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Generic Database Imports.

Many users have listing data in spreadsheets or other formats that are incompatible with eBay's FE or TL input formats. In many cases, the data can not be converted to the required format due to undocumented requirements (by eBay) or the inability of user's to convert specific fields to XML or Base64 encoding.

BayLister provides a means for these users to import their data directly to BayLister, adding common data in the process, and even updating a prepared HTML template (for the description) with imported data at the same time. All this is done programmatically after a minimum amount of setup.

Here is a description of the process, along with a short example:

But first, here's some information about the input data:
The primary input format is  a file of Comma Separated Values (.csv) with a header
record of field names to identify the resulting columns of data.
The following is a sample .csv file: (named GenDBsample.csv for this discussion)
(csv is also used to identify tab separated value files which require that
 the program be supplied with a tab for it's delimiter character instead 
 of a comma - email us for instructions).

Title,                          Price,  BIN,   Description,           Notes
"Widget, green w/purple warts", 3.00,   4.25,  "The ""latest"" fad.", SK00012 
"Widget, green w/orange warts", 3.00,   4.25,  The gnarliest.,        SK00017

Notes on the input file format: (this example uses commas)
1. The first line in the file must be a header line, containing the field names.
2. Each field must be delimited by a comma (or a tab character) for csv files.
3. Field names may not include commas or tabs, and are preferred to not have spaces.
4. Data fields need to conform to the BayLister Database field definitions.
   (see the BayLister Field Definitions for usage.)
5. Field data that uses commas must be enclosed in double quotes ("field data").
6. Double quotes (") must be preceeded by (") and the field enclosed in (")'s.
7. Each line must be terminated with a CRLF (although just CR will suffice).
8. If your file is created as an Excel file and then saved as a .csv file, 
   everything should be as described.

Next, some information about adding common data to your listing:

Primarily, this consists of creating a Preset on the Current Item screen.
You can do this by of running BayLister, clicking on the "New Item" button and 
then filling out those fields which will be common among one or more groups of 
your listings. You can have multiple Presets defined, one for each group of listings
that you will be creating. 

For example, if all of your items have weights defined in your input file, then 
you may want to choose domestic (and international) shipping options which are 
calculated, and also enter the handling costs for each shipping service you offer. 
Same for Insurance, Return Policy (and options), Payment instructions, etc.

If you are listing items that have ISBN, UPC, or EAN codes in the input file, then you may 
wish to preset the PreType for one of these. (see the Pre... button on the Current
Item screen).

On the other hand, if you have a group of items which all belong in the same 
category, you can select the category at this time.

For the example above, lets create a Preset called Widgets. Heres a screen shot of
the Current Item screen filled in with some common data. Notice that I've typed 
Widgets as the name of this Preset and saved it. The Preset data is saved in a
special table in the database, reserved for Preset data.

 WidgetTemplateScreen (75K)
 I'm going to sell Widgets in the  Collectibles/Beads/1950-Now category, and
 keep my pictures for this listing in a folder on my D: drive, named
 D:\Pics\. I'm also going to ship all widgets by USPS First class mail with
 a flat shipping cost of $2.85, with no insurance offered, and in an envelope
 that measures 8x8x1. There are a few other things entered also, but you get the idea.
 (When you do the above and then switch back to the Inventory screen (or quit)
 you will be prompted to save. Since you're not really creating a listing you
 can just cancel. The Preset (or Template) has already been saved). 

One last thing to prepare before creating the listings. If all you want is some
blurbage for your description, then you needn't bother, but, if you want a little
pizzaz for your description, create a decription template:

Here's a sample template for selling Widgets that I created from the SampleHBTemplate.html
file supplied with the program (and available on our website). Just go to the Preview tab
and select the template, modify it to your liking, switch to the Text View tab, and save it
with a name of your choosing. I chose GenDBsampleTemplate.

GenDBsampleTemplate (68K) 

Notice the meta-tags. They are the field names with ## before and after the field name.
Each of these will be filled in with the corresponding field data during listing

Now, we're ready to create listings:

Run Baylister. Press the F5 key on your keyboard.
F5Screen (56K)

Now click on the More... button on this screen.

MoreScreen (44K)
Check the box for Generic DB Field1 and enter the name of the first field in your input data.
In this case it's "Title".

Now we can proceed to the final steps.
Click on the Import button. You'll see:

ImportScreen (53K)

Click on the "From csv files" button. Now select the import file and click Open.

FopenDlog (22K)

You will see:

ImportMappingScreen (67K)

Finally, create the translation file by equating the following fields
  (use the cursor to drag each from the imported field list to the Import Fields
   column in the right hand grid)
     Notes dragged and dropped in Notes
     Title dragged and dropped in Title         
     StartPrice dragged and dropped in StartPr
     BIN dragged and dropped in BIN
Now you can enter the name of the translation file in the text box and save it.
There was no need to put the description in the database. It will be inserted 
directly into the Html template selected via the drop-down in the template box.
If you have a separate html file to use, click on the Get button to select it.
Finally, select the Preset file(s) to use with this group of listings and click 
on the "Create Listings" button and follow along. Once the listings have been 
created, you may view them in Baylister, verify them with eBay, and finally
Upload them to eBay.