View Poll Results: What is your preferable datafeed format?

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  • XML

    3 9.68%
  • Tab

    7 22.58%
  • CSV

    10 32.26%
  • XLS

    0 0%
  • Pipe-Delimited

    11 35.48%
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  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    What's Your Preferable Datafeed Format?
    In effort to try make affiliate life easier and more enjoyable, merchants (and network owners) could appreciate this information. So please take your time to vote for one of these.

    Geno

  2. #2
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Of course, "it depends". :-)

    If I use the whole feed of a merchant and they offer daily FTP access, it's hard to beat pipe, tab, or csv files for their compressability and ease of processing.

    If I want to display some dynamic pages based on keywords or just keep on top of a smaller but constantly updating data set, then being able to use a web service that returns XML directly from the merchants backend is handy.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I prefer pipe-delimited, because it's a bit easier to read if you need to debug things. Tab or CSV are a close second. XML is fine, but often takes a little more work to use.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    sigh ... too tuckered right now to elaborate, but here's my vote for now.

    pipe.

    CSV or TAB as long as you realize that tabs and commas stand a good chance of being in the descriptions, etc and that you accomodate for that.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    We've started with a great response! Thank you, everyone! Looking forward to more votes and comments... They are extremely valuable!

    Geno

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I like Tab, because tabs are NOT usually found in the data. (Popdawg, what kind of screwy merchant puts tabs in the description?!)

    Pipe is a pain in the butt IMO, it doesn't like to work with my spreadsheet program (Works) and I don't want to have to fire up MySQL or even another spreadsheet when I'm dealing with a single merchant's feed.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I prefer pipe too. CSV sometimes causes problems if the descriptions are quoted and include quotes within quotes. With pipes there's no question how to interpret the data.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  8. #8
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    I was waiting to hear from you Leader
    Ive run across more than enough who do; more so those who add HTML to their descriptions. (See my opposition [oddly enough to another Geno question lol] to HTML in descriptions)
    There are a few others who seperate keywords by tabs (and don't listen when I tell them or show them what a mess it makes).

    Leader ... uses Works for spreadsheets?
    They still make works?


    Geez this is like my first girlfriend.
    I had her on such a pedestal ... turned out she was only human and had her flaws ... not many tho ... and not when she wore the blue dress ...siggggghhhhhhh ..... ermmm right, moving on
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Geno, you might consider browsing this thread:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...1&page=1&pp=25

    There's a discussion there of a proposed universal format for data feeds, and a lot of good thinking on the subject is well represented there.

    When it gets finalized WebMerge will definitely support it, and we're looking into ways in which we might also provide conversion utilities as well to make the transition easier for both merchants and affiliates.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld
    Geno, you might consider browsing this thread:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...1&page=1&pp=25

    There's a discussion there of a proposed universal format for data feeds, and a lot of good thinking on the subject is well represented there...
    Richard, this is actually the thread (see the last posts in it now) that originated this poll.

    Geno

  11. #11
    Canadienne extraordinaire Susan's Avatar
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    Okay, not being technical in nature AND this being so timely since we are building out our feeds, can anyone explain to me what 'pipe' means? We're developing XML feeds and haven't really considered any others and I'd really love to know what makes folks lives easier...

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Susan Arts
    Senior Vice President, Marketing
    Moxy Media

  12. #12
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Pipe is just another delimiter used

    NAME|BRAND|CATEGORY|PRICE|SALEPRICE

    and so on.

    | <--- that's a pipe


    so many jokes ... so dirty .... so very dirty.

    Bad duck
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  13. #13
    Canadienne extraordinaire Susan's Avatar
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    Shocked

    heh...a dirty mind is a joy forever...so my late grandmother always told me!
    Susan Arts
    Senior Vice President, Marketing
    Moxy Media

  14. #14
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan_ShareResults
    Shocked

  15. #15
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    That smilie is making me twitch lol
    Figures a Montrealer would have a good attitude.
    Hey, quick question for you. Since I left, the Expos moved on, but what ever happened to Youppi(spelling?)?
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I voted for tab by accident - I thought it meant pipe (no I don't know why I thought that either) - but pipe gets my vote (and take one off tab).

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Pipe!

    As others have said, it's easy to view in Word or another editor to understand what's going on if you have problems.

    It's also easier to manually edit if you have an odd problem somewhere in it.
    A joy shared is a joy doubled.
    A burden shared is a burden lightened.

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've seen more than a few datafeeds with tabs and linefeeds in the descriptions, which wreaks havoc on most any format. I've seen a few with pipes in the descriptions, but not as many.

    Pipe looks like the most popular, but it's not one of the choices in the poll.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I've seen more than a few datafeeds with tabs and linefeeds in the descriptions
    Tabs don't render in HTML; why would a merchant include them?
    Sounds like an error.

    As for in-data linefeeds (and carriage returns), the most sensible solution I've seen is the one FileMaker Pro uses, in which in-data LFs are replaced with ASCII 11, to be replaced with "<br>" in HTML output on the backside.

    The alternative is to require quotes around data, but that opens up a whole other set of complexities as the quote character is very commonly used in data. CSV relies on this, and it's notoriously slow to parse and inconsistently implemented even by companies as large as Microsoft.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan_ShareResults
    We're developing XML feeds and haven't really considered any others and I'd really love to know what makes folks lives easier...
    You might find this post helpful:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...&postcount=147
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  21. #21
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ward
    I voted for tab by accident - I thought it meant pipe (no I don't know why I thought that either) - but pipe gets my vote (and take one off tab).
    So shall we add pipe to the list above? Can mods do it?

    Geno

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I added Pipe-Delimited, and based on the posts I added six votes for Pipe-Delimited and removed two votes from Tab (mine and Paul's). I'm not sure what the other four who mentioned pipe-delimited in their posts original voted for.

    It might be better if Haiko can just clear all the votes and let us vote again, but this should make it closer to what people intended.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  23. #23
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mike!

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I added Pipe-Delimited, and based on the posts I added six votes for Pipe-Delimited and removed two votes from Tab (mine and Paul's).
    Thanks Mike - now if I could just remember where I put that computer.....

  25. #25
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    I don't really mind on what the datafeed file information is delimited by. I have made my own scripts that can accept any form of delimited data.

    The only ones that I don't use is the XML ones.

    I also prefer datafeeds to be in a CSV file and not a text file as I find process information from a CSV file is much quicker than a text file on my computer.

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