Manual for Icecat CSV Interface

Alexandr Kravtsov
By
September 28, 2016
open-csv

This document describes the CSV (Comma-Separated Values) variant of Icecat’s Open Catalog Interface: a set of standards, data structures, files and functionalities for the exchange of product data.

Icecat provides customers with the ability to download CSV product data by

  1. using a real-time call based (URL) interface to access product data-sheets
  2. generating personalized or customized CSV files based on your catalog
  3. through direct access to our Icecat Data indexes and repositories

In this post, we describe only (1) the real-time calls to CSV data-sheets. Generating personalized files is discussed separately. In case of 3, check out the documentation for the Icecat XML Data Interface, as the same directories also contain CSV variants of index files, which can be used to retrieve product data-sheets in CSV format.

Other available interfaces are:

In general, we advise to use the XML (or JSON) interfaces for downloading Icecat data-sheets. Interfaces based on these data formats are most robust, provide you with most flexibility and provide you with the most complete data set per product. However, sometimes the use of a CSV format is easier and more pragmatic, depending on the capabilities of the e-business infrastructure of your company.

In case that you need more information or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our Global Mission

Icecat’s global mission is to provide e-commerce partners with high-quality product information that helps their buyers make better purchase decisions, in any world language, in any country and on any device or media.

Open Icecat Fair Use Policy

The user of Open Icecat product data (in a free Open Icecat subscription or as part of the Full Icecat data) is required to respect the Open Icecat Fair Use Policy.

Explicitly relevant for website development is:

  • to mention explicitly the “Specs: Icecat” on all product datasheets, with a link to the Icecat.biz web site
  • to include explicitly an “AS IS” disclaimer, an example of which can be found at http://www.icecat.biz/menu/disclaimer/index.htm (available in several languages).

Advantages of upgrading to Full Icecat

The CSV interface may be accessed by all Icecat Data (XML) users using at least a demo account. Open Icecat users can access the data of the sponsoring brands.
Full Icecat users can access the data of all brands in the Icecat database.

However attractive the free Open Icecat database is, the Full-Icecat database still contains many, many more brands: 10,000s (see http://icecat.biz/menu/vendors/index.htm). If you are interested in subscribing to the Full Icecat database, please contact us via the website. If you want specific brands to be included into free Open Icecat, please, recommend Icecat to your manufacturer contacts.

What are the main advantages of Full Icecat over free Open Icecat?

  • All product data of all 10,000s of brands (see http://www.icecat.biz/menu/vendors/index.htm) are available. If you don’t see the brand logo, the brand’s product data is only available in Full Icecat.
  • Icecat can also provide service levels, like coverage guarantees for your portfolio, support missing brands and help defining new categories.

If you want to upgrade to Full Icecat, please contact us via the contact form, or click on the “request Full Icecat access” link after the User Login.

1. Real-time CSV interface

The Icecat CSV product data-sheet consists of following columns:

Column title Explanation
Requested_prod_id Manufacturer’s product identifier used in your product feed
Requested_GTIN(EAN/UPC) Requested numerical GTIN (EAN/UPC) code from your product feed
Requested_Icecat_id Requested numerical internal Icecat identifier from your product feed
ErrorMessage Contains a textual explanation (not an error code!) why the system did not provide information on requested identifiers
Supplier Product’s brand or manufacturer name
Prod_id Manufacturer part number
Icecat_id (product_id) Internal numerical product identifier used in the Icecat database
GTIN(EAN/UPC) GTIN(EAN/UPC) codes that corresponds to a product
Category Category name
CatId Numerical category identifier
ProductFamily Product family name
ProductSeries Product series name
Model Product or model name
Updated The date of the most recent change of product data-sheet in Icecat
Quality Product quality indication
On market On market indicator
Product views Numerical value that shows number of data-sheet views in Icecat
HighPic Link to high resolution of main product image
HighPic Resolution Main product image resolution
LowPic Link to low resolution product image
Pic500x500 Link to medium (500px) resolution image
ThumbPic Link to thumbnail image
Folder_PDF Link to PDF leaflet
Folder_Manual_PDF Link to PDF manual
ProductTitle Product title
Short desc Short editorial description of product data-sheet
ShortSummaryDescription Automatically generated short summary description
LongSummaryDescription Automatically generated long summary description
LongDesc Marketing text
ProductGallery Links to gallery images separated by comma
ProductGallery Resolution Resolution of product gallery images (separated with | symbol, if several)
360 Content type with a 360 degree (or so called 3D) product view
EU Energy Label EU Energy Label
EU Product Fiche EU Product Fiche (PDF or html data-sheet)
PDF PDF files
Video/mp4 Product videos
Other multimedia Other multimedia content types
ReasonsToBuy Reasons to buy (feature bullet descriptions)

Columns with product specifications are included and have column headers such as “Spec #”, so that each new specification (feature) is included in a new column in the output CSV file. The number of specifications depends on the number of spec values in the respective product data-sheet. A cell with a specification value consists of a spec name, spec value and a measure unit (if present).
Those columns also contain spec group names. Spec groups consist of multiple specs, which are grouped under its respective spec group, to make reading a spec table more easy for a buyer.

Example:
Column header – Spec 1
Value – Processor

Column header – Spec 2
Value – Processor clock speed: 3.2 GHz

Column header – Spec N (where N is any spec number)
Value – Display

Column header – Spec N+1
Value – Display diagonal: 17”
Where:
Processor, Display – spec groups
Processor clock speed, Display diagonal – feature names
3.2, 17 – feature values
GHz, “ – units

Example string from CSV, where the spec groups “Design” , “Processor” and “Memory” are marked red:

"Design","Product type: Notebook","Colour of product: Black, Silver","Form factor: Clamshell","Processor","Processor clock speed: 1.3 GHz","Processor family: AMD E","Processor model: E2-3800","Processor cores: 4","Processor threads: 4","Processor cache: 2 MB","Memory","Internal memory: 8 GB","Internal memory type: DDR3-SDRAM","Maximum internal memory: 16 GB","Memory form factor: SO-DIMM",……..

2. URL call format

The Icecat real-time CSV interface, supports URL requests by:

  • GTIN (EAN/UPC) code(s)
  • GTIN (EAN/UPC) code(s) + category (id)
  • Brand Product Code + Brand (vendor name)
  • Brand Product Code + Brand (vendor name) + category (id)
  • Icecat internal numerical product identifier(s) (icecat_id)
  • Icecat internal numerical product identifier(s) + category (id)

Please, find a more detailed description of each parameter below:

  • ean_upc – GTIN (EAN/UPC) code (one or several separated by comma)
  • prod_id – manufacturer product code or comma separated list of product codes or alternative manufacturer product codes that are on the market and are mapped to an Icecat data-sheet (m_prod_id)
  • brand – the manufacturer’s brand name (including alternative brand names present in the Icecat supplier mappings)
  • icecat_id (product_id) – unique internal Icecat identifier of a product data-sheet, which can also be provided as a comma separated list
  • lang – the language identifier (Icecat returns the EN data-sheet by default if no lang is selected in the URL request)
  • cat – an optional, but advised parameter, where user may add the Icecat numerical identifier of a product category to reduce the probability of unexpected data-sheets
  • output – the type of output (Enter “productcsv”Icecat returns product XML if no output type is provided)

Important: Red marked parameters are mandatory. A request only with ean_upc or icecat_id (product_id) without vendor and brand name is recognizable by the system and will return a datasheet.

Below you may find examples of URL calls:
http://data.icecat.biz/xml_s3/xml_server3.cgi?prod_id=;brand=Philips;lang=;output=productcsv
http://data.icecat.biz/xml_s3/xml_server3.cgi?ean_upc=8711500354532,8711500354501;lang=EN;output=productcsv
http://data.icecat.biz/xml_s3/xml_server3.cgi?prod_id=4347B007,8576B064;brand=canon;lang=IT;output=productcsv

3. Access to rich content

Icecat provides access to special type of content – rich media – via XML, xml_s3 and real-time CSV interfaces.
Rich media content can be requested by  the special output parameter: output=richproductcsv

Examples:
http://data.icecat.biz/xml_s3/xml_server3.cgi?product_id=17727188;lang=NL;output=richproductcsv
http://data.icecat.biz/xml_s3/xml_server3.cgi?ean_upc=8710103608011;lang=NL;output=richproductcsv

Note: for certain brands rich media can be restricted to their Authorized Resellers. Contact Icecat, if you think that you miss certain rich media assets that you expected to receive.

4. URL symbols encoding

Since some manufacturer product codes may consist of special symbols like +, #, !, %, _ or space Icecat may process these only if URL encoding of such symbols is included in the URL request.

Examples:
WBE3321A+NFSM = WBE3321A%2BNFSM
3580S4X BNDL = 3580S4X%20BNDL

5. IP Access Limits

Icecat sets up a limit on the number of simultaneous requests from each IP to ensure the stability of the service. Icecat users cannot send more than 25 simultaneous CSV URL requests. Full Icecat users can request CSV URL data only from IP addresses listed in their Icecat account profile. Requests from unregistered IPs are not processed. In such cases system returns an error message.

 

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