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Data, Kentico and a little import magic

Senior web developer, Peter Cranston, discusses his import module that should save hours of time, stress and a lot of manual work.

Whenever I start work on a new project, whether it's building a brand-new website from scratch, or supporting and enhancing an existing site, there is always one type of task that I know I am sure to be given sooner or later: 

  • "Can you upload the users in this spreadsheet onto the site?"
  • "We need the price updating for these products. Here's the spreadsheet of new prices."
  • "Can we add new pages to this section of the website from this spreadsheet?"

A bulk import of some kind of content is guaranteed to be a requirement for virtually any site at some point. I found myself doing so many variations of the same task, that it occurred to me - surely there must be a way to make a module to handle this.

Kentico has many advantages, but as a developer, two of the biggest things I love about working with it are:

  1. How easy it is to extend with custom modules.
  2. The powerful and versatile Kentico API.

Thanks to these 2 features, we’ve been able to develop our own Import Module which is now available for free on the Kentico Marketplace.

The module allows you to define your own 'Import Profiles' where you can build you own custom import process and where it should be imported to in Kentico. It gives you the flexibility to specify if it should be allowed to create new records, or just update existing ones (or both!). 

Through the ‘Columns’ tab, you can define what format the spreadsheet will be in (and download an example file).

Through the ‘Mappings’ tab, you can define what the import should do with each column – whether it should be just saved straight into a field, or passed to a macro method.

You can define post update actions to run after each row has been processed. 

This module is still in an early version, but we’re very excited about the possibilities for extending it!

You can view the full Release Notes and User Guide here.

Give it a go – we’d love to know what you think and how much time it saved you!

Author:Peter Cranston

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