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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    SAS Datafeeds...?
    How do you handle the SAS datafeeds...??

    I cannot seem to find a COMPLETE feed...
    Either it is a CSV "Pipe Delimited File" that is all screwed up..
    OR
    It's a text file with no column headers...???

    How do you download and use the SAS datafeeds easily...???

    The problem I am running into is the fact that I have to download TWO feeds for any given merchant...

    I have to download the TEXT File for the information and the Pipe Delimited File for the column headers....

    The information is BETTER in the text file... but there are no column headers to tell you which column contains what...

    The pipe delimited CSV file... is all jumbled in one column... and sometimes those columns are spread out.. over several columns...
    So if you copy the far left column "Where the info is SUPPOSED to be" you may miss some info that has bled out into other columns...

    SO...
    How do you handle the SAS Datafeeds...??

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador HumbleFish's Avatar
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    I used Open Office and CSVed and did pretty good.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I could download the PIPE DELIMITED csv file... save it as a text file then import it back into Excel...

    BUT... what a pain in the a$$.......

    SAS --Just give me one file that is GOOD TO GO... please...

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador HumbleFish's Avatar
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    Here's some links to the afore mentioned programs; and there are two different programs on the second link (I used CSVed, not the other one):


    http://www.openoffice.org/index.html

    http://home.hccnet.nl/s.j.francke/t2t/text2table.htm

    Hope this helps, and Love You,
    HumbleFish

  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I didn't use a ton of datafeeds when I was promoting, but I don't recall having any particular issues as above when I was. I used OpenOffice as well...
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  6. #6
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    I either:

    a) Zero-Effort Way: have a script that ftp's the feed, replaces my id, imports into the database.

    b) Minimal Effort Way: download it from the feeds page, search and replace my id, import it manually.

    Use several feeds. No problems.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    OH GOODIE....
    When I go to download the entire CSV file... I get this...
    LINKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED BELOW:::::
    -----------------------
    Your requested datafile had more than 1000 products listed in it. Therefore, we have seperated it into pages for you. The below link will download the current page, and you can use these links to retrieve the extra pages.

    Pages: 9 Current Page: 1 Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 Your data file Page 1 has been generated, RIGHT click here to download it
    .

    Your browser will probably ask you if you want to Open the file, or Save. Choose "Save", and save the file to your computer...from there you can open it in any program you wish.

    Fields are seperated by the "|" "Pipe" symbol, not by the comma.

    ____________________

    Yippie... seperate the datafeeds for me... THANKS.. so much for making my work HARDER.. not SMARTER....

    So now if a merchant has more than 1000 products which is NOT a problem any where else on the planet...
    SAS seperates the feeds into several different PAGES... so if you get a merchant with 10,000 products you have to download TEN FILES...??? Then combine them to come up with a single FEED...

    Ridiculous...
    I'll try another network that can supply the much needed DATA correctly...



    ---------------------------------
    OH AND ---
    Thanks HumbleFish...!!!!!!!
    I'll look into those programs.......

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    mobilebadboy...
    Yes I could do that too... but I prefer to work WITH the feeds a little first...
    I NEVER use feeds right out of the box... it makes for better SE traffic... not to have duplicate content on your site....

    But with SAS it's almost impossible... (or a PITA) - unless all your merchants have under 1000 products.....

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Noth - well I am doing EXACTLY what I do at every other network...
    BUT - with SAS - it is a MAJOR -- MAJOR --- PITA...
    A feed should be a single file.. unless the merchant is so HUGE that the files are too big..!! Like Overstock...

    BUT -- ANYTHING -- over 1000 products...??
    I will refrain from saying what I REALLY want to say...

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I have scripts that download the feeds from SAS's FTP server. I download the .txt file and import it from there. I don't pay attention to the headers so I'm not sure if it's listed in these files. Unfortunately SAS doesn't have many feeds that are compatible with my niches, so I don't really use their feeds too much. Otherwise the FTP system is pretty solid.

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

  11. #11
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    If I have to manipulate the feeds, I still have no problems with them.

    I do dislike the way they break up the larger feeds. If it's a good merchant (active, easy to deal with) apply for FTP access for their feed. You can get it all in one file that way. Most of the larger ones I work with I have FTP access for.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  12. #12
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    AddHandler, (and mobilebadboy)

    The feeds aren't broken up unless you are still using the "old" method. They are available off of the site as well as through FTP in complete.

    If you need help with the new method (getting them all in one feed) and can't find it on the site, feel free to call me and I'll walk you through it...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  13. #13
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Brian, I get the remaining ones not on FTP through the bulk method.

    It's just rare I do that I forgot about it.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Brian - I am using BOTH methods...

    From SAS:::::
    ---------
    Please click here to download the file.

    You will need to replace every occurrence of YOURUSERID in this file, with your actual ShareASale userID number, which is XXXXXX.

    Your browser will probably ask you if you want to Open the file, or Save. Choose "Save", and save the file to your computer...from there you can open it in any program you wish.

    Fields are seperated by the "|" "Pipe" symbol, not by the comma.

    The old process of retrieving datafeeds will be available for a short time by clicking here.
    ----------------------------------------

    When I click to download the file on the
    I get a Zipped Text File with no COLUMN Headers....
    If this file had column headers it wouldn't be a problem...
    THIS would be all I need - if that file wasn't seperated into multiple files per thousand products...

    When I click to download the file on the (Old Method)
    I get a pipe delimited CSV file that is jumbled into multiple columns... BUT with column headers...

    So I am combining the TWO to create a complete feed....

    -----------

    I haven't tried the FTP option yet... so maybe the third time is a charm...
    I will apply for FTP access... and see if it works more easily....

  15. #15
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    AddHandler,

    The column headers are always the same, they are generic...

    If you save them once into excel or similar that you use, you shouldn't have to download them everytime. I'm still not sure how you got to the part where you have to download multiple pages ??

    The FTP process yields the exact same file as what you are referring to as the TEXT file.... (new, not the old method)...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    OK...
    So I tried the FTP method...
    BUT..
    All files are NUMBERED files...
    No way to tell which feed is for which merchant...???
    (( ***are these numbers always the same for each merchant..??? ))
    So I have to download all of them and open them all up to find the feeds I need.

    ***--- Wish they were named after the merchant so they would be easily found....

    Brian - so you are saying that the FTP option just gives you the TEXT file..??
    The one with no column headers in it...???

    If they are generic columns... why not just include them in the text file...??
    I do not like guessing which column contains the info I want...

    BRIAN - Also -- I got that MULTIPLE file download after clicking on the OLD option to a merchant feed with more than 1000 products in it....

  17. #17
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Yes, the FTP is the text file....

    We didn't contain the headers because we want to allow merchants to provide their own headers in a seperate file (not completed yet) to be downloaded and merged into the feed. Plus, the headers are all the same all the time in those files so it didn't seem necessary.

    On FTP - yes, the files are numbered...that is the ShareASale MerchantID number... using the merchant name was not an option due to special characters in merchant's names, such as Wilson & Wilson (example)

    Are you able to download the headers just one time and then use them for multiple files that you download?
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    OK...
    So I tried the FTP method...
    BUT..
    All files are NUMBERED files...
    No way to tell which feed is for which merchant...???
    (( ***are these numbers always the same for each merchant..??? ))
    So I have to download all of them and open them all up to find the feeds I need.

    ***--- Wish they were named after the merchant so they would be easily found....
    The numbers indicate the merchant ID for that particular feed. You can find it by logging into SAS and finding the merchant's detail page. It'll be in the address bar as m=XXXX. It's also included in any banner or link URL for each merchant.

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

  19. #19
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    AddHandler,

    I decided to group some lines from all your questions about "How do you download and use the SAS datafeeds easily...???" and include it all in just one single Quote Box. But since I was feeling before, like you're feeling now about the SAS datafeeds, I would like to say: "Welcome to Hell" before I reply.

    Originally Posted by AddHandler:
    It's a text file with no column headers...???

    How do you download and use the SAS datafeeds easily...???

    The pipe delimited CSV file... is all jumbled in one column... and sometimes those columns are spread out.. over several columns...

    So if you copy the far left column "Where the info is SUPPOSED to be" you may miss some info that has bled out into other columns...

    Well, I guess I could download the PIPE DELIMITED csv file... save it as a text file then import it back into Excel...

    BUT... what a pain in the a$.......

    Your requested datafile had more than 1000 products listed in it. Therefore, we have seperated it into pages for you. The below link will download the current page, and you can use these links to retrieve the extra pages.
    Pages: 9 Current Page: 1 Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 Your data file Page 1 has been generated, RIGHT click here to download it.

    So now if a merchant has more than 1000 products which is NOT a problem any where else on the planet...

    SAS seperates the feeds into several different PAGES... so if you get a merchant with 10,000 products you have to download TEN FILES...??? Then combine them to come up with a single FEED...

    But with SAS it's almost impossible... (or a PITA) - unless all your merchants have under 1000 products.....

    When I click to download the file on the
    I get a Zipped Text File with no COLUMN Headers....
    If this file had column headers it wouldn't be a problem...

    THIS would be all I need - if that file wasn't seperated into multiple files per thousand products...

    When I click to download the file on the (Old Method)
    I get a pipe delimited CSV file that is jumbled into multiple columns... BUT with column headers...

    So I am combining the TWO to create a complete feed....
    OK...
    So I tried the FTP method...
    BUT..
    All files are NUMBERED files...
    No way to tell which feed is for which merchant...???
    (( ***are these numbers always the same for each merchant..??? ))
    So I have to download all of them and open them all up to find the feeds I need.

    ***--- Wish they were named after the merchant so they would be easily found....
    SO...
    How do you handle the SAS Datafeeds...??
    "Welcome to Heaven Now!"

    AddHandler,

    I went through all that hell before, I have posted before the same thing that you have just posted here, and I never got the right answer that I thought I was looking for, so I decided to experiment by myself, and now I have no problems getting any SAS Datafeeds, and while I know that the page to get the feed is confusing as hell, and that some datafeeds are so badly formatted that some are worthless to use, all I can say now is that I have no more problems getting any SAS Datafeeds.

    This may sound stupid to some, but I don't care, because this works for me and this is what I do now:

    1 - Since the Old process of retrieving datafeeds will all have your YOURUSERID.csv --- (No good, because the second download will overwrite the first one.)

    And...

    Since the New process of retrieving datafeeds will all have your MERCHANTID.txt --- (No good, after you download a couple of feeds, you will not remember what MERCHANTID number belongs to what merchant.)

    My work around these two problems are easy.

    Before I click to download the datafeed, I pass the mouse over the merchant name and copy the merchant name, now when I click to download the datafeed, I just paste the merchant name where the YOURUSERID.csv or the MERCHANTID.txt is, so that problem is fixed.

    2 - If the merchant have less than 1000 products, it's no big deal, but if they have over 1000 products...... well......

    First, this don't work anymore:
    The old process of retrieving datafeeds will be available for a short time by clicking here.
    The below link will download the current page, and you can use these links to retrieve the extra pages.
    Pages: 9 Current Page: 1 Page 2 | Page 3 | etc, etc.
    because once you get the first page, it no longer give you the second page, but who cares!

    If the merchant have more than 1000 products, I will just then use the New process of retrieving datafeeds as, Merchant-Name.txt and case closed.

    In case you worry that now you have to add the Column Headers and your YOURUSERID to those big feeds, that's not a big deal, just use WordPad, Crimsom Editor or any other Text Editor to search and replace YOURUSERID with your ID#'s.

    Oh yea, how about the Column Headers?

    No big deal, just grab any old small datafeed, open it with what ever is close by and highlight just the Column Headers, and copy and paste it to an empty notepad file, (I still have a SaS Column-Headers.txt file sitting on my desktop just in case I need it.)

    When ever you get another SAS datafeed without the Column Headers, just open the Column-Headers.txt and copy the Column Headers to the new naked SAS datafeed and case closed.

    Btw AddHandler, I used to get mad everytime that I have to replace YOURUSERID with my ID#'s on any feed, and I was really more annoyed when I had to add the Column Headers to any feed, But after I started using PHP & MySQL, I discovered that by just adding a little PHP code here and there, that I would never need to manually replace any USERID, nor add any regular Column Headers to any feed. So another case closed.

    And finally AddHandler, I will like to let you know a little secret before you discoverer it later, because I know this is another pain in the SAS datafeeds.

    Keep an eye on some merchants that like to play around with the Custom1, Custom2 and Custom3, I have found a few merchants that today may have something on those three fields saying one thing, but on the next datafeed update, they may have switched those Custom's fields around and caused the pages to display something weird or nothing at all.

    Sal.
    ...

  20. #20
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HumbleFish
    Here's some links to the afore mentioned programs; and there are two different programs on the second link (I used CSVed, not the other one):


    http://www.openoffice.org/index.html

    http://home.hccnet.nl/s.j.francke/t2t/text2table.htm

    Hope this helps, and Love You,
    HumbleFish
    Thank you for sharing those links
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Mr Sal...
    and for clearing up the fact that the header columns are standard...
    Whew... I thought they were ALL different column headers.. LOL

    But good lord your sure smells a lot like pure

    Sorry .. But I am used to CLICK - Download - "Customize" - Upload...

    I have advertised for some merchants at SAS but this is the first time I have worked with the SAS datafeeds.


    ----------
    Brian
    When you say:::
    "We didn't contain the headers because we want to allow merchants to provide their own headers in a seperate file (not completed yet) to be downloaded and merged into the feed."

    So ALL your merchant datafeed COLUMN headers will ALWAYS be in a seperate file.. AND each merchant will have different column headers as well...?

    Please read this post::
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=64131

    I think you are on the wrong track if you are going to allow every merchant to have their own column headers in a seperate file... as far as usability.. And seeing as this will allow your merchants or your affiliates to make all kinds of mistakes... when the column headers don't match the datafeed... (Especially with the special character naming issue)

    Setting SOME kind of standard for the original data is a better plan IMHO...
    Once a person understands the format.. the rest is just data... so the format is the most important thing... if the format is constantly changing within your network.. it makes your feeds a lot harder to work with for most of us..


  22. #22
    Member RWorld's Avatar
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    So ALL your merchant datafeed COLUMN headers will ALWAYS be in a separate file.. AND each merchant will have different column headers as well...?
    I hope (if this ever comes to fruition) that the actual column header names will be standardized - eg you won't have one merchant calling the product name "product_name", and another one calling it "item_name" (for example).

    If the column names are fixed, then it will actually make the job easier for those who programmatically manipulate the feeds, since it will not be necessary to look at the feed and manually check that it matches "the standard". For example, at the moment, some use custom1,2 for extra categorizations, some use custom3,4.
    I realize that (probably the majority) who do not use PHP, ASP or whatever to handle feeds it will be a lot harder though.

    Personally, I think that more effort should be expended in increasing the data quality first, before adding flexibility, since a lot of merchants can't seem to grasp the concept as it is, and asking them to specify their own headers is just something else for them to botch up, honestly.
    <font size="1"><strong>[URL=http://www.thechesszone.com]TheChessZone[/URL]</strong> Chess sets and supplies.<br><strong>[URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=9515]Join our affiliate program[/URL]</strong> Up to 12% commission!

  23. #23
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    AddHandler,

    The additional file for the headers (individual for merchants) came along as a request from Affiliates (and Merchants).... the main columns will always remain constant but the file will allow for additional Custom field names ... using .php or any other scripting language (or just by hand) it will only take a minute to align those fields with the headers.


    I've read the "Datafeed Standard" idea...and I do like it... I posted in that thread a while back some suggestions as well as offering our support once a final version came out... I was under the understanding that the format had not been fully completed and released yet. I outlined my concerns on the format, including the main concern that there was a set format released, approved, etc... One other thing I posted in there, ....

    In general, ShareASale would be supportive of the development of a "universal" format but my advice would be to make it as least restrictive as you can. For example, I wouldn't suggest going so far as making it "required" to be "Tab", "Comma", or "Pipe" delimited.... There are bigger battles to win than that! Any program that you would use to parse a datafeed can easily do so with any of those formats... but Merchant commerce systems don't often work as flexibly the other way... The more restrictive that you make it - the more difficulty there will be for a merchant to adhere to the standard.
    The more flexible the format is, the more merchants who will be able to use it.


    From AddHandler:
    Setting SOME kind of standard for the original data is a better plan IMHO...
    Once a person understands the format.. the rest is just data... so the format is the most important thing... if the format is constantly changing within your network.. it makes your feeds a lot harder to work with for most of us..
    Good point, and this is exactly why we were and are waiting for the ABW standard to be finalized before changing or offering it... constant change in a datafeed format would be a problem... I'm not sure what changes you are seeing in the ShareASale format of the datafeed as it has been constant for quite some time as well... The main columns, as I have said above, are always the same and in the same order... the only thing that really differs from feed to feed is the custom fields at the end which are....well.... custom. The new "column headers" file is just a way to address getting the information to you on what those fields are.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  24. #24
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Rworld,

    See above, the custom header file is just so that we can get the information to you on what the "custom fields" are... the main columns won't change.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  25. #25
    Member RWorld's Avatar
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    That's fine - as you say, the only things that change are the custom fields, so it shouldn't be a big deal really.
    <font size="1"><strong>[URL=http://www.thechesszone.com]TheChessZone[/URL]</strong> Chess sets and supplies.<br><strong>[URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=9515]Join our affiliate program[/URL]</strong> Up to 12% commission!

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