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  1. #1
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    I've never done much more than advanced html, dhtml, and the like. What I'd like to find out, as far as being able to use product datafeeds, is WHERE is the best place to go to begin to learn how to use datafeeds?

    Thanks

    Brian
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  2. #2
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    How much are you willing to learn? If you've never programmed anything before, get ready for an uphill battle.

    Easy: Buy webmerge. It looks like it's worth $79.

    Difficult: pick a programming language you're comfortable with and learn how it manipulates text files. I'm a Micro$oft monkey, so I like VBScript: http://msdn.microsoft.com

    You'll need to venture into the MSDN library for the FileSystemObject, there's a link somewhere.

    That's all the hand-holding I'm willing to do right now.

    Added: I'll do a little more hand holding.

    This is the core for any datafeed manipulation:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...vsfctsplit.asp

    "Split" function.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    First step, imho, is picking up knowledge of relational db manipulation..

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  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FFoc:
    First step, imho, is picking up knowledge of relational db manipulation..

    Ford Fox-body Owners Club
    http://www.ford-fox.org<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you're looking at one table, it's not really relational.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Yeah, but if you grok relations, dealing with single-table is a breeze. And frankly, you can do some really powerful stuff with single table relations.

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  6. #6
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    Yeah, but if you grok relations, dealing with single-table is a breeze. And frankly, you can do some really powerful stuff with single table relations.


    And these datafeeds never get large enough to have to worry about making a decent relational database... One table is fine.

  7. #7
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    I am partial to perl. It is a language designed to manipulate text, so it works well.

    If you do not have the desire to learn a programming language, then webmerge looks like your best bet.

    BTW, DHTML seems really complicated to me. I think you would be able to pick up a language without too much effort.

  8. #8
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    IMO Sonicfactor is even easier than Webmerge, you barely even have to know how to say data base and it's free. Granted it's not as robust but I'd be willing to bet "robust" isn't in the equation for you yet anyway. I'd start here and move up to Webmerge later.

    Even better, take a look at both of them and see which you can grasp faster.

    http://www.sonicfactor.com/support/r...c=introduction

    Dale Wentzel
    Director, Online Marketing Motormint.com
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  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I don't really understand what you mean about relational database. What is there to learn about linking tables? I have two tables on my site. One is my full data table consisting of about 1.5 GBs of data. The other table consists of a much smaller amount of data and most of the queries are run on it in order to not bog down the server. Once the user has choosen their category etc I then send them into the large product database where the individual product is searched out only by product number (ie auto_increment bigint) and is set as primary. This runs extremely fast on my redhat apache server with 620 mb ddr and an xp 1500 processor. The query on the large table only uses up one tenth of a percent of the processor and is nearly nothing at all on the smaller table of course.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gatekeeper:
    IMO Sonicfactor is even easier than Webmerge, you barely even have to know how to say data base and it's free. Granted it's not as robust but I'd be willing to bet "robust" isn't in the equation for you yet anyway. I'd start here and move up to Webmerge later.

    Even better, take a look at both of them and see which you can grasp faster.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    RXO is definitely easier, since it has a much smaller feature set that looks flatteringly like old versions of WebMerge. If it does what you need it's a great value and you should definitely check it out.

    But the question in applying this tool for building commercial storefronts is whether it will do what you need. The simplest software possible has no features at all, so the trick is to find ways of adding features people need while still keeping a tool, as MacWorld says of WebMerge, "remarkably easy to use."

    One of the areas we get the most requests for is simplifying the creation of hierarchical page structures, such as a category that leads to manufacturers that leads to individual product details. The current version of WebMerge supports two-level hierarchies in one pass, and you can run any number of settings in a batch to create n-level deep hierarchies. But while we're working on requests for simplifying this further, I couldn't see how RXO supports index pages at all, let alone with the flexible options for making multiple index pages based on specific criteria, like having a page break at a certain number of records, or when the value in a field changes so you can automatically have category pages. How do you create index pages in RXO that are automatically linked to product detail pages?

    RXO has fewer than half the template tags, no conditional tags, no automatic building of directories, no FTP upload, and requires the extra step of importing your feed into one specific database product. It's definitely a simpler tool.

    Can one produce these WebMerge-assisted sites with RXO?:

    &lt;http://www.executiveparent.com&gt;
    &lt;http://www.TalariaEnterprises.com/&gt;
    &lt;http://www.britainexpress.com/&gt;
    &lt;http://www.995artprints.com/&gt;
    &lt;http://www.lrb.co.uk/&gt;
    &lt;http://www.bmi.com/&gt;

    As a side project that addresses a very specific scope, Mr. Kiel seems to have done a great job. Since you can download and evaluate both for free, it's definitely worth a bake-off on your hard drive. And of course I can't argue with Gatekeeper's recommendation to consider moving up to WebMerge if you need its features.

    If you have a need that neither tool currently addresses, feel free to drop me a note. The next free upgrade for WebMerge is coming next month.

    --
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    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
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  11. #11
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    Moving this thread into the Programming --&gt; Datafeed Forum. Some good information here.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heyder:
    I have two tables on my site.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I currently have three for my JCW storefront, and I'm finding this constricting. I'm seriously considering adding a fourth.

    And my content site runs ~25 tables. On my server even that still uses up less processor than the php scripts to run it.

    Mainly I suggest learning a "real" database because creating the scripts are easier, and the db accesses are a heckova lot less resource-intense than flatfiles.

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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Okay, if you want to do static pages, grab the free WebMerge trial and play with it.

    If you want a dynamic DF site, you have two general options:
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Buy a prebuilt script
    <LI>Learn a scripting language and build your own[/list]

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  14. #14
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Mainly I suggest learning a "real" database because creating the scripts are easier, and the db accesses are a heckova lot less resource-intense than flatfiles. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your site in you sig is run on phpnuke. I thought nuke ran on mysql. So I'm confused on what you mean about "flat file" and "real database" considering I'm running mysql as well.

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I wrote scripts where the datafile has nearly 2 million products in it. Although I don't have them all accessable because of the poor quality of a lot of the data I was given. I still have a lot of work to complete on it but note the extremly high speed of the queries. Out of two million products it brings up your search in less than a second.

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If you want a dynamic DF site, you have two general options:



    Buy a prebuilt script
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hm? Where's this?

    -Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    Hm? Where's _this?_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Scripts4yoursite.com forum
    Cusimano.com Scripts forum

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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heyder:
    Your site in you sig is run on phpnuke. I thought nuke ran on mysql. So I'm confused on what you mean about "flat file" and "real database" considering I'm running mysql as well.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    "Flat file" is a term common in the IT industry referring to data kept in a text file - most of the configuration files in /etc are flat file databases.

    IMO, all SQL databases are contained within the set "real databases", including MySQL and Access - my only requirement for this qualification is that there is an indexing server process to speed queries.

    And the site referenced in my sig was set up two years ago next month, long before I learned what an SQL query even looked like..

    My JCW store site, while not anywhere *near* finished - and not running off a real datafeed - but live nonetheless is at www.ford-fox.com, and my EA DF site isn't yet fit for public (well, googlebot anyway) consumption.

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  19. #19
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    Mysql lacks a lot of what real RDBMS offer..but..for little sites its fine..and very speedy...

    Check out postgres if you want something a little better but still free..

    ----
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  20. #20
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    okay understood. Tomorrow I will install Oracle 9I. I do believe this is a "real" database. Am I right or am I right?

    I've intended on doing this for a short while now because I feel learning oracle would be great just incase I ever need to look for work.

  21. #21
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    FFoc--

    Oh, I haven't looked in those forums for a while. Most of the things I saw from Cusimano only work with (or the terms restrict them to) certain merchants, or at least they did last time I checked. I'll have to take another look at both forums and see what's new.

    -Early in life, I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

  22. #22
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    BTW, is anyone using mysql 4 or still sticking with 3? Thinking of switching to it everywhere.. seems stable on my dev / test boxes...

    [This message was edited by Joseph Monuit on February 28, 2003 at 04:02 AM.]

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    I'm still using the most recent 3.xx because that's where Debian's stable branch is.

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