Chances are, you’ve been trying to enhance your Magento 2 website with the best extensions the Magento 2 ecosystem offers. Unfortunately, it is not the most straightforward task since there are a plethora of reliable modules and it is hard to find the best solution. The area of import/export tools is not an exception so we’ve decided to share an extension that pretends to be a leading solution. Meet the Improved Import & Export module by Firebear. Have you ever imagined a perfect tool capable of moving all the possible data to/from your e-commerce website? Guys from the Firebear studio have already tried to visualize this concept. And below we shed light on its features.
Check the extension manual, and you will immediately find out that Improved Import Export adds many new features to both sides of data migration: import and export. Furthermore, it has no limits regarding the size of your online storefront. The extension perfectly suits both small local businesses and international e-commerce giants. Improved Import Export automates multiple backend processes and allows connecting your store to all possible third-party platforms, marketplaces, shopping engines, etc.
The core principle behind the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension is based on import and export jobs - fully automated processes that run according to a specified schedule using cron. This feature enables almost endless automation possibilities: you only have to configure the module once, and it will do all routine tasks automatically when planned. Alternatively, you can always start a job asynchronously in case the information is required beyond the schedule.
Another substantial competitive advantage over the default import/export Magento 2 interface and most competitors is the support for multiple file formats and import/export sources. Besides, the extension will surprise you with a user-friendly import/export mapping interface and filters. It is also necessary to mention the ability to apply import presets and use Google Sheet import. The following video illustrates the basic functionality of the extension and below, we continue our journey under the hood of the Improved Import Export Magento 2 extension by Firebear.
Supported File Formats
The appearance of new file formats supported by the extension illustrates how the module develops onward to the needs of Magento merchants. Initially, it was capable of CSV import only, but now the module also supports the flexible XML and the popular TXT.
It is worth mentioning separately that the Improved Import Export extension by Firebear lets you work with two more types of import files. The support for native Excel files is expected to be introduced in the nearest future, and the team has already added the ability to import from Google Sheet. We describe the last feature below, and if you have any ideas on what formats should be added, contact Firebear. Note that there is a queue of new improvements so you’ll have to wait. As for the three aforementioned formats, they are displayed in the following image:
The picture above illustrates import file types, but you can effortlessly use the same formats in case of export. You only have to choose one that is required by further data processing. As mentioned above, both export and import are based on jobs of import/export profiles, so you should create them before running any processes.
The extension is extremely user-friendly, since there is no need to learn cron syntax, because the module provides a massive list of predefined schedules. But if you want, the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension allows creating any custom schedule using the standard cron logic.
As mentioned above, any profile may be launched manually, but you can ignore the schedule to create a new job that can be run manually only. There are two different ways to start a job manually. First of all, you can manage all these scary screens and commands to run the profile via CLI. If you are not a tech-savvy, please enjoy the ability to start import/export right in the Magento 2 admin.
There are two grids where all jobs are gathered: one with import profiles and another one with export profiles. Both sections support inline cron editing so that you can change the existing schedule right in the grid, as shown below:
The variety of import and export sources is also among strong competitive advantages of the Improved Import & Export extension by Firebear. Firstly, it allows you to move both data files and images to/from your server. Secondly, a remote FTP/SFTP server is supported as well. Thirdly, a Dropbox account may be used as an import/export source. If these sources are not enough, we have some good news. The extension allows using the direct URL upload; and if you need more, there is an opportunity to leverage direct uploads right in your browser.
In case of significant volumes of data, imported files may be uploaded right in in zip or tar archives. The extension will unpack them automatically. The following picture illustrates supported import sources:
Magento 2 Google Sheet Import
The latest extension version brings full support for Google Sheets import. Since it combines a new import format and an original import source, we’ve decided to describe it separately. The process is based on the usage of the Master Import Table for Magento 2 which is a simple Google Sheet. You can easily copy the table to your Google Drive, download it as a CSV, edit it right in a browser, share with suppliers and partners, configure jobs to upload the data from the table according to the schedule. The functionality of this feature is fully described in the following video:
Below, we should also say a few words about supported entities. Unfortunately, import and export jobs don’t support all existing Magento 2 entities, but the Magento 2 Improved Import Export extension already covers all basic data transfer needs. More entities are planned to be added soon; as for current capabilities, they are described below.
The module utilizes only the default Magento 2 import entities that are available under System -> Data Transfer -> Import. The Firebear Improved Import Export extension supports the import of Products; Customers and Addresses (single file); Customers Main File; Customer Addresses; and Advanced Pricing. It is also possible to import categories to your Magento 2 store.
In case of export, orders with invoices and credit memos are fully supported. The following image illustrates them all.
Also, note that the extension works with all products: all product types are supported, so you can efficiently work with simple, configurable, downloadable, group, bundle, and virtual products.
These were essential characteristics of the Improved Import/Export Magento 2 extension functionality. Although they look promising, we have something even more intriguing. Meet the mapping functionality of the module. Since the default Magento 2 import interface has strict requirements for the file structure, it is necessary to edit all custom files you move to your storefront.
To simplify this process, the Firebear team introduced a user-friendly mapping interface which is available for both import and export. As a result, you can match default Magento 2 attributes to custom ones creating import files the satisfy strict system requirements of the e-commerce platform and generating export data that is fully compatible with a third-party platform that requires it.
In addition to the standard mapping functionality, the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension provides an opportunity to streamline hardcoded values. Being also called default values, they are static values provided to each item in the attribute column automatically. You only need to specify the default value, and the extension will add it to the corresponding column in front of each item.
The picture below illustrates the fundamental mapping principle. You can see a system attribute - ‘_product_websites’ - mapped to an import attribute - ‘tier_price_website’. There is also a hardcoded value used in the example. The default value - ‘ENG’ - will be specified in the attribute column in every raw. Match attributes carefully and set default values that are used with the selected attributes. The following image is just a primary example, not a real case study.
Although mapping works absolutely the same for both import and export, export profiles have some unique features that simplify further data handling. There is no need to export all data. Indeed, you can narrow down the selection of exported items and attributes. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension offers filters to achieve this goal. Use them to create unique conditions that narrow down the selection of exported items.
The combination of filters with mapping allows you to create a perfect export file that contains only the necessary product data and represents it in full compatibility with platform requirements.
The creation of a new filter is quite simple. You only need to select an entity type, specify a field that used as a filter basis, and provide filter parameters which vary depending on the specified area. The following filter will narrow down the exported data to orders with entity IDs from 3 to 5.
As for import-related improvements, they are described further in this post. The Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension quickly solves the problem of non-existing product attributes and their values. The module creates them during the import process on the fly. Thus, if an attribute or a value doesn’t exist in you Magento 2 database, you don’t need to create it manually. All the necessary improvements are done automatically, so don't forget to turn on the corresponding option.
It is also necessary to say a few words about presets. The Improved Import & export extension by Firebear allows you to avoid backend routine related to mapping. Although the mapping interface is straightforward, there is even a more user-friendly way to move custom data files to Magento 2.
The extension allows using presets. Currently, it supports only the Magento 1 preset, that radically simplifies the migration from your old shop to the new one created from Magento 2. Presets from WooCommerce, Shopify, and other popular platforms will be available with the nearest updates. Upload the import file, apply the preset, and the extension will create the appropriate mapping scheme automatically.
The Improved Import Export extension provides a detailed log with all import and export runs. There is the extended debug of import and export that includes detailed logging by SKU, time of import, and other parameters. You can get the appropriate data by selecting the corresponding job. Next, open the history tab and download a log file from the appropriate column as illustrated below.
At the end of our journey, we’d like to draw your attention to some relevant facts about the extension and describe several use cases. The Improved Import & Export extension is fully open source and designed according to Magento 2’s best practices. The Firebear team includes Certified Magento Developers, who are always ready to add any custom features to the module and implement your craziest ideas. Contact the support team to discuss your needs, and you will get a unique import/export tool that fully satisfies your e-commerce requirements.
Check the official extension manual to get the full understanding of the provided features and functionality and view the roadmap to see what new improvements will be added soon. All the updates will be added to the extension for free if you buy it right now: the Firebear company offers one year of free updates and support!
Now, let’s explore several use cases. If you run an e-commerce website that is connected to various third-party platforms, you need a tool that provides these platforms with the data they require. Of course, it is possible to use the standard export interface, but you will never create a correct data file that can be moved right to the third-party system. And it will never happen automatically. With the Improved Import & Export Magento 2 extension, it is possible to specify what information to export, match the default attributes with custom ones, and create export schedule to provide the platforms with the necessary information on time. The same is about data generated by the platforms.
Fully leverage any accounting system by providing it with orders, invoices, and other documents. Customize data files via mapping and use filters to narrow down the selection of items you move out of your store.
If you have a multichannel business, your Magento 2 store can be turned into a hub where all product data is synchronized between all connected systems. Keep stock information and other data up to date due to the automated import and export jobs.
Streamline the Magento 1 preset to move data from your old store to the new one. Also, use mapping to simplify migration from other e-commerce platforms.
Update product and customer attributes with ease. Leverage bulk update via CSV, XML, or TXT files. The Improved Import Export extension will help you reduce hours of time necessary for manual admin work.
There are many more use cases. Use your imagination to simplify your daily routine with the help of Firebear’s Improved Import Export. The potential of the extension is really great, so you don’t need to limit its usage to the scenarios mentioned above. For any further information, follow the link below: