How To

Configuring an Inventory FTP/HTTP(S) PULL

ChannelAdvisor provides the option to send inventory uploads over FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This method of data transfer allows you to create a product file and upload it without having to log into the ChannelAdvisor application. When uploading product information in bulk through FTP, you can choose to use the ChannelAdvisor Inventory Format or your own Custom Format . To use the ChannelAdvisor format, you should download a sample spreadsheet that contains the recommended fields to be added into inventory. If using your own Custom Format, you must map your fields to the ChannelAdvisor inventory system to ensure the data in your file is placed in the proper fields.

Accepted file formats for FTP upload include Text Tab Delimited (.txt), Text Pipe Delimited (.txt), Comma Separated (.csv) or XML files. Custom file formats and XML files require the use of a Template to map your fields to ChannelAdvisor Inventory.

Using the PULL setting means that you intend for ChannelAdvisor to scan an FTP or HTTP(S) location that you specify, and pick up inventory files for processing. You can establish multiple pull configurations to get files from different locations. Secure Inventory uploads can be done through secure FTPS or SFTP.

Before submitting an inventory file via FTP, FTP processing for your account must be enabled, and default settings need to be configured.

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topics before continuing:

 

Video


Getting Inventory into ChannelAdvisor via FTP – This video will allow sellers to learn how to upload their inventory files into ChannelAdvisor via FTP. View Transcript .

 

How to Configure FTP/HTTP Pull Settings


Follow these steps to complete this task:

  1. Go to Inventory > Settings > Inventory Settings.
     
  2. Click Add Pull Configuration.
    • Name – Provide a name to help you distinguish this group of settings from other Pull configurations.
    • URL – Specify the FTP, SFTP, FTPS, HTTP or HTTPS location where files will be located. You should include the full URL location, including the filename, for the file to be processed. Supported extensions are : XML (.xml), Text (.txt), Comma Separated (.csv), and Any (_filename_.*). Compressed files with using an extension of ".zip" can be used with FTP Pull configurations. {{YYYYMMDD}} can also be used to substitute the current date's values in order to pull the daily file.
      • Hyper Text Transfer protocol (HTTP (S))
        • GET – Requests a representation of the specified resource. Requests using GET should only retrieve data and should have no other effect.
        • HEAD – Asks for the response identical to the one that would correspond to a GET request, but without the response body. This is useful for retrieving meta-information written in response headers, without having to transport the entire content.
      • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host or to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet.
      • FTPS (also known as FTP-SSL and FTP Secure) is an extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security(TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols.
      • SSH File Transfer Protocol (also Secure File Transfer Protocol, Secure FTP, or SFTP) is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management functionalities over any reliable data stream. This protocol assumes that it is run over a secure channel, such as SSH, that the server has already authenticated the client, and that the identity of the client user is available to the protocol.
    • Enable or Disable Processing – Allows you to activate or deactivate this Pull configuration.
    • You do not need to include the transfer protocol in the textbox URL as you will select it from the drop down menu to its’ left unless it is a part of the domain name such as ftp.domainname.com.
      • Example of a HTTP feed: www.domain.com/feed.xml
      • Example of a FTP feed: ftp.domain.com
      • Example of an SFTP feed: sftp.domain.com
         
    • We also accept links that include query parameters such as: www.domain.com/data-feed?type=ca which resolves to a file like feed.xml “under the hood”
       
    • Our system is able to process both of these formats as long as the HEAD verb is there.
      • When creating your feed, please insure that you are not blocking the HEAD verb because this will result in a 404 error and our platform will not be able to pick up the file.
      • We do a HEAD request to see if the file exists.
        • If the file exists, we will then do a second HEAD call to see if the file is being currently written to. We do this to insure that the file is not a partial file which may throw off your inventory feeds.
        • If the HEAD requests comes back with a 200 status, we send the GET request to download the file into the system.
           
  3. Start Time – Specify when ChannelAdvisor should begin looking for a new file each day.
     
  4. Scan Duration – Specify how long ChannelAdvisor should continue looking for a new file after the Start Time has passed each day. Choose the method to be used when processing your inventory upload file using FTP. By default, the ChannelAdvisor system will use the first option: Process the entire file.
     
  5. Verify Credentials – It is important to input the correct credentials in the username and password section. If there is a login required to pull the file, the system will login to locate the file and download it. If there is a white list involved with your site, please include ChannelAdvisor’s web server IP range to insure we can reach your file.
    • IP ranges to add to your white list (if you have one):
      • Host specific list:
        • 216.27.89.82 – 216.27.89.83
        • 216.27.95.252 – 52.95.43.206
      • Address range list:
        • 216.27.89.0 – 255.255.255.128
        • 216.27.95.128 – 255.255.255.128
        • 52.95.43.206 – 255.255.255.255
           
  6. File Processing – There are various ways that our system processes your inventory.
    • All – This selection will process ALL rows included in your upload file and create any new item and edit any existing items in your account.
    • New Only – This selection will process only rows that DO NOT already exist in your ChannelAdvisor Inventory. Any existing item rows will not be processed.
    • Updates Only – This selection will process only rows in your inventory upload file that ALREADY exist in your account. Any new item rows will not be processed.
    • Detect Dropped Products (DDP) – Formerly known as Detect Dropped Items, this selection will process your inventory upload file and "detect" any items that are in your inventory but are NOT included in the file you have submitted. These items will be set to quantity of zero (0) using the 'Unshipped" quantity update type, and thus removed from all channels. If you have selected this setting and want your items to remain in any channels they are currently published to, the item MUST be included in your upload file.
      • We have created a safety net/ threshold to prevent clients using DDP from accidentally dropping their whole catalog. If a DDP upload would result in more than a specific percentage (determined by the seller) of the account's catalog being dropped to zero quantity, we then disable DDP but continue processing all adds and updates present in the file. When this threshold has been hit we show an alert in the Message Center.
        • The default threshold is initially set to 30%. This can be modified by updating the threshold to the desired percent via the textbox and saving changes to the Pull.
        • Changes to this threshold percentage will go into effect in approximately 4 hours.
      • Here is an example of how this threshold works:
        • There are 100 items in the catalog at the time of file submission.
        • 65 of those items (child or standalone SKUs) are present in a DDP upload file, plus any number of new items (new items are not considered in this calculation). We no longer consider Parent SKUs in this calculation as they are non-buyable items.
        • The DDP Maximum Percent setting is 30%.
        • The system does not drop quantity to 0 on any items because that would be 35% of the catalog.
        • After the upload is processed, if a client sees the alert in the Message Center and decides they want to be able to drop quantity to 0 on a greater percent of their catalog, they can change the setting (to 40% for example), resubmit the same file and see all 35 items dropped to 0 quantity.
      • Important! This setting will be applied to ALL of your inventory pull connection settings that are set to Detect Dropped Products.
    • Template Level Detect Dropped Products (DDP) – Selecting this option brings item detection to the individual template level from the account level. DDP will no longer apply across all your inventory pull connection settings - instead will apply to every specific template used in your inventory uploads. The DDP calculation checks the last template the SKU was associated with and if it is not on the upload using that template then item quantity is set to 0. However, if the SKU has been included with a different upload template in the meantime, then that latest template takes over as the template associated with the SKU.
      • Selecting Enable Template Level DDP requires that a template is selected from the Apply Template menu.
      • Enabling Template Level DDP allows our inventory upload process to upload multiple inventory files without over-writing and detecting items in your inventory that are missing from an individual upload file. Selected upload templates will be treated as part of a larger inventory upload file.
      • You can now work with multiple drop shippers and we'll upload and process these inventory files successfully, ensuring inventory accuracy.
        • Example: You upload SKUs A, B and C on upload template 1. Then upload SKUs B and C on upload template 2. And then upload SKU C on upload template 1 again.
          • SKU A will have quantity set to zero due to DDP as it is still associated with upload template 1.
          • SKU B will not have quantity set to zero as it is associated with upload template 2.
          • SKU C will not have quantity set to zero as it is associated with upload template 1.
             
  7. Apply Templates to an FTP Upload – In addition to the default processing selection (above), you can also specify a default Template to be applied to all inventory uploads processed via FTP in your account. By selecting a default option, the template that you have chosen on this settings page will be applied when any new file is processed from your accounts FTP location.
    • If a default template has been selected in settings, it will be used unless overridden in the file name.
    • A template can be applied to an upload file, or the default template selected in settings can be overridden, using a file naming convention. To specify a template, add the template code to the end of the upload filename after a "." Example: "CAUpload.TEMPLATECODE.txt"

ChannelAdvisor provides the option to send inventory uploads over FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This method of data transfer allows you to create a product file and upload it without having to log into the ChannelAdvisor application. When uploading product information in bulk through FTP, you can choose to use the ChannelAdvisor Inventory Format or your own Custom Format . To use the ChannelAdvisor format, you should download a sample spreadsheet that contains the recommended fields to be added into inventory. If using your own Custom Format, you must map your fields to the ChannelAdvisor inventory system to ensure the data in your file is placed in the proper fields.

Accepted file formats for FTP upload include Text Tab Delimited (.txt), Text Pipe Delimited (.txt), Comma Separated (.csv) or XML files. Custom file formats and XML files require the use of a Template to map your fields to ChannelAdvisor Inventory.

Using the PULL setting means that you intend for ChannelAdvisor to scan an FTP or HTTP(S) location that you specify, and pick up inventory files for processing. You can establish multiple pull configurations to get files from different locations. Secure Inventory uploads can be done through secure FTPS or SFTP.

Before submitting an inventory file via FTP, FTP processing for your account must be enabled, and default settings need to be configured.

 

Prerequisites


You should be familiar with the following topics before continuing:

 

Video


Getting Inventory into ChannelAdvisor via FTP – This video will allow sellers to learn how to upload their inventory files into ChannelAdvisor via FTP. View Transcript .

 

How to Configure FTP/HTTP Pull Settings


Follow these steps to complete this task:

  1. Go to Inventory > Settings > Inventory Settings.
     
  2. Click Add Pull Configuration.
    • Name – Provide a name to help you distinguish this group of settings from other Pull configurations.
    • URL – Specify the FTP, SFTP, FTPS, HTTP or HTTPS location where files will be located. You should include the full URL location, including the filename, for the file to be processed. Supported extensions are : XML (.xml), Text (.txt), Comma Separated (.csv), and Any (_filename_.*). Compressed files with using an extension of ".zip" can be used with FTP Pull configurations. {{YYYYMMDD}} can also be used to substitute the current date's values in order to pull the daily file.
      • Hyper Text Transfer protocol (HTTP (S))
        • GET – Requests a representation of the specified resource. Requests using GET should only retrieve data and should have no other effect.
        • HEAD – Asks for the response identical to the one that would correspond to a GET request, but without the response body. This is useful for retrieving meta-information written in response headers, without having to transport the entire content.
      • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host or to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet.
      • FTPS (also known as FTP-SSL and FTP Secure) is an extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security(TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols.
      • SSH File Transfer Protocol (also Secure File Transfer Protocol, Secure FTP, or SFTP) is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management functionalities over any reliable data stream. This protocol assumes that it is run over a secure channel, such as SSH, that the server has already authenticated the client, and that the identity of the client user is available to the protocol.
    • Enable or Disable Processing – Allows you to activate or deactivate this Pull configuration.
    • You do not need to include the transfer protocol in the textbox URL as you will select it from the drop down menu to its’ left unless it is a part of the domain name such as ftp.domainname.com.
      • Example of a HTTP feed: www.domain.com/feed.xml
      • Example of a FTP feed: ftp.domain.com
      • Example of an SFTP feed: sftp.domain.com
         
    • We also accept links that include query parameters such as: www.domain.com/data-feed?type=ca which resolves to a file like feed.xml “under the hood”
       
    • Our system is able to process both of these formats as long as the HEAD verb is there.
      • When creating your feed, please insure that you are not blocking the HEAD verb because this will result in a 404 error and our platform will not be able to pick up the file.
      • We do a HEAD request to see if the file exists.
        • If the file exists, we will then do a second HEAD call to see if the file is being currently written to. We do this to insure that the file is not a partial file which may throw off your inventory feeds.
        • If the HEAD requests comes back with a 200 status, we send the GET request to download the file into the system.
           
  3. Start Time – Specify when ChannelAdvisor should begin looking for a new file each day.
     
  4. Scan Duration – Specify how long ChannelAdvisor should continue looking for a new file after the Start Time has passed each day. Choose the method to be used when processing your inventory upload file using FTP. By default, the ChannelAdvisor system will use the first option: Process the entire file.
     
  5. Verify Credentials – It is important to input the correct credentials in the username and password section. If there is a login required to pull the file, the system will login to locate the file and download it. If there is a white list involved with your site, please include ChannelAdvisor’s web server IP range to insure we can reach your file.
    • IP ranges to add to your white list (if you have one):
      • Host specific list:
        • 216.27.89.82 – 216.27.89.83
        • 216.27.95.252 – 52.95.43.206
      • Address range list:
        • 216.27.89.0 – 255.255.255.128
        • 216.27.95.128 – 255.255.255.128
        • 52.95.43.206 – 255.255.255.255
           
  6. File Processing – There are various ways that our system processes your inventory.
    • All – This selection will process ALL rows included in your upload file and create any new item and edit any existing items in your account.
    • New Only – This selection will process only rows that DO NOT already exist in your ChannelAdvisor Inventory. Any existing item rows will not be processed.
    • Updates Only – This selection will process only rows in your inventory upload file that ALREADY exist in your account. Any new item rows will not be processed.
    • Detect Dropped Products (DDP) – Formerly known as Detect Dropped Items, this selection will process your inventory upload file and "detect" any items that are in your inventory but are NOT included in the file you have submitted. These items will be set to quantity of zero (0) using the 'Unshipped" quantity update type, and thus removed from all channels. If you have selected this setting and want your items to remain in any channels they are currently published to, the item MUST be included in your upload file.
      • We have created a safety net/ threshold to prevent clients using DDP from accidentally dropping their whole catalog. If a DDP upload would result in more than a specific percentage (determined by the seller) of the account's catalog being dropped to zero quantity, we then disable DDP but continue processing all adds and updates present in the file. When this threshold has been hit we show an alert in the Message Center.
        • The default threshold is initially set to 30%. This can be modified by updating the threshold to the desired percent via the textbox and saving changes to the Pull.
        • Changes to this threshold percentage will go into effect in approximately 4 hours.
      • Here is an example of how this threshold works:
        • There are 100 items in the catalog at the time of file submission.
        • 65 of those items (child or standalone SKUs) are present in a DDP upload file, plus any number of new items (new items are not considered in this calculation). We no longer consider Parent SKUs in this calculation as they are non-buyable items.
        • The DDP Maximum Percent setting is 30%.
        • The system does not drop quantity to 0 on any items because that would be 35% of the catalog.
        • After the upload is processed, if a client sees the alert in the Message Center and decides they want to be able to drop quantity to 0 on a greater percent of their catalog, they can change the setting (to 40% for example), resubmit the same file and see all 35 items dropped to 0 quantity.
      • Important! This setting will be applied to ALL of your inventory pull connection settings that are set to Detect Dropped Products.
    • Template Level Detect Dropped Products (DDP) – Selecting this option brings item detection to the individual template level from the account level. DDP will no longer apply across all your inventory pull connection settings - instead will apply to every specific template used in your inventory uploads. The DDP calculation checks the last template the SKU was associated with and if it is not on the upload using that template then item quantity is set to 0. However, if the SKU has been included with a different upload template in the meantime, then that latest template takes over as the template associated with the SKU.
      • Selecting Enable Template Level DDP requires that a template is selected from the Apply Template menu.
      • Enabling Template Level DDP allows our inventory upload process to upload multiple inventory files without over-writing and detecting items in your inventory that are missing from an individual upload file. Selected upload templates will be treated as part of a larger inventory upload file.
      • You can now work with multiple drop shippers and we'll upload and process these inventory files successfully, ensuring inventory accuracy.
        • Example: You upload SKUs A, B and C on upload template 1. Then upload SKUs B and C on upload template 2. And then upload SKU C on upload template 1 again.
          • SKU A will have quantity set to zero due to DDP as it is still associated with upload template 1.
          • SKU B will not have quantity set to zero as it is associated with upload template 2.
          • SKU C will not have quantity set to zero as it is associated with upload template 1.
             
  7. Apply Templates to an FTP Upload – In addition to the default processing selection (above), you can also specify a default Template to be applied to all inventory uploads processed via FTP in your account. By selecting a default option, the template that you have chosen on this settings page will be applied when any new file is processed from your accounts FTP location.
    • If a default template has been selected in settings, it will be used unless overridden in the file name.
    • A template can be applied to an upload file, or the default template selected in settings can be overridden, using a file naming convention. To specify a template, add the template code to the end of the upload filename after a "." Example: "CAUpload.TEMPLATECODE.txt"
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