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Reasons Why Content From Magento Sites Works Well for Print Catalogs

Download this illustrated white paper to find out why your Magento content is well-suited to both web and print.

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1

Make PDF Catalogs From Magento

Make catalogs for every purpose: events, seasons, segments, etc.

Use the same content as your online store - including HTML, variants & more

Choice of dynamic or grid layouts, with many options

Brand with your colors, logo, & artwork

2

Auto-Update PDF Catalogs On Your Site

Always Fresh® means catalogs are updated every night

Create a link to your site one time - the link remains the same

Post an Always Fresh catalog or brochure for every category

3

PDF for Every Product Page On Your Magento Site

Creates a PDF for every product on your site - updated nightly

Instantly downloadable

Uses your artwork & colors

Free up to 1000 product families

4

Lite Edition for Sales Reps & Dealers

For sales reps, dealers, distributors, etc.

They select the tempate & products — you control the design and content

Perfect for 1:1 sales, wish list reminders, abandoned cart follow-ups, including with shipments, trade show handouts

5

Flexible Job File (FJF) for Batch Processing

Run publications with no human intervention

Launch jobs with any configuration and any combination of products

Generate Job Files with any tool, or from any system (CRM, etc.)

How do I integrate Catalog-on-Demand with Magento 1.x or 2.x?

Magento 1.x

The most common way to install the extension called Catalog-on-Demand for Magento. We recommend you try this first. Here is the documentation on how to import data and images from Magento using the extension. If you have a problem with the extension, the script-based approach offers exactly the same functionality and works every time. 

Magento 2.x

Click here for documentation on how to integrate Catalog-on-Demand with Magento 2.x. 

Import options for both Magento 1.x and 2.x

Click here to see the list of 25 data and image import options available for both Magento 1.x and Magento 2.x.

Do you have an alternative to the Magento 1.x extension?

Yes, because the extension is not compatible with every Magento 1.x site (click here for Magento 2.x integration). For these situations, we offer a script-based approach as an alternative. It offers exactly the same functionality as the extension. Here is the documentation on how to import data and images from Magento using the script approach. Again, there is no difference between the functionality of the extension and the script.

Is it possible to make the product descriptions, images, or attributes in my print catalogs different than what is on our Magento site?

Yes, you can do this either programmatically, via plug-ins, or directly, via the Private Data Editor (PDE).

via Plug-Ins

Many users require custom solutions for assembling the descriptions, bullets, attributes, and images that are to be used in a publication. For example, you might want to use certain attributes to assemble the bullets that will appear in your description. Or you might want to pull from another data source for the descriptions that will appear in your publications. You may want to substitute images, or combine images in a particular way. We have provided many such solutions in the past. Please contact support to discuss your custom requirements for handling descriptions, images, attributes, prices, etc.

via Private Data Editor (PDE)

This powerful online tool allows you to directly change product data and images. You can do so either through forms or data files. This includes the description, images, and attributes. If you do this, you will want to use the Locked Product feature, which prevents your edited data from being overwritten by the next import.

Are Magento attributes supported?

Yes, you can publish all attributes, including Magento attribute sets. 

Hidden Magento attributes

Magento gives you the ability to hide selected attributes from the front-end. However, some hidden attributes are needed for purposes of publishing PDF catalogs or other marketing materials. You can specify which hidden attributes you want imported into Catalog-on-Demand.

Using attributes for custom layouts or other purposes

Via plug-ins, we can also satisfy any other custom requirements you may have regarding attributes. For example, some businesses need to change the product layout depending on the content of certain attributes. 

Attribute transformations

Attribute transformations are also possible via plug-ins. For example, you might want to replace an attribute value with an image. Or you might want to test for a combination of attributes in order to generate a new attribute that is solely for publishing purposes.

Promote SKU attributes to the product level

It is possible to "promote" SKU-level attributes to the family level if the attribute values are the same for all SKUs within that family. This has the potential to save a great deal of page space by avoiding redundancy in SKU tables.

Ask us for help with your requirements

Please contact support for any questions you may have about using Magento attributes with Catalog-on-Demand.

I have product attributes in my Magento site that I do not want to appear in my print catalogs. Can those be hidden?

Basic functionality

Yes, you can easily hide any attribute in the Catalog-on-Demand configuration.

Advanced functionality for attribute suppression

Using plug-ins, you can also hide attributes on a conditional basis. For example, you might want to publish attribute X only if attribute Y has a certain value.

Similarly, it is possible to combine or expand attributes based on certain data conditions.

Please contact support regarding your custom requirements.

For some publications (such as niche catalogs) I want to be able to override attribute values and prices. Is this possible?

Standard functionality

Yes, you can do this and more with the "Override and Supplementary Data" capability, documented here.

  • Price overrides — Publish a price that is different than the price contained in your database
  • SKU number override — Publish with a SKU number that is different than the SKU numbers in your database
  • Attribute value override — Publish attribute values that are different than the attribute values in your database
  • Attribute supplements — Publish attribute labels and values that are in addition to what you have in your database

Custom functionality

Via cutom plug-ins, we can help you with just about any kind of other replacement or transformation requirements you might have. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements for special handling of attributes, prices, or any other element of your publication.

I have hidden custom fields in my Magento database. Can these be published?

Yes, you can designate which hidden custom fields that you want imported and made available for publishing.

Is there a way to automatically strip out, replace, or otherwise change content before publishing?

Yes, by using Catalog-on-Demand Plug-Ins. This is a powerful capability to apply JavaScript in just about any way you can imagine to transform your content for publishing. You might use it to publish or suppress prices, combine attributes in a separate field, pull data from another source, or almost anything else.

Contact us to discuss your custom requirements for modifing your content on-the-fly for publishing purposes.

I have extensive formatting and HTML in my product descriptions. How is this handled?

Simple HTML

Catalog-on-Demand supports simple HTML for print publications, such as bullets and some styling.

Stripping out HTML

Other HTML, such as complicated embedded tables or extensive styling, do not transfer well from web to print. Such HTML may be easily stripped out with simple checkboxes.

Custom HTML processing

Plug-Ins can be created to handle just about any other HTML clean up or formatting replacement that you can imagine. Contact us to discuss your custom layout requirements.

How are Magento's grouped products and attributes handled?

Basic functionality for grouped product attributes

Grouped product attributes are presented in tables. Each attribute gets its own column. The width of each table column is computed for best fit (or you can specify the widths). You can also rename the attribute labels for publishing.

Advanced capabilities for grouped product attributes

Contact us regarding other requirements you may have for presenting your grouped product attributes in your PDF catalogs. We can often suggest clean solutions to highly complex issues.

My site has multiple Magento stores. Is that supported?

Yes, you specify which store you want imported when you are setting up Catalog-on-Demand.

Multi-store support is also available. See Part IV — Magento Multi-Store Support. Individual Lite Edition users can be set up to publish from specific stores.

How can I make the product categories in my print catalogs different than in my Magento site?

You can use Private Data Editor to recategorize your products. There is a Catalog-on-Demand setting that prevents the Magento import from overwriting your categories.

Is it possible to publish the Magento special price?

Yes, the Magento special price can be imported either in addition, or instead of the regular price.

We are using Magento's group price feature to manage prices for different customer segments. Can we use price groups for custom print catalogs?

Yes, you can specify which price group you wish to use for any publication.

The price in my catalogs needs to reflect taxes. Is that possible?

Yes, there is a setting to pull the Magento price that includes taxes.

I will be managing my product data in Catalog-on-Demand. All I want to retrieve from Magento is the product price. Is that feasible?

Yes, there is a setting to retrieve prices only.

I want to use the Magento short description for print publishing purposes. Is that feasible?

Basic functionality for selecting short or long description

You can use either the Magento short or long description for publishing, or both.

Custom modification of descriptions via plug-ins

Using plug-ins, it is also possible to suppress, expand, or otherwise modify your descriptions for purposes of publishing. For example, you may have some repetitive text that is fine for your website, but not useful in a print catalog. Similarly, you might want to expand the description with other text, depending on the the value of certain attributes, or the product categorization, or some other logic.

Please contact us regarding your special publishing requirements for handling descriptions, attributes, or images.

The product images on my site vary in size and shape. Can I still use them for print catalogs?

Yes. Catalog-on-Demand automatically handles all the sizing, positioning, and text wrap issues associated with having different shape images for different products.

I have multiple images per product on my Magento site. For publishing purposes, can I use an image that is not the same as the first image on Magento?

Yes. At publish time, you can choose which image you want to appear with the product. Also, some some of the layout styles support multiple images per product. For these styles, you can choose at publish time which combination of images will appear with each product.

For some product groups I have images at the associated (child) product level. It is important that these images be published, as well as the image at the product level. Is that possible?

Yes, if you have images at the child product level, they will automatically be published. If you don't want them published, there is a setting to not import the associated (child) product images.

Where will I find my Magento store view code?

If you have multiple stores, you'll need to tell Catalog-on-Demand which store to pull data from. Here are instructions for finding the store view code:

  • (1) Log into your Magento administrator back end.
  • (2) Click on System > Manage Stores
  • (3) Look in the Store View Name column (this is the 3rd column)
  • (4) Click on the Store View Name that you want.
  • (5) You will see the value of the Code. It is case-sensitive.

How to Automatically Import Data from Magento 1.X into Catalog-on-Demand Using the Extension

Part I: Magento 1.x Extension Setup

  1. Install the latest version of the Magento Extension for Catalog-on-Demand, available here.
  2. IMPORTANT: Log out of the Magento Admin Panel, then log back in.
  3. Enter a password via System > Configuration > Catalog-on-Demand configuration. You can enter any password you want. You will use it again in Part II.

If you have problems installing the Magento extension, please try using our script approach instead. It works exactly the same as the extension. Please contact us if you have problems.

Part II: Catalog-on-Demand Setup

Sign in to Catalog-on-Demand (registration is free).
Go to Account > Data Import Setup.

  1. For Import type, choose Magento import
  2. Enter the URL for your Magento site
  3. Set Import Mechanism to "Extension"
  4. Enter the password from above into "Secret key"
  5. Enter the store code if you have multiple stores (see the FAQ about Magento store codes). SeePart IV if you require multi-store support.
  6. Click Create Data Import Setup
  7. Click the Test button
  8. If you have error messages and cannot troubleshoot the problem, please contact us
  9. If the test is successful, click Import Now
  10. Wait for a moment, click OK, and you will be taken to the Import History page.
  11. The first time might take a couple hours, depending on the number of images on your site.
  12. If the import is successful, a button labeled "Download report" will appear.

You are now ready to start publishing. Please contact us if you have any questions or problems.

Part III: Magento Import Options (both 1.x and 2.x)

Catalog-on-Demand offers many options for importing data from your Magento 1.x or Magento 2.x database. Please contact us if you have additional requirements or need further explanation.

  • Update prices only — This is important if you have updated your content in PDE (or via another import), and do not want to override anything except for your prices. If you check this box, only prices will be imported. Other content will not be imported.
  • Use special price from Magento in your print catalogGet special price — This allows you to retrieve the Magento Special Price into Catalog-on-Demand as additional SKU attribute.
  • Configurable products: get prices from associated products — This is important only if you are using Magento grouped products.
    • Check this box if you want the prices in your print catalog to come from each of the associated products in that group.
    • Do not check this box if you want the price to come from the group product.
  • Import grouped products as separate products — If unchecked, products within a Magento group will be seen as SKUs of a product family in Catalog-on-Demand. If checked, these products will appear in Catalog-on-Demand as individual products.
  • Include tax in prices — This is important only if you want the price in your print catalog to include taxes. If this box is checked, the price (with taxes) that is displayed on your site will appear in your print catalog.
  • Include inventory quantity — The Magento inventory quantity will appear in Catalog-on-Demand as a SKU attribute.
  • Include short description / Include long description — Magento has two description fields. The short description appears in Magento's list view and Quick Overview. The long description appears in Magento's detail section. Check which descriptions you want to include.
  • Include reviews — Check if you want user reviews to appear after your description.
  • use attribute codes, not names, to retrieve Magento hidden attributes for your print catalogsInclude hidden custom fields — Allows you to use hidden Magento attributes in your publications. Enter any number of attribute codes (not attribute names), separated by commas.
  • Ignore excluded images — If checked, Magento images that have been checked as "Exclude" will not be imported.
  • Ignore associated product images — If checked, the images linked to the associated products will not be imported.
  • Ignore HTML tables — If checked, then any HTML tables in your Magento product descriptions will not be imported. Sometimes this is necessary if you have complex HTML tables that do not appear correctly in your print catalog.
  • Remove color tags — This is useful if you have color formatting in your HTML that you do not want to appear in your print catalog.
  • Remove all styles — This is useful if you have formatting in your HTML that you do not want to appear in your print catalog.
  • Ignore all categories — This is useful if want a different hierarchical organization for your products in your print catalog than you have on your Magento site. You can use PDE to change your category hierarchy and if you wish, reassign products. Then be sure to check this box so that the import only updates product data, not the categorization.
  • Ignore top categories — Check if you do not want your top category to appear in the table of contents for your print catalog. For example, if the top category in your Magento database is "Products", you will want to check this box.
  • Exclude products not in the website owning the store — Check this box to filter out Magento products that are enabled in the store, but not included in the owning website
  • Product Sort Options — This allows you to control the order that the Magento products will appear in Catalog-on-Demand publications.
    • Sort by position — Products are sorted according to "position" values in Magento categories. If the position values are equal for two or more products, they are sorted according to their Magento IDs.
    • Sort alphanumerically — Products are sorted by product name, in alphanumeric order
    • Sort by category display settings — Products are sorted in Catalog-on-Demand according to your Magento display settings for each category
  • Import product options as attributes — Check to allow custom options for Magento products to be imported into Catalog-on-Demand as product attributes
  • Import options with SKU numbers as SKUs — Magento allows you to specify custom options for products that generate product variations on the front-end. By checking this box, these variations will be imported into Catalog-on-Demand as individual SKUs for publishing purposes.
  • Include in-stock items only — If checked, Catalog-on-Demand will import only those products where the inventory quantity in Magento is greater than 0.
  • Auto-trim white padding around images — This is recommended if you have white padding around some or all of your product images, and you want to avoid having your images appear small in your print catalog. This feature will strip the peripheral white padding from the copy of the image that is stored in Catalog-on-Demand. It does not effect the image stored in Magento and shown on your website.
  • Tiered Pricing Options — Check this if you use Magento's tier pricing feature for offering quantity discounts, and you want those tier prices to appear in your Catalog-on-Demand publications. You'll also need to enter the labels you want for quantity column, price column, and savings column.
  • Override file URL — This is useful if you want your print publications to contain a product name, product image, and/or product description that is different than what you have in your Magento database. A sample override file is here. The file may be either tab-delimited or Excel (Note: If you use Excel, save it in the 97-2003 format). Here are the four columns, which must be in this order:
    • Magento ID: This is the ID shown on the "Manage Products" page in Magento.
    • Product name: This can be up to 100 characters. If blank, the Magento product name will be used
    • Product image: This must be a public URL. If blank, the Magento image will be used. If you want multiple images, separate with the pipe delimiter.
    • Product description: This can be plain text or simple HTML. If blank, the Magento description will be used.
  • Smart Product Grouping — This feature lets you use the Override file to put simple Magento products into a single SKU family for purposes of your print publication. For example, say you offer 5 sizes of a particular product. On your Magento site, each size is a simple product. Another example might be a bedroom set. You sell each part of the set as a separate product. This is fine for your web store, but it is an inefficient use of page space in your print catalog. One solution is to create a product group in Magento. However, you may have business reasons for not wanting to do this on your site. 

    The Override file can handle this grouping problem for you. All you need to do is make sure that each product you want included is given the same product name (second column). For example, if you want products 586, 853, and 1129 (Magento IDs) included in the same SKU family, you would give them all the same product name. If you want, you can give this SKU family its own image and description. To do so, use the 3rd and 4th columns as described above. An example smart grouping file is here. The 5th column is where you can enter a product link, if you choose.

    It is important to remember that you must assign your new product group to a category. You can assign to an existing category, or you can use this file to assign to a new category. This is done in the 6th column. Category levels are separated by the #$# delimiter. If you want the grouped product to appear in multiple categories, separate the category paths by the pipe delimiter.

    The system will automatically copy each simple product name to the corresponding SKU description, the product image to the SKU image, the product price to the SKU price, and the product attributes to the SKU attributes (you can use other Catalog-on-Demand features to hide or modify these values if you want).

Part IV: Magento Multi-Store Support

Catalog-on-Demand offers multi-user functionality in order to support multiple Magento stores. If you are interested in multi-store support for your Magento site, please contact us and describe your requirements. We will get back to you with a quote or additional questions.

Here is how it works:

  • All stores are imported into a single Catalog-on-Demand account.
    • Each store code should be entered in the "Store view code" field, separated by a comma (no spaces). Updates for all stores will be automatic.
  • Publications are created using Lite Edition.
    • This is a simple tool. It allows the user to enter the publication title, contact information, and to select which products will appear.
    • Lite Edition can be easily used by non-technical people.
  • Configurations are created using Configuration Edition.
    • This is the same as what you use if you have only one store.
    • This is accessed using the main account ID.
  • Lite Edition users are set up in User Manager.
    • This is also accessed using the main account ID.
  • Each Lite Edition user is given access to one store, and any number of Configurations.
  • To create a publication for a particular store, you (or whoever you authorize) signs in with the corresponding ID.
    • This will bring up Lite Edition.
    • You select the appropriate configuration, enter the job title and contact info, select the desired products from that store, and click submit.
    • Each user has its own job history.
  • Users may create any number of publications. Each publication is limited to 1000 SKU families.

How to Automatically Import Data from Magento 1.x into Catalog-on-Demand Using the Script

If you are having problems with the regular Magento extension, please try this solution. It works exactly the same as the extension.

Part I: Setup the Magento Data Exporter

  1. Contact us for access to a shared Dropbox folder that contains the script.
  2. Once you have access to the Dropbox folder, download "cod_exporter_for_magento.php" to your local computer.
  3. Open the file in any text editor.
  4. In line 11, change the password to something of your choosing. 
  5. Save the file as "cod_exporter_for_magento.php".
  6. Upload this file into the root folder of your Magento installation.

Part II: Catalog-on-Demand Setup

Sign in to Catalog-on-Demand (registration is free).

Go to Account > Data Import Setup.

  1. For Import type, choose Magento import
  2. Enter the URL for your Magento site
  3. Set Import Mechanism to "Script"
  4. Enter the password from Part I, item #3 into "Secret key"
  5. Enter the store code if you have multiple stores (see the FAQ about Magento store codes)
  6. Click Create Data Import Setup (or Save Changes if you have already setup once)
  7. Click the Test button
  8. If you have error messages and cannot troubleshoot the problem, please contact us
  9. If the test is successful, click Import Now
  10. Wait for a moment, click OK, and you will be taken to the Import History page.
  11. The first import might take a couple of hours, depending on the number of images on your site.
  12. If the import is successful, a button labeled "Download report" will appear.

You are now ready to start publishing. Please contact us if you have any questions or problems.

Part III: Magento Import Options

Part IV: Magento Multi-Store Support


How to Automatically Import Data from Magento 2.x into Catalog-on-Demand

Part I: Magento Setup

Sign In

  1. Sign into the Magento 2.x Admin Panel.
  2. Click on Systems > Integration > Add New Integration

Integration Info

  1. Name: Catalog-on-Demand for Magento
  2. Email: Your email address
  3. Callback URL: https://webservices.catalog-on-demand.com/magento/auth/callback.php
  4. Identity link URL: https://webservices.catalog-on-demand.com/magento/auth/identity.jsp
  5. Click Save
  6. Your integration page should now show Catalog-on-Demand for Magento as one of the listings, with a status of Inactive.
  7. Click on Activate.
  8. Make a note of Access Token Secret (last field under Integration Details. You will need this for Part II.

API

Please check the following:

  • Products > Inventory > Catalog
  • Products > Inventory > Categories
  • Stores > Taxes
  • Stores > Currency > Currency Rates
  • Stores > Currency > Currency Symbols
  • Stores > Attributes > Product

If you are using blocks for category content, check the following:

  • Content > Elements > Blocks

If you require group prices, see below: Part III: Import Options > Note About Group Prices.

Stores

  1. Navigate to Stores > Configuration > Services > Magento Web API
  2. Set Allow Anonymous Guest Access to Yes
  3. Click Save Config

Part II: Catalog-on-Demand Setup

Sign in to Catalog-on-Demand (registration is free).
Go to Account > Data Import Setup.

  1. For Import type, choose Catalog-on-Demand for Magento 2
  2. Enter the URL for your Magento site
  3. For Authorization, choose Integration
  4. For Access token secret, paste the value from Part I, Step 8.
  5. If you do not have multiple stores, enter Default. Enter the store code if you have multiple stores (see the FAQ about Magento store codes). See Part IV if you require multi-store support.
  6. Leave the checkboxes at their default settings
  7. Click Create Data Import Setup
  8. Click the Test button
  9. If you have error messages and cannot troubleshoot the problem, please contact us
  10. If the test is successful, click Import Now
  11. Wait for a moment, click OK, and you will be taken to the Import History page.
  12. The first time might take a couple hours, depending on the number of images on your site.
  13. If the import is successful, a button labeled "Download report" will appear.

You are now ready to start publishing. Please contact us if you have any questions or problems.

Part III: Magento Import Options

Part IV: Magento Multi-Store Support

Catalog-on-Demand offers multi-user functionality in order to support multiple Magento stores. If you are interested in multi-store support for your Magento site, please contact us and describe your requirements. We will get back to you with a quote or additional questions.

Here is how it works:

  • All stores are imported into a single Catalog-on-Demand account.
    • Each store code should be entered in the "Store view code" field, separated by a comma (no spaces). Updates for all stores will be automatic.
  • Publications are created using Lite Edition.
    • This is a simple tool. It allows the user to enter the publication title, contact information, and to select which products will appear.
    • Lite Edition can be easily used by non-technical people.
  • Configurations are created using Configuration Edition.
    • This is the same as what you use if you have only one store.
    • This is accessed using the main account ID.
  • Lite Edition users are set up in User Manager.
    • This is also accessed using the main account ID.
  • Each Lite Edition user is given access to one store, and any number of Configurations.
  • To create a publication for a particular store, you (or whoever you authorize) signs in with the corresponding ID.
    • This will bring up Lite Edition.
    • You select the appropriate configuration, enter the job title and contact info, select the desired products from that store, and click submit.
    • Each user has its own job history.
  • Users may create any number of publications. Each publication is limited to 1000 SKU families.