Data Feeds 101 (?)

Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:31 pm

I have read every post in this section, and I still don't know how to create a simple data feed for my affiliates. I see sparrpw has a tool to change data feeds into RSS, but I don't even know how to create a simple data feed. I want to create this for my affiliate members.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Creating a simple data feed for your store the first time

Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:19 pm

Hi Jim,

There are many ways you can create data feed file(s) for you store products.

Sounds like you are an affiliate manager since your mentioned you would like to create data feed file for your affiliate members.

I would recommend inquiring your affiliate network whether they support data feed generation and for your affiliates to download directly from the affiliate network's server. This method is easier since the data feed for affiliates need to contain the correct Product Tracking URL (the link must be trackable with affiliate IDs etc.)

Which company is your affiliate network?

Regards,
DataFeedFile
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:20 am
Location: Houston, TX

Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:44 pm

Hi Andrew,

We are not in an affiliate network. We are a home grown company that uses iDev Affiliate software that is installed on our own server.

Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:41 pm

Andrew...or anyone,

Please come back and answer my original question. I have posted similar in many forums...for affiliates and affiliate managers/merchants....but never get an answer. I have Googled and read info, but it all seems like Greek to me.

I would appreciate any help anyone can give.

Thank you.
Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Creating data feed for independent affiliate program

Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Since you are using an independent affiliate program (in-house). You have to create a data feed file in which each product clickthrough URL has been customized to be tracked by your affiliate software (in this case iDev).

Here are the basic steps:

1. You have to export product data feed from your current shopping cart software.

2. Once exported, you have to modify specifically the product URL field / column to include a trackable URL according to the URL required by iDev affiliate software.

3. Then you have to provide access to your data feed file via HTTP and FTP for your affiliates to download along with a readme.txt file explaining about how to use the data feed.

Regards,

Andrew
DataFeedFile
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:20 am
Location: Houston, TX

Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:57 pm

Andrew,

Thanks!

Yours is the first time this question has ever been answered for me in a way I can understand in any forum. It doesn't seem that hard to do...maybe a bit time consuming...but that is OK.

I'm going to start on it today.

Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:14 pm

Hi Andrew,

A few more questions. I hope you don't mind.

I exported my product data to my desktop. The only doc choice I had to save it in was an Excel Comma Separated doc. I have read that data feeds should be offered to affiliates in a text tab delimited doc. (I can easily convert the the Excel Comma Separated into a text tab delimited.) But why is text tab delimited considered the best format?

I have to do some work on the data feed, but I am going to offer the Product Name, Category, Price, Attributes, Affiliate URL, Image URL, Thumbnail URL, and Description. Is that enough...too much?

What do you mean by offering it via HTTP.....a URL where they can find it?

How do I offer it via FTP without them having access to my other files?

What type of things do I have to put in my readme.txt file?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is all new to me...

Hell, I should just pay you for consultation! :roll:

Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Answer to data feed file generation question for merchant

Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:36 pm

Jim,

1. TAB is best format as far as text type data feed. TAB is better than CSV because TAB (ascii character 9) is not suppose to be used as content of the field. Basically TAB char. will not interfere with actual data content. Whereas command or double quote may interfere.

2. Offering via HTTP means you simply copy your data feed file to a publicly accessible HTTP url. Lets say your web site is called http://www.jim.com, and you have place your data feed file in the root directory of that site, then your HTTP data feed URL for anyone to download your feed is http://www.jim.com/datafeed.txt (considering that your data feed file name is datafeed.txt).

3. FTP is just another delivery protocol. FTP does not have to require user/password. You can setup an FTP server with public / anonymous access.

4. readme.txt is completely optional, and you can only include a readme.txt if you have zipped your datafeed into a zip file which allow you to put multiple files inside the zip package.

5. Things to put inside the readme.txt for example are fields header explanation, licensing info (how somebody may or may not use the file), your contact info, support contact info, etc...

6. No problem for the questions. I work with AssociatePrograms.com as an Expert in the topic of DataFeedFile.com.

Regards,

Andrew
founder of
http://www.DataFeedFile.com


Jim Guinn wrote:Hi Andrew,

A few more questions. I hope you don't mind.

I exported my product data to my desktop. The only doc choice I had to save it in was an Excel Comma Separated doc. I have read that data feeds should be offered to affiliates in a text tab delimited doc. (I can easily convert the the Excel Comma Separated into a text tab delimited.) But why is text tab delimited considered the best format?

I have to do some work on the data feed, but I am going to offer the Product Name, Category, Price, Attributes, Affiliate URL, Image URL, Thumbnail URL, and Description. Is that enough...too much?

What do you mean by offering it via HTTP.....a URL where they can find it?

How do I offer it via FTP without them having access to my other files?

What type of things do I have to put in my readme.txt file?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is all new to me...

Hell, I should just pay you for consultation! :roll:

Jim
DataFeedFile
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:20 am
Location: Houston, TX

Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:09 pm

Thanks, Andrew! I may ask you to take a look at my data feed/read me file after I upload them...if you don't mind.

You have been so helpful...and, I am appreciative.

Jim
Jim Guinn
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:12 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:44 am

A datafeed is a text file containing a merchant's products, URL's, product image links, categories, prices and descriptions of the products that an affiliate downloads into a database.XML files, or feeds are created by a script that queries the database and build the file using that data.
devbpo2012
 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:19 am

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