There’s no ‘we’ in Integration, only a couple I’s, but the truth is, Integration NEEDS a ‘we’. It’s not a one man show or even a one company show. It takes careful communication and flexibility on all parties involved to get a successful and efficient integration running.
As far as data formats go, we can handle almost anything. From simple CSV data dumps to connecting directly to your ERP system, we’ve got the tools and the knowledge to take what you know, and make it what we know. But it’s not always that easy. As I previously mentioned some flexibility will likely need to be used, not just for our sake, but for your websites sake. It could mean the difference between a sale price coming into effect in 1 minute or 1 day. We won’t ask for changes on your end because we’re lazy, we ask for changes on your end to make your integration much more efficient, and your site up to date much quicker. Below are a few golden rules to efficient integration.
1) Send CSVs with only products that have been updated
Typically you’ll want general product information updated pretty often, it’s important to keep your information up to date for your customers, and even more important to fix mistakes quickly when they’re found!
Just dumping us your full product catalog every couple hours isn’t doing either of us any favours, most time will be spent updating products which actually have no updates. Which brings me to point 2…
2) Integration takes time!
It’s not just the wave of a magic wand and everything is updated and fresh. We have to cycle through each product individually, ensuring the data contained is correct, and doing various calculations so Magento can understand your product feed. This is why it’s so important to send us some indicator that a product actually has an update, to update. Without this vital information, product updates become slow, and bugs are much more difficult to pick out.
3) Work TOGETHER to get the best possible solution
Each client we take on has a very unique set of needs and requirements. No Integration system is set up overnight, it takes weeks to months of coding, back and forth about what works and what doesn’t work, and what each of us can do to appease the system working at maximum efficiency. Integration involves a lot of strategy, and a lot of critical thinking. We’re experts, and we’re here to guide you and offer suggestions and solutions, but even so we never fully understand your system and how it works on your end, it’s important for all of us to communicate what we can and can’t do, and what possible changes mean to our systems as a whole.
We’ve never come to a point where a solution is impossible to achieve. It’s always important to remember that Integration is a teamwork process, this is no battle or competition. We’re in this together to get you your solution, and get it to you in a manner that’s extremely efficient for your website.