general format to achieve this goal:

Attribute|attribute_property_name:attribute_property_value|…

The full algorithm of attributes on the fly creation is described here: Product attributes import.

Extended Connectivity Options

Although we’ve been talking about the direct connection between Magento 2 and FileMaker, it is also necessary to describe all possible connectivity options provided by the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension.

Multiple File Standards

While Magento works with CSV files only (that’s why we describe the CSV export at the beginning), the Improved Import & Export module essentially extends this list. The plugin allows you to move data via XML, JSON, ODS, and Excel. You no longer need to convert these formats into CSV and vice versa.

Multiple File Sources

To provide the ability to transfer data files, our module lets you choose one of several data sources. First of all, you can rely on the FTP/SFTP connection. It means that a local server can become a point of file transfers. If a local one is not suitable for your business needs, choose a remote server since it can be freely utilized for the same purpose.

Alternatively, a Dropbox account can be used. And when it comes to import processes only, the Improved Import & Export extension lets you specify a direct file URL to run the update. Even if it is a compressed data, the module will import it due to the ability to unzip/untar archives.

Alternative Ways of Import & Export

If you want to avoid file transfers, our plugin provides the ability to establish the connection between your e-commerce store and an external system in two different ways. To achieve this goal, you can rely on intermediaries, such as Google Sheets, Office 365 Excel, or Zoho Sheet. The Google Sheets Magento 2 integration looks as follows:

Magento 2 Google Sheet import

The second way requires using API connections. The Improved Import & Export extension supports REST, SOAP, and GraphQL, so you can choose one to create a bridge between your store and external platforms. Note that you can freely apply all the features described above to any of them.

Watch the video below to see the extension in action:

Final Words

Moving data from FileMaker to Magento 2 is no longer a problem if you use Improved Import & Export. With our extension, the transfer can be fully automated. You don’t need to create a CSV output, edit its content, import the file and repeat everything during every update. For further information, follow the link below and contact our support:

Get Improved Import & Export Magento 2 Extension

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