DataAssist - Not just for websites
I have a vendor that supplies product info in an Excel spreadsheet (never in the same way). The layout never fits the the way the store is organized and I had to scroll and compress columns just to see everything when it came time to update the DB.
- Create a database on the local testing server named after the vendor.
- Import Excel spreadsheet into database.
- Create a simple one column template using CSS Sculptor.
- Use the DataAssist wizard to create pages that contain just the columns you need in the order you want to see them.
- Use the detail pages to hold all of the info you need to add an item.
In about 5 minutes I had a very easy to use search page that kept track of where I was, enabled me to quickly check prices of old items, and find the ones that needed to be added. When I find a new item, I just click the detail button and all the info is right there on one page. The vendor DB isn't connected to the store DB, I just use it to find the information I need in the format I want. I update through the store Admin pages. It is far easier to copy and paste from, than a spreadsheet.
If I want to change the order or columns shown, I just delete all the pages and run the wizard again. You end up with your own custom database tool for whatever you want in a matter of minutes.
Not only does it speed the update process, it looks a lot better than most quick-and-dirty solutions. That becomes important when going through hundreds of items. :)