Howdy folks! My employer, State Supply, has a product catalog of over 17,000 steam and hydronic heating products. Organizing all of these products is a continuous effort. One of the largest advances that we have made recently is importing related products to our Magento driven site.

State Supply uses Magento’s “related products” to house repair parts for hundreds of steam traps and hot water pumps that we sell. For example, State Supply is a master distributor of Bell & Gossett brand pumps. Each pump has between 6 – 30+ repair parts. When customers come to our site, they often find their pump before their pump’s repair parts. Because of this, the ability to view repair parts for a specific pump on that pump’s product page was critical. With over 17,000 products there is no way that we were about to make these associations through the Magento Admin. I began searching for a solution to use Magento’s import/export functionality for related products. Through my research, I received a couple recommendations for an extension called uRapidFlow Pro.

With over 2 years experience with Magento, I have seen many horrible extensions. I tend to have a negative perception of Magento extensions. The economics of the extension game require developers to pack as much functionality in to extensions as possible in order to hit the broadest market of buyers. This results in bloat and bad code. Almost never is a packaged extension the perfect solution. However, uRapidFlow Pro may be an exception.

uRapidFlow Pro is light on resource consumption with a small memory footprint, is stable and extremely fast. I imported 300 products, each with 18 attributes in less than 5 seconds. That said, the documentation is horrendous. Why? Because it is non-existent. Currently, there are 2 – count ’em – articles in uRapidFlow’s knowledge base. Yep, 2. For $1200, one would expect more in the way of documentation. Funny fact, the two articles are 1) a billing FAQ and 2) an uninstall guide. Alas, the extension is completely worth it. If you have a little bit of patience and are more technically inclined than the average Magento user, you will be just fine.

Over the next few months I will try and fill some of the void that exists in uRapidFlow’s documentation. To start, I am going to publish a two part screencast on importing related products in to Magento using uRapidFlow Pro’s fixed row format. Part 1 focuses on correctly formatting your spreadsheet for the import. Part 2 focuses on configuring a fixed row format import profile in uRapidFlow Pro and running the import. Enjoy!

Formatting The Related Products Spreadsheet

Importing Related Products in Magento

Apologies in advance for the difference in audio levels. It’s been quite a while since part 1 was released. The audio for it was never normalized, but all the content is still relevant. Below is part 2.

Final Notes

  • Unirgy (uRapidflow’s developer) has had speedy response times on all of my support tickets. I have never had a ticket sit for over 24 hours.
  • You must have the Pro version of uRapidFlow to import related products – as well as upsell and crossell products.
Posted by: John Dugan