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Publishing Ecommerce Data

 

Overview

Publishing ecommerce data is the primary method of transferring items, orders, customers, and ticket history from Counterpoint to NRO:

  • Items: Publish new and updated ecommerce items, quantities, prices, and add, change, or delete category levels in your online store
  • Orders: Publish order status information so customers can view the history of any online purchases
  • Customers: Publish ecommerce customers to NRO anytime you create new ecommerce customers or update existing ecommerce customers
  • Ticket History: This is not a supported NRO feature.

 

Table of Contents

Publishing Tips
Ecommerce Data Files
Creating Publishing Codes
Configure ADT
Printing the Publishing Codes Report

 

Publishing Tips

The following publishing tips will help optimize your NRO store and improve daily operations:. Minimize each import. Keep in mind that a bulky import file can slow down your store's performance. For optimum performance, only publish what is necessary to maintain your online store.

TIP: In Ecommerce / Publish, save a publication ID named DAILY that you will use for every day operations. Publish items using the update prices and quantities mode. Only publish customers (using update changed customers mode), and orders.
 
WARNING: If you are a CPOnline merchant who is moving to NRO, it is recommended that publish files being created DO NOT include orders during the development stage. This will cause order notifications to go out to all customers attached to the CPOnline orders that were uploaded to NRO. The reason for this is because NRO has no record of your previous orders or statuses, and pushing them to NRO will indicate that to the system that customers will need to be notified of their new statuses. It is HIGHLY recommend that one publish of just orders, prior to going live with NRO, is created and then promptly deleted prevent this issue. Once this has been done, all live orders from NRO can be pushed back to the website.

WARNING: Ticket history is not a supported NRO feature. For more information about defining publish codes, please watch our training video.

Perform a Maintenance Import when necessary. Periodically, you may need to do an Add/Replace of your items. You should do an add/replace replacement anytime you:

  • Make changes to Ecommerce Controls
  • Edit ecommerce categories
  • Edit item notes
TIP: In Ecommerce / Publish, save a publication ID named FULL that you will only use once a day. Add/Replace replacements are most common when you are initially setting up your NRO store.
 

Ecommerce Data Files

When you publish ecommerce data, Counterpoint writes the ecommerce information to an ASCII text file named CPTOCPOL-nnnn.TXT. In this file, nnnn refers to the Next publish file # indicated in Setup / Ecommerce / Control. Counterpoint creates a new file with a sequentially assigned number every time you publish ecommerce data.

CPTOCPOL-nnnn.TXT is the vehicle for getting information from your Counterpoint system to your NRO store. The Integration Agent will attempt to process your published data every 30 minutes.

TIP: To find the location of your NRO directory, go to Setup / Ecommerce / Control in Counterpoint. The Ecommerce directory is indicated on the Main tab. Click on the directory name to open the directory. We recommend placing a shortcut on your Desktop to help you quickly access that directory, for troubleshooting purposes.
 

Log Files

After ecommerce data has been imported into Counterpoint, Counterpoint automatically creates a log file for you records. The log file—named CPOLTOCP.log—indicates the date and time of the event, how many records were imported, etc. Log files are located in your company's NRO directory.

Each time a new log file is created, the previous log file is appended with a number (e.g., CPOLTOCP.001.log) and increased by one with each subsequent import (e.g., CPOLTOCP.001.log becomes CPOLTOCP.002.log, etc.)
 

Creating Publishing Codes

CounterPoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Publishing Codes

Items

Publishing requires effort by the Integration Agent (IA) and then by the uploader, on the NRO side.

The IA, every 15 minutes, will check the "data folder" to see if there are any unprocessed publish files. Although you can publish every 15 minutes, we do not recommend merchants publish that often and it really isn't necessary, in most cases. Publishing too often will put your store in a constant state of processing, which will slow down performance and make things look odd in the storefront.

When the IA finds unprocessed publish files, it picks up the oldest unprocessed file and flips the extension to .processing. When the file is in a processing state, the IA is parsing the flat file and building "packets" that contain the information the uploader needs to build the data in the NRO store. When the IA finishes creating the "packets" and moving them to NRO, it changes the file extension to .completed.

On the NRO side, there is a five to nine minute window where the files will await processing by the uploader.

You can see the status of the uploader by going to System > NCR Importer > View Import history.

When a full is ran, it creates up to five import types:


Products-full - This is the item information, such as descriptions, item name, etc. This is also the only publish that will go through your entire inventory and disable items and then re-enable items that are marked active in your Counterpoint system. Never place a range on a Full Replacement. Doing so will disable all items in your store, except for the ones that are present in the Counterpoint publish file.

Images - This will be the actual images added to the media directory that was created when the IA was installed. This import type will only appear if there are actually new or replacement images added to the media directory.

Image Info - This is a file that contains the paths to the images and associates the images to their item and it's only present, when Images are uploaded.

Products-maintenance - This is an update to quantities and prices.

Categories - This contains your ecommerce categories.


When an Add/Replace is ran, these are the kinds of import types that are created:


Products-update - This is the item information, such as descriptions, item name, etc. This publish will only disable items that are marked inactive in your Counterpoint system. It won't cycle through every item...it only touches the items that were published in the exchange file. It is okay to do partial range Add/Replace publishes. These let you make quick and dirty changes to only a couple of items.

Images - This would be the actual images added to the media directory that was created when the IA was installed. This import type will only appear if there are actually new images added to the media directory.

Image Info - This is a file that contains the paths to the images and associates the images to their item and it's only present, when Images are uploaded.

Products-maintenance - This is an update to quantities and prices.

Categories - This contains your ecommerce categories.

When an Update Prices and Quantities is ran, these are the kinds of import types that are created:


Products-maintenance -This will update prices and quantities. It will not add items or disable them or change anything about them, other than prices and quantities)


As you can see, an Update Prices and Quantities will not publish image info or images. It's purpose is to very quickly get inventory updates to NRO, so it runs really fast.

In our documentation and videos, when ADT is configured we recommend running the Update Prices and Quantities the bigger part of the day. For that reason, you'll sometimes find error messages for the Products-maintenance import type in your NCR Importer's import history. This is because new items will not be added by this type of publish, but they're present in the Update Prices and Quantities publish file and their presence is unknown by the IA. This error will clean itself up, the next time your store processes a "bigger" publish, such as an Add/Replace or a Full Replacement.

If you are making changes to gridded items or enabling new items for ecommerce, it's okay to manually run a publish even while running ADT. In fact, especially as it relates to gridded items, it's extremely important that any changes to existing gridded items, such as adding new sizes or colors or re-arranging the order of the gridded item's options, need to be immediately published to NRO, once you've completed your changes to the item.

Publishing Quantities from One or All Locations

Counterpoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Control

You can publish quantities from one location or all locations (provided that the items are normally stocked at the location from which you are publishing).

Select Setup / Ecommerce / Control. On the Items tab, select the Qty available method:

  • Item qty available: Total of all inventory quantities across all locations
  • Item qty on hand: Total of all inventory quantities across all locations, minus any inventory already committed
  • Location qty available: Inventory quantities from the Storeindicated on the Maintab
  • Location qty on hand: Inventory quantities from the Storeindicated on the Maintab, minus any inventory already committed

Customers

You should routinely publish customer information to NRO anytime you create new ecommerce customers or update existing ecommerce customer records. If you change a customer's email address in CounterPoint at any point after the customer record has been exported to NRO, the change will not be reflected in NRO.

Counterpoint will only publish those customers who are flagged for ecommerce (i.e., Ecommerce customeris checked on the Ecommerce tab of Customers / Customers).

Types of activity:
  • Do not publish: No customer records will be published when using this publishing code.
  • Add/Replace customers: To create new NRO customers from Counterpoint and update existing customers with new information. (This creates the largest file.)
  • Update balances: To update existing A/R customer balances.
  • Update changed customers: To update only those customers whose information has changed since the last publication and to add new customers.

TIP: Update changed customers is the most commonly used activity.

Orders

WARNING: If you are a CPOnline merchant who is moving to NRO, it is recommended that publish files being created DO NOT include orders during the development stage. This will cause order notifications to go out to all customers attached to the CPOnline orders that were uploaded to NRO. The reason for this is because NRO has no record of your previous orders or statuses, and pushing them to NRO will indicate that to the system that customers will need to be notified of their new statuses. It is HIGHLY recommend that one publish of just orders, prior to going live with NRO, is created and then promptly deleted prevent this issue. Once this has been done, all live orders from NRO can be pushed back to the website.

You can publish information about the status of NRO orders as the orders are imported and processed. When you publish orders, shoppers can view the current status of their orders online. You can also automatically notify online shoppers by email when their orders are shipped, changed, backordered, or cancelled.

 
When you publish ecommerce data using Ecommerce / Publish, status changes for orders that originated online are included in the export file. However, Counterpoint will only publish orders for which one of the following status changes has occurred:
  • The order was accepted (i.e., imported into Counterpoint)
  • One or more items on the order were shipped
  • The order was cancelled
  • The customer's credit card was rejected
  • One or more items on the order were placed on backorder
  • The order was modified
NRO can be configured to automatically send email messages that each customer receives whenever the status of their online order changes. These messages alert your customers to check the status of their orders in your online store.
 
 

Configure ADT

Publishing ecommerce data is the method of transferring items, orders and customers from Counterpoint to NRO. ADT affords you the ability to schedule ecommerce imports and publishes every 30 minutes, which means you can "set it and forget it." Your ADT tab is one that should be configured, just before you go live. Use these articles to help you configure ADT:

Scheduling an Automated Data Transfer Task

 

Printing the Publishing Codes Report

Counterpoint: Setup / Ecommerce / Reports / Publishing Codes

Select Setup / Ecommerce / Reports / Publishing Codes to print the Publishing Codes report which shows you how your publishing codes are set up.

 

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