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Product synchronization is performed through the XML Synchronization application by providing information about products from an external source (XML file / feed) to the CloudCart system. Product data is compared to products already available in your store. In this way, easily and continuously over a period of time, you could update various information about the price and quantity of the product, whether a product is new, in promotion, hidden or out of stock.

The advantage of this application is that it saves you tons of time to import and update products in your store, their availability, prices, and other attributes that require more frequent updates. At any time when there is any change, without the need for human intervention, at a certain interval, the XML file/feed is regenerated by the system from which you draw information and the file or feed is uploaded via an Internet connection. This flow of information is constantly updated and fed to your store.

Example: If you have warehousing software (ERP), through which you want to supply your online store with information about prices and availability, the easiest and most accessible way to do it is through XML.

XML Structure

The XML file must contain well-structured data. It comprises tags that strongly resemble HTML tags. An XML document is actually a text file that contains various XML declarations and tags, as well as text. Here is an example of an XML document containing information about multiple products:

In this photo, you see tags that contain various elements of the general information about the given products. Each element of a product such as a name, category, product ID, description, brand, price, weight, quantity, photo, variety, value, etc. must be enclosed with an opening and closing tag. The opening and closing tags must have the same name, the closing one being preceded by a slash (/ ") so that the information can be read correctly. Between these two tags is the content, ie. the data included in the relevant section.

There must be one basic element in which all the other elements are located. It's called Document Root. In the example, this is the <products> element. This opening main tag must have a closing one </products>. The opening and closing tags are referred to as a tag pair. Each tag pair contains many sub-tags, each of which has a closing and opening tags and some information in between, for example, manufacturer tag: <manufacturer> Manufacturer name </manufacturer>.

Tag names are not strictly defined and are determined by the creator of the XML file. During the synchronization, they will actually be linked to the already existing elements for the given products in your store.

Installation and Settings Step 1

1. To install the application, log in to your admin panel, Apps section> All applications> XML Sync and click the Install button.

2. From the Create a job button you can create one.

3. In the window that opens, enter the Job name. Choose a name to help you identify the specific task. It could be the name of the partner who provided you with the XML feed or whatever you decide.

4. In the XML URL field, paste the link that you have or that was provided to you.

5. XML Product tag - in this field it is important to determine which is the XML tag from your XML feed that defines the product. In our case, this is the "item" tag.

This tag name can be any. To make sure the tag you enter in this field is correct, always open the feed/file you have to check. This tag identifies each item contained in your feed.

The XML file can be opened by pasting the link in a web browser.

6. Rows - select how many rows, the maximum number of lines in which the product tag exists, the software to read in order to find content. This is important because when you go to the second step the software reads the whole file and takes its structure and visualizes it in the second step to make the corresponding "fitting", the so-called "mapping". Mapping one value from the XML file to another product value from your store. It is important the number of rows that you have chosen contains the opening and closing product tag. The default rows are 500 and usually, this number is enough, but if you have a larger XML file you can change it. Note that a larger number of rows slows down parsing.

7. Product compare - in this field you must carefully choose the product ID on which the comparison to the file and your store will be performed. The ID you select (eg SKU) must match the products in your store, ie the SKU of a particular product in the file must match the SKU of that same product in your store for synchronization to take place successfully.

8. Choose Fixed Discount type - Product discounts can also be added through the XML Synchronizer. If the file you have contains a discounted price, it will be reflected in your store. When there is no discount in the file, the original price of the product or zero may be written in the discount price tag. This does not mean that the price will be recorded as zero, but simply the software will not take it into account in this case. To be able to use this option, you must first create a Fixed Discount from the Marketing > Discounts section.

9. Disable missing products- a very useful feature, but you have to be careful with it. Activating this option means that any product in your store that is not present in the XML feed will be unpublished no matter how it is imported into the store.  . This option is useful if you have a feed that you are sure contains all the products that you want to be displayed in your store. Those that are no longer provided by that feed will be automatically unpublished.

If a product has variants and only one of these variants is missing in the file, then this variety will be with quantity 0. If all variations are missing in the file, the product will be stopped by the application. 

From the drop-down menu, you can select specific tasks created by XML import (if you have any) to be unpublished, all others won't be. 

10. Enable existing products - this option is the opposite of the above. If you enable it, then all products that have been unpublished but are contained in the file will be reactivated.

From the drop-down menu, you can select specific tasks created by XML import (if you have any) to be activated, all others will not be published.

Settings Step 2

In the second step of the settings, you will see predefined values that come with the application itself. These values must be linked to the values from your file. For each value (SKU, Price, Discount Price, Quantity, etc.) you must select the corresponding one from the XML file you have. If there is no information about some of the values in your file (eg Local Pickup) you can leave the field blank. All other fields need to be mapped.

If you want a row of the above to be constantly updated, you need to tick the rows you want, as shown in the photo above. This means that the information in the selected rows will be updated each time the task is started.

Settings Step 3

In the third step, you can create additional operations and rules for their implementation during synchronization. If we say in the price tag, in addition to the value (49), there is also the currency ($, EU) in order for the file to be readen correctly by the system, you must create a rule.

In this case, you must create the following operation and a rule for its implementation:

Under this condition, the software will look for the line (value) that we have chosen for the price and if it contains EUR, it will replace it with an empty field, ie only the price itself will be taken into account.

A similar rule can be created if text (eg in stock) is contained in the quantity tag instead of the number itself (eg 100):

You can create a variety of operations, depending on the contents of your file and the way you need to model it.

Note that the way the text is written (lowercase / uppercase) in the field shown in the photo below must match the way it is written in the file, otherwise no match will be found and the operation will not be performed.

When you're done with the settings, save the job from the button in the upper right corner of the screen.

This is your task (job). Once you have saved it, it becomes active, it ranks and when the time comes for its execution, it will start. Here you will see information about the remaining products, ie the products that remain to be synchronized after the task has started. In the second column, you see the number of synchronized products, and in the last execution. You can stop the task from the ON / OFF button.

Additional packages

Once the task is started, it never stops, its next starts happen every 12 hours. You have the opportunity to increase the priority of your task, as well as to shorten the sync interval - instead of 12 hours to run every 6 hours, for example. From the XML Sync priority task button you can purchase a priority to complete the task. That is, it will be completed by 20, 40, 60, or 80% before the other tasks.

From the other XML Sync Interval button, you can shorten the execution interval from 12 to every 9, 5, or 3 hours.

This is all you need to install and configure the XML Sync application and create XML job.