3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2012 5:21 AM by lazycarpenter

    Catalog pricing challenge (idml, xml, javascript solution?)




      I have a very large challenge that i desperately need help with.


      I am working on a 1000+ page catalog with over 30,000 products in it. The pages come to our studio from a master database much like the example image I have inserted below ---> and inline list of product names, images, Specs and Tables. We then apply formatting and arrange the items into a paginated layout. Basic InDesign stuff.


      The problem comes at the end (After pagination of 1000+ pages). These files do not come in with final pricing and we then need to update it to reflect the current pricing for the items. We have been using a plugin that interfaces with our database to flow in pricing and it has worked O.K.(we have had many bugs along the way). We recently updated our database software and the ID plugin that goes with it and have lost the functionality to update pricing (UGGGGHHHH, they are "working on it") which renders this very expensive product useless.      : (    sad face


      We have researched a large number of 3rd party solutions (plugins, software, etc.) to change/enhance our workflow but unfortunately all of them have trouble interfacing with our database software and cannot be implemented without a very large, pricey and time consuming conversion. (trust me, I have done over 15 demos of all the major plugins and services, small to large)


      My solution/workaround for this problem of updated pricing for 30,000+ products perhaps could be a simple solution that goes like this:


      1. Receive ID CS6 files.

      2. Complete pagination of IDCS6 files.

      3. Export .idml for paginated files.

      4. Export a mirrored IDCS6 file from the database with all the same data, images, tables, etc. with updated pricing.

      5. Export .idml from mirrored file.

      6. Convert both .idml files to .zip files and replace the .xml containing the Story Data (Located at Catalog_Paginated.zip\XML\Stories) with the exported Story data from the mirrored files .zip package

      (Located again at Catalog_Mirrored.zip\XML\Stories).

      7. Convert paginated files .zip back to .idml and open in IDCS6 which should now have the new Story data and in turn updated pricing.


      I have tried this and in short I get a file that is hung up and will not open. Keep in mind that i do not do all 30,000 products in one ID file. They are exported in chunks of 20 to 30 products. This works perfectly on a small scale document such as in my attached example pic, but has trouble with a large file with more complex product data and tables.


      This is where i need help. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Am I simply replacing the wrong .xml data in the .idml/.zip file? Is there a JavaScript solution to update/replace the .xml data?


      I feel strongly that the robust data offered in the .idml format (perhaps in conjunction with a scripting solution) can offer an ideal solution in this problem as oppose to pursuing a costly and time consuming transfer to a new plugin/software solution.


      I have some help from a very talented (and very busy) team of developers working on a JavaScript solution but I am pursuing this .idml solution myself and REALLLLLLY NEED HELP as we are falling behind in production as we speak.


      In short, this should be simple. What am i doing wrong?