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.
Re: Easy Populate Free vs. Easy Populate Paid
In general, it is NOT advised to do detailed data updates using SQL patches, unless you know:
1. The STRUCTURE and RELATIONAL NATURE of the database you are working on
2. The proper SQL queries / commands to effect a desired change.
The two simple "UPDATE products SET..." queries you used recently are OK if you want a generalised change, that is relatively simple and straight-forward.
For ZC 1.3.9h, we still use EasyPopulate 22.214.171.124, but have modified it quite a lot to accommodate more fields in the products table. You can safely use EP126.96.36.199 on your ZC1.3.9 installation. And it will address most of your product update needs.
Chadderuski has developed EP ver 4, which can ALSO be used on ZC1.3.9, and we have installed this on several new sites (both ZC1.3.9 and ZC1.5).
If you are used to working in OpenOffice, then Chad's EP version 4, is great.
We also use the APSONA SHOPADMIN system, and it is really very nice. It takes time to learn how to use it effectively, but once you know how, it is superfast and efficient.
The Commercial EasyPopulate (Ver 3) is not recommended as it appears support for it is no longer offered. Nobody knows what has happened to Langer (the mod's author) and he has not been seen to comment on the forum for several years now.
There is a WIKI tutorial on Easy Populate 188.8.131.52 written by my colleague Schoolboy: http://www.zen-cart.com/wiki/index.php/Easy_Populate
Much of it applies to Chad's Version 4, with the MAIN DIFFERENCE being that Chad's version uses CSV as the delimiter system, and 184.108.40.206 used TABS as the field delimiter (Delimiter means "separator" - the "unit" that separates each field of data from other fields of data).
Re: Easy Populate Free vs. Easy Populate Paid
THANK YOU. That is exactly what I needed to sort out my options. I probably had seen talk about Easy Populate before but hadn't made the connection about there being something out there which could change a lot of data quickly. But when I found out there was 220.127.116.11, Ver. 3, Ver. 4 and which ones operate with certain programs and by certain parameters (comma vs. tab) and that some operated only with Excel then it was time for caution and ask an expert.
I would like to take a look at Apsona Shopadmin, too. At first blush Easy Populate v18.104.22.168 looks like the most suitable for my set up and preferences because it works with my cart, works with OpenOffice, and works with tab delimited files. I have a lot of verbiage in my shop and punctuation marks that might be misinterpreted. If Easy Populate deals with the description of the product at all...that could be real trouble.
By the way, it was Schoolboy who showed me the two MySQL patches and wrote them for me which I am very very appreciative of and many thanks to him.
The Zen of cat.
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