Simple Product Import

The Simple Product Import administrative section allows creating as many simple products in an Excel spreadsheet as needed, then upload them into CPQ. Once imported, simple products can easily be converted to configurable products. This makes not only creating multiple simple products easier, but it also makes the beginning steps of creating a configurable product easier too. For more information on what is a simple product What Defines a Simple Product?
Simple Product Import allows not only importing new simple products, but user can also export any existing simple products into an Excel spreadsheet. This allows quickly updating pricing, descriptions, or any other field that the spreadsheet contains. Once re-uploaded, the modifications will be made to the simple products in the system.


Figure A - Simple Product Import

The Simple Product Import administrative section can be accessed under the Products admin menu. From this page user can download the template for importing new simple products, export existing simple product to this template, or upload and import new simple products.
The template provided as a download is used for uploading new simple products. It comes with some pre-entered values to direct you in creating the products. It is important to delete these entries, otherwise when user uploads the spreadsheet, these products will be created.
When creating entries in the spreadsheet, value in the System ID column shouldn't be added. This value is strictly for the system’s use. When products are exported this column will be filled with that product’s system ID. The Index column is used by the system when importing the products. This allows the system to uniquely identify each product row in the spreadsheet. User can easily fill this column in by using Excel’s fill feature. When creating entries for an attribute and its values, start the index by 1 and increase it by 1 for each attribute value on the spreadsheet.

Figure B - Simple Product Import Template

To create a new simple product entry in the spreadsheet, user will need to enter a new row for each product. There is no need to enter values for every column. The required columns are Index, Product Name, Price, Product Type, and Categories. If a Product Type or Category included has not been created in the system yet, then they will be created during the import.
The Price, Cost Builder, and Cat Code fields can contain CPQ tags that will generate the value automatically. For instance, user can use an the AUX tag to pull these values from a Custom table. Configuring products in this way allows updating pricing and part numbers (Cat Code) easily by simply updating the Custom table.
Enter the category where the product will exist in the Categories column. By default, any new categories will be created at the top level category. User can create and include the product in subcategories if wanted. To do this, precede the subcategory name with the parent category followed by a >. For instance, if user wants to add a product to a new subcategory Printers that should be in a subcategory of Hardware and Accessories, he will represent that in the following order: Hardware>Accessories>Printers.
Enter any attributes for the product in the same row as the product, then include its values underneath the name. Additional attributes can be added in subsequent columns in the same way. Attributes can have as many attributes as needed. Once user has entries for all the products he would like to create, he can save the file then go into the Simple Product Import admin section. Click the Browse button in the Import Products section of the page. Choose the modified template and click Import.

Besides adding new entries, it is important not to modify the template file. All the columns shown in Figure B need to exist for the upload to be successful. User can view restrictions and required columns on the Important Info sheet tab of the Simple Product Import Template.

During an import, the system checks the file to ensure that it does not have any invalid entries. If the import process does take more than a few seconds, system will also display import progress real-time (it will show the number of loaded simple products). Each record is defined as each product entry in the spreadsheet. Errors will be given if required fields are not entered for a product. The system processes the entire spreadsheet and returns the status.


Figure C - Simple product Import Status

If there is at least one valid product to import, user can either import it with a preview or without. If Import With Preview is chosen then user has the option to select or reject products before they are saved into the system. This view will also show any invalid products that were found during processing of the spreadsheet. Choosing Import Without Preview will import all the attributes without a review screen first. In addition, if there are some invalid records in the spreadsheet, user can choose to only see those records by selecting Import With Preview of Invalid Records Only.

The Status column does show only a partial error message. To get a full error report, user will need to click on the error message itself.

Figure D - Import With Preview

Whichever selection was made, new products will be saved to the system by clicking Save.

With exception to the Import Without Preview selection which saves all valid products immediately. Any new Product Types, Categories, and Attributes are created in the system automatically as well. In addition to uploading new products into the system, the Simple Product Import admin section allows exporting all existing users in the system to a spreadsheet similar to template that you can download. Exporting all products can be useful because it allows user to see all the simple products in a list where you can modify pricing, descriptions, catalog codes, or any other field in one single file.
To export all simple products, click the Create Template by Exporting Products from Selected Categories or Create Template by Exporting All Products button in the Export Products section on page. Exporting Products from Selected Categories allows exporting those simple products in selected categories, while Exporting All Products will export all the simple products in the system. The system gathers all the simple products and enters them into a spreadsheet in the same format of the template. A link is then provided where user can download the file. With this file he can modify the existing products or add new ones to the end of the list. When finished, upload the file the same way as described above. The same screens will appear where you can preview or import without a preview.

Even though the preview screen displays all the products in the spreadsheet, not all will be saved into the system. Only the products without a value in the System ID column will be saved as new products.

What Defines a Simple Product?

A simple product is one that has attributes assigned to it, but they cannot be configured. Users can add the product to their cart directly from the Categories page or through a multiple product configuration, such as Collection of Configured Products and Configurable System.

Simple Product Definition

Though a simple product can have attributes, these attributes should really only have one attribute value added to it. This is because these attributes cannot be configured which means only one attribute value can be selected for the attribute. If you would like these attributes to be displayed to the user in the cart, you should set them as Line Items. This will display the attributes under the simple product where, if set up for it, the quantity can be changed and discounts added. In addition, attributes added to simple products can be displayed in a generated quote or searched for on the load quote page without being Line Items.
When using simple products to be simply added to the cart from the catalogue, or categories screen, you need to ensure that any attribute values you would like selected for that product are preselected. This will ensure that you can search by the values (using Key Attributes) and see them as line items in the cart (as long as they are set as line items).
Attributes in Simple Products can have multiple values, if desired. These multiple values can be used in multiple product configurations. Users will be able to select a desired value for an attribute, which is then selected for that simple product.
Simple products can play many roles in product modeling in CPQ. For instance they can be used in multiple product configurations, such as a Collection of Configurable Products or a Configurable System, in BOM management, or simply as products that are added to a quote without being configured. With so many different uses of simple products, you may have many to create in the system.

For Free Trial Installation, there is NO menu item with name 'Simple Product Import' under 'Product' item in setup menu.

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