I have followed the tutorials and I have successfully created a test catalog with a product (name), item (product number) , description and image. Where I am lost is the item name or "Tool Name" may need to have up to 12 variations. So Tool Name 1 will not have an item number but will have a description. However there will be only 1 picture associated with the 12 variations. Any assistance would be appreciated
but what we would like is some version of this:
ideally we would like to end up with this:
Unfortunately, indesign by itself can't data merge like this. What you've described is a one-to-many database relationship (e.g. one product can have one – or many – variations). This prevents indesign's data merge from being able to produce richer content VDP such as utility bills, monthly invoice statements, etc. InDesign is great for one-to-one database relationship files (e.g. one client has one address and one phone number all stored in a table/spreadsheet row).
I am unsure what third-party paid plug-ins may be able to achieve the result you are after but if there is one that can do this, that would be great.