Easy Populate Free vs. Easy Populate Paid
I have used a zen cart for 5 years and really love it. Over time my store has grown and now I need a more efficient way to handle the hundreds of products I have and don't want to spend hours editing each product one by one.
I had a problem the other day, I had to change the quantity in stock of all my products. A kind Zen Cart person told me about the MySQL Patch and gave me the proper coding to put in there and it worked like a charm. Within a second all of the quantities of my products were changed.*
I also had to change prices, and used the same thing (MySQL Patch) to do that. Again it worked like a charm (proper precautions being taken).
I can foresee that there are a lot of things I might want to mass change in the future, and it's lovely to have the ability to do one thing and have changes occur.
So, it looks like I have several options if I want to do that and save time. The question is which one is better. I am running 1.3.9h version of Zen Cart, use Open Office, don't have a firm grasp on PHP or MySQL (I use them but have not studied them as I have HTML and CSS). Here are the options I see, please add any I don't know about:
1) learn the MySQL patches. I have not found where to get them or how to construct them. Would that be a full blown course in MySQL or is there a listing of patches somewhere? I have not found that listing but I may be asking for the wrong thing. This had the potential for really messing up my cart and having no one else to blame but me, UNLESS I approach it with the proper caution.
2) A free version of Easy Populate. It works with Open Office and with Tab Delimited files. I have OO and like it. However, I wonder if it is more cumbersome because it's an older version of EP.
3) A paid version of Easy Populate which seems to be newer and feature packed, I can buy installation. However, some folks have complained about the fact that it uses CSV (comma deliniated files) which would have trouble with descriptions of product (for instance) which used commas. Also there were complaints about no support from the owner of the program if you get in trouble back in about 2008, which may have been corrected.
I know that in any case there is the potential for making a mess out of my site, I just don't want any help from a 3rd party. :)
Would you please tell me your experiences with each, any cautions with each, recommendations and what you found useful and worth the investment of time and money. I don't want WWIII, I am looking for constructive advice. Thank you.
*Of course, I did approach this all with great caution, backing up my database and knowing that if anything went wrong I was in trouble.
The Zen of cat.
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