Help Center

Tutorial: File Formats

Sarah Bacchus
Sarah Bacchus
  • Updated

This article reviews the most common data feed files formats, and shows how data is displayed in each format.

The format of a product data feed depends on the shop or product information management system that is being used by your company. However, the most common formats are .CSV and .XML.

Currently our system submits feeds in the following file formats: XML, Tab Delimited, Comma Delimited, Pipe Delimited and JSON.

 

 

Types of feed file formats

CSV Comma-Separated Value
TXT Tab-Delimited Plain Text
XML

Extensible Markup Language

JSON Javascript Object Notation
XLS Excel

 

Example Data Table

id name age gender
1 Roberta 39 M
2 Oliver 25 M
3 Shayna 18 F
4 Fechin 18 M


Data examples

The following examples will show you how this data looks like in each format.

  • id,name,age,gender
    1,Roberta,39,M
    2,Oliver,25,M
    3,Shayna,18,F
    4,Fechin,18,M
  • "id","name","age","gender"
    "1","Roberta","39","M"
    "2","Oliver","25","M"
    "3","Shayna","18","F"
    "4","Fechin","18","M"
  • id;name;age;gender
    1;Roberta;39;M
    2;Oliver;25;M
    3;Shayna;18;F
    4;Fechin;18;M
  • id|name|age|gender
    1|Roberta|39|M
    2|Oliver|25|M
    3|Shayna|18|F
    4|Fechin|18|M
  • id|name|age|gender
    1|Roberta|39|M
    2|Oliver|25|M
    3|Shayna|18|F
    4|Fechin|18|M
  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <customers>
    <customer>
    <id>1</id>
    <name>Roberta</name>
    <age>39</age>
    <gender>M</gender>
    </customer>
    <customer>
    <id>2</id>
    <name>Oliver</name>
    <age>25</age>
    <gender>M</gender>
    </customer>
    <customer>
    <id>3</id>
    <name>Shayna</name>
    <age>18</age>
    <gender>F</gender>
    </customer>
    <customer>
    <id>4</id>
    <name>Fechin</name>
    <age>18</age>
    <gender>M</gender>
    </customer>
    </customers>
  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?><customers><customer><id>1</id><name>Roberta</name><age>39</age><gender>M</gender></customer><customer><id>2</id><name>Oliver</name><age>25</age><gender>M</gender></customer><customer><id>3</id><name>Shayna</name><age>18</age><gender>F</gender></customer><customer><id>4</id><name>Fechin</name><age>18</age><gender>M</gender></customer></customers>
  • {
    "data": {
    "customers": [
    {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Roberta",
    "age": 39,
    "gender": "M"
    },
    {
    "id": 2,
    "name": "Oliver",
    "age": 25,
    "gender": "M"
    },
    {
    "id": 3,
    "name": "Shayna",
    "age": 18,
    "gender": "F"
    },
    {
    "id": 4,
    "name": "Fechin",
    "age": 18,
    "gender": "M"
    }
    ]
    }
    }
  • {"data":{"customers":[{"id":1,"name":"Roberta","age":39,"gender":"M"},{"id":2,"name":"Oliver","age":25,"gender":"M"},{"id":3,"name":"Shayna","age":18,"gender":"F"},{"id":4,"name":"Fechin","age":18,"gender":"M"}]}}

The difference between CSV and EXCEL file formats

  • In CSV file, as all the data is needed to be saved in plain text format, Image related (JPEG, PNG, JPG, etc.) data is not possible to save. While Excel is a binary format, hence all the Image related data can be easily saved in excel format.

  • CSV is a plain text file, and hence, it is a common file without any standardization or structuring. While Excel is highly standardized and structured by keeping in mind the requirements of the present corporate world.

  • CSV files can be open in any kind of text editor like notepad as well as in MS Excel, too, while excel can be opened only in the MS Excel or google sheets.

Compressed Files

You might also see extensions like .zip or .gz, as some channels accept compressed files. Though compression is not usually required, there are some benefits to compressing feed files.

file compression example zip   

Compressed files can be imported and exported more quickly and they take up less space. For example, you can expect your compressed .gz file to take up some 5-10% of the space of a similar XML or CSV. That means you can save both bandwidth and time by using compressed files. Of course, once compressed, the file is no longer human-readable and will need to be uncompressed before it can be edited. However, this is not a big blocker and is generally easy to do successfully.

 

 

When you're ready to continue, click next.

NEXT - Attributes

Was this article helpful?

0 out of 1 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

0 comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.