One powerful tool that is available in ThunderPOS is the spreadsheet importer.
This utility will allow you to import items, customers, departments or categories from an excel file, tab-delimited text file, or comma-separated values file. It can also allow you to update existing records, if you check the appropriate box. If you do not check that box, existing records will be unchanged. This could be used if you have a file from a supplier that is not available as a vendor database, or if you're bringing in items from another point of sale. It will also work with the Cloud version of the point of sale. You could also export a spreadsheet from ThunderPOS itself to make bulk alterations.
When doing this, the spreadsheet MUST have certain fields, depending on what you are importing. For example, when importing items, you must have an item id and a name for the items. If updating a record, any fields that you do not have in the sheet will not be updated. If creating a new record, a default value will be assigned for fields you do not have, depending on the field - in most cases, either a blank or 0.
There are certain things that will cause the importer to reject particular rows. This is done on a row-by-row level, so any rows that do not have these issues will be added or updated. These errors will be displayed on the last screen of the importing process. The errors are written in a technical form for the benefit of support, but will include the row number of your spreadsheet that was rejected. The most common ones you may run into are:
- Data would be truncated. This means that the text in the spreadsheet is too long to go into the field you're bringing it into. Item Name, for instance, is limited to 50 characters.
- Foreign Key Conflict. This usually would happen when importing an item, with the category, department, or vendor id fields. The ID must be of an already existing Category, Department, or Vendor, so you should create all of those first.
- Invalid Format. This means that you've tried to bring in something that is not appropriate for the field, such as the word "Zero" for the price.
- Primary Key conflict. This will only occur if you have updating off; it means that the item already existed, and so the row is rejected since you've chosen not to update existing items.
Once you have corrected the problem either in the source spreadsheet or in the program, you can redo the import to try to get the rows that did not succeed into the system.
At the very bottom of the status screen, once the import has finished, you'll get a count of how many total rows were imported, and if any errors have occurred, how many rows were not imported.
To use this tool, go through system administration to Import. You must be logged in as an administrator to use the importer, due to the sweeping changes possible through this tool. Further information on this tool is available through the manual.