FTP: File Transfer Protocol
FTP - Answers
- What does FTP mean?
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is, in essence, a website requiring credentials that allows you to transfer files. Generally FTPs don’t look like much more than folders and files on a blank page. As a result they are very quick and efficient to use. You can access an FTP through a browser, an FTP client, or through server or shell scripts.
Example of a browser (Google Chrome) viewing an FTP site:
Example of a FTP client (FileZilla) viewing an FTP site:
- What is the purpose of the FTP?
The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for Enterprise retailers is designed for quick access to Doba product data and inventory data. You may use an FTP client (such as FileZilla) or automate access (cURL cron job linux/unix systems; AT task via Windows Task Scheduler/schtasks Windows systems). The files found here are updated 4 times daily at midnight, 6am, noon, and 6pm. This is the ideal method of getting all product data, if you plan to list all Doba products.
If you have or plan to create large inventory lists--e.g. 100,000 items or more per list--the Data Export Tool will likely experience errors because of the sheer size of data. The solution to this problem is the FTP, which can be used to populate a unique folder, specific to your account. Large inventory lists with 100K+ products can be populated to those unique folders as you see necessary. This service allows lists to be populated in a format of your choice (custom format or existing export we have created for partners) into your unique folder. The request and details are listed below.
You can transfer files very quickly and efficiently with an FTP. Doba’s FTP was set up so large inventory lists could be moved or populated there and downloaded from there. There are no bandwidth restrictions in the FTP environment. It also allows for inventory lists of the entire catalog to be downloaded in only a matter of minutes.
- Why are my credentials for the FTP different from the Enterprise UI and API?
Depending upon the service you have, you might be on a shared or a private FTP. Both FTPs require credentials, but the naming convention for the credential set is different from the ones we use for the UI and API. Keep your credentials in a safe location and do not disperse them.
- What is the difference between the files on the FTP?
Current file types offered are .csv and .tab. They are all gzipped to speed up downloading.
Inventory Files - Doba_Power_Export_Inventory_Category_Name.csv.gz
Product Files - Doba_Power_Export_Product_Category_Name.csv.gz
The 9 Categories of the Catalog:
- Apparel, shoes & jewelry
- Automotive, tool & industrial
- Electronics & computer
- Games, movies & music
- Health & beauty
- Home, garden & living
- Kids, baby & toy
- Outdoor & sports
The additional 2 files provided with explanation:
- Discontinued - Inventory file showing items with the status "Discontinued"
- Uncategorized - Items whose category (taxonomy) does not conform to Doba's. The item is still
order-able and likely has all other required data to properly list and sell the
item. These items are still found in the catalog, but usually only accessible via
browsing the entire supplier's product offering.
- How often do my files get updated?
If you are using the V3 folder, the schedule is 4 times daily: midnight, 6am, noon, and 6pm. If you use another folder the schedule is determined by you. The other way to check this is by looking at the details on the file-level. You can see the “Last Update” or “Date Modified” timestamp.
- When should I download data from the FTP?
We recommend that you set up your scheduled tasks for downloading the data from the FTP a little after the files update. As long as you are updating them a couple of times a day, you should avoid major issues and keep your inventory as accurate as possible. *If you see that the last updated file in your list updates by 30 minutes past the hour, you might consider running your download tasks on the 45 minute mark past the hour.
- Can I post my orders to the FTP?
We do not support sending orders via FTP at this time. As FTPs are inherently insecure, order information could be seen by those listening in. This can potentially be dangerous. We recommend sending orders via a more secure method such as API or logging into the UI and processing the order via batch import.
- What happens if my files are not updating?
Usually we can see if code is failing via our own logs and notification system. If and when this occurs we address the issue as soon as possible. If this occurs over the weekend it is usually addressed on the following Monday morning. You may always send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request an update if you are worried or would like more details.
- Where can I get definitions for the file and headers?
We list this information in our API documentation. The following are the links to the Product and Inventory versions of the files:
Yes, you can request this and we can have other inventory lists in a different format populated in your FTP folder.
Send an email to email@example.com, with the subject stating “FTP Folder Request”, and in the body of the email explain in detail what you need to occur. The following is an example in the email format:
Subject: FTP Folder Request
I have a request for a unique FTP Folder that has my inventory lists populated there. I want them listed in the FTP folder in the BigCommerce Format. Those inventory lists are the following:
2) Carousel - Books
3) Music - Books
4) Video Games
Please give me a call at 801-555-1234
We will follow up with you via phone to confirm the request and create the Engineering task to complete. Each of these changes are important and deserve special consideration and scrutiny. Because of that, there is usually a 2-week minimum lead time to complete these requests.
If there is a dire need to get the data and start utilizing it a certain way, you are free to continue using the Data Export Tool during the interim. The Persistent URLs provided with each Export are useful and allow for automation as an interim solution. Once the FTP has the changes and they have been monitored for a business day, you are free to use the files, switching over from the Persistent URLs to the files on the FTP.
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