Inside Akeneo #3 – Connectors

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As you already know, Akeneo combines channels & completeness to ensure the quantity and quality of product information.

Consolidating data in Akeneo is an important step, but how to export it to other systems ?

To answer this core question, Akeneo is introducing the Connectors Framework.

Connectors are external modules designed to interact with third party systems like your e-commerce website, your mobile app, your ERP …. Purpose of a connector is  to :

  • transform  incoming data into an understandable format for our API – for an import connector
  • transform  outgoing data from our API to the desired format – for an export connector

Once done, thanks to our framework, your connector will have access to our integrated services such as the scheduler, fields mapping, configuration screens, scope selection, …

For example, you can implement a connector to import data (products, categories, attributes) from different sources (as an ERP or CSV files) into Akeneo, and you can either implement another connector to export your product information from Akeneo to your favorite e-commerce app (Shopify, Magento, Drupal Commerce, RBS Change, …).

upload-import-now-small

We will provide with our beta a CSV connector (probably the most commonly used file format for product information management) both for import and export. As we  believe that a PIM has no sense without connectors we will create more in coming months (Magento and Excel are already planned).

But we also want to provide our community all the required tools to create some great connectors with any third party system systems. A full documentation will be available for the beta release and we are already working on a markeplace to enable our contributors to share their work with the rest of the world.

5 responses to “Inside Akeneo #3 – Connectors”

  1. Excel is not a commonly used export tool. It is useful to read files, but not an EDI format (Electronic Data Interchange).

    CSV format export is a good start, but it’s not designed for structured products with, for example, multiple properties, multiple prices, …

    A format like JSON or XML would be better to do this job.
    Personally, I worked on large exports of product catalogs and XML is well designed for it. Especially with PHP thanks to ‘XMLWriter’ which allows to write a streamed export and ‘XMLReader’ which is able to parse very large XML files with a very low memory footer print.
    However, JSON is more commonly supported with low development requirements.

  2. I agree. We can use CSV just as well as Excel. XML is essential – and would get my vote after Magento (our shopping cart).

  3. Thank you for your comments, it is typically this kind of feedback we like to have.
    Concerning a structured format like JSON or XML, you’re right : We are working on that.

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