Loading marketing objects with the Data Load utility

You can configure the Data Load utility to load marketing data to create customer segments, e-Marketing Spots, activities, marketing content, and any associated assets. By using the Data Load utility to load this data, you can quickly create multiple marketing objects and types of objects in a single operation.

Before you begin

Ensure that any catalog entries, categories, email templates, or attachment managed files that are associated with the marketing objects that you are loading exist in the target store. When you use the Data Load utility to load marketing data, the utility creates only the marketing objects, descriptive information, and relationships. If the associated objects that the utility does not load do not exist in the target database, the load process can fail since the Data Load utility cannot resolve the unique ID values for the associated objects. If you plan to load marketing objects that need these types of associated objects, you must manually create the object before you load your marketing data.

About this task

You can use the Data Load utility only to insert, replace, or delete marketing objects. Running the utility in update mode to change marketing objects is not supported. When you are loading marketing data with the Data Load utility and use the provided sample configuration files, the utility runs in insert mode by default.

Sample configuration files are provided to configure the utility to load data to create the following marketing object types:
  • Activities
  • Campaigns
  • Content
  • Customer segments
  • E-Marketing Spots
  • Marketing attachments
When you load marketing data with the Data Load utility, the utility uses the configured business object configuration files and business object mediators to transform and load the marketing data. The utility uses the configured mediators to convert each marketing object within each input file into a data object. The data objects are then persisted into the database. After the load process completes, the marketing objects can be available for business users to view and manage in the Marketing tool.

For more information about the available sample configuration files and the data that can be loaded with each file, see Sample: Loading marketing data.

Notes:
  • The Data Load utility loads data for only a single store in each load operation. You can specify the store identifier in the environment configuration file.
  • HCL Commerce EnterpriseIf your site uses an extended sites store model, you cannot load data for all extended site stores at once. If you want to load asset store objects to extended sites stores, you must load the data into each extended site store individually.
  • The sample configuration files that are provided configure the utility to load input files for all supported marketing object types. If you want to load data for only specific object types, you can configure the Data Load utility when you run the utility from a command-line utility to load only specific objects. Use the -DLoadOrder parameter when you run the utility to identify the specific objects to load. If you want to use the -DLoadOrder parameter to load multiple business objects, include the list of load item names for the objects in comma-separated list. Enclose the list in double quotation marks. For example, the following parameter indicates that the utility is to load only the business object load items for marketing activities:-DLoadOrder="MarketingCampaign, MarketingActivity, MarketingElement, MarketingElementNVP"
  • When you load changes to replace multiple click actions (image map) for marketing content with no click actions, the multiple click actions can remain after the load process completes. If your input file includes data to set the marketing content to have no click actions, the utility updates the record for the content to reflect the input file change. However, if your input file does not include data to remove the click actions from the COLLIMGMAPAREA table, the click action data remains after the load operation completes. These click actions continue to be associated with the content and display for the content in Management Center and the storefront. To remove the click actions, delete the content, which causes a cascade delete operation that removes the click actions. Then, load data to re-create the content, and if needed, any of the click actions that need to remain. You can also use the Marketing tool to remove or change the click actions for marketing content.

Procedure

  1. Create your input files for each type of marketing object that you want to load.
    You can use sample input files to help you create your own input files. Copy and edit the sample files to replace the sample data with your own marketing object data. The sample input files are included in the following directory and subdirectories. There is a different subdirectory for each type of marketing object. These directories each include one or more input files for loading all of the information that can be used for each marketing object type.
    • HCL Commerce DeveloperWCDE_installdir\samples\DataLoad\Marketing
    • Linuxutilities_root/samples/DataLoad/Marketing
    Depending on the type of marketing object that you are loading, you might need to load multiple input files.
    Important: The names of the columns or elements in your input file must use specific names. For more information about these column names and the information that can be in each marketing object input file, see Marketing object input file definitions.
    Tip: You can use the Data Extract utility to help you generate your input files. If you are creating the same marketing objects in multiple environments, such as for testing purposes, create the objects in one environment with the Marketing tool. Then, extract those objects into output CSV files with the Data Extract utility. You can use these output files as input files for the Data Load utility to load the marketing objects into your other environments. For more information, see Extracting marketing data with the Data Extract utility.
  2. Create the Data Load utility configuration files that you need to load your marketing data.
    1. Go to appropriate directory, which contains the sample configuration files for loading marketing data.
      • HCL Commerce DeveloperOn a command line, go to the WCDE_installdir\samples\DataLoad\Marketing directory.
      • LinuxOpen a command line in the Utility Docker container. Change the directory to the utilities_root/samples/DataLoad/Marketing directory.

      For information about entering and leaving containers, see Running utilities from the Utility server Docker container.

    2. Copy the sample configuration files and directories to a local directory. Edit your copy of the sample configuration files to configure the utility for your environment.
  3. Optional: If you want to load custom marketing data, go to each marketing object subdirectory and create a backup of each business object configuration file.
    For example, the CustomerSegment directory includes the following business object configuration files:
    • wc-loader-member-group.xml
    • wc-loader-member-group-condition.xml
    • wc-loader-member-group-description.xml
    If you want to load custom data, you must customize your copied business object configuration files to configure the mappings for your custom data. Ensure that you define how the Data Load utility maps your data to the appropriate database table or tables.
  4. Open the data load environment configuration file (wc-dataload-env.xml) for editing and update the configured settings to match your environment settings.
  5. Open the data load order configuration file (wc-dataload.xml) for editing and configure the settings to load your marketing data.
    1. In the <_config:DataLoadEnvironment> element, ensure that the value of the configFile attribute identifies the environment configuration file. If the file is not in the same directory as the data load order configuration file, include the relative path to the file.
    2. For each <_config:LoadItem> element, ensure that the value for the name and businessObjectConfigFile attributes identify the correct marketing object and business object configuration file. If one or more of your files are not in the default location, update the appropriate businessObjectConfigFile attribute to include the relative path to the file location.
      Note: When you load data to insert or replace marketing activity elements for an activity, the utility replaces all existing elements for the activity before the utility inserts new elements. If you do not want the utility to remove all existing elements before the utility inserts new elements, include the replaceAllElements configuration property in the load item configuration for marketing elements. This property indicates whether the Data Load utility replaces the existing elements for an activity with the elements within the input file. You can set the following values for this property:
      true
      The Data Load utility deletes all existing elements for an activity before the utility loads new elements. This value is the default value.
      false
      The Data Load utility does not replace all existing elements. Only the existing elements that match elements in the input file are replaced.
    3. For each <_config:DataSourceLocation> element, ensure that the value of the location attribute identifies the input file for the marketing object. If the file is not in the default location, include the relative path to the file.
    4. Save and close the configuration file.
  6. Run the Data Load utility.
    If you want to load data for only specific marketing objects, use -DLoadOrder parameter when you run the utility.
    For example, to load data for only marketing activities, your command can resemble the following command:
    • AIXLinux./dataload.sh ../samples/DataLoad/Marketing/wc-dataload.xml -DLoadOrder="MarketingCampaign, MarketingActivity, MarketingElement, MarketingElementNVP"
    • Windowsdataload.bat ..\samples\DataLoad\Marketing\wc-dataload.xml -DLoadOrder="MarketingCampaign, MarketingActivity, MarketingElement, MarketingElementNVP"
    • HCL Commerce Developerdataload.bat ..\samples\DataLoad\Marketing\wc-dataload.xml -DLoadOrder="MarketingCampaign, MarketingActivity, MarketingElement, MarketingElementNVP"
  7. Verify that the marketing data is loaded by reviewing the data load summary report.
    For more information about the location and contents of this summary report, see Verify that the Data Load utility loaded the data successfully.
    • You can also verify that the marketing data is loaded by comparing the contents of your input files with the data within your target HCL Commerce database. Ensure that the data within the sample input files exists within the appropriate database tables.
    • In Management Center, verify that you can view the newly loaded marketing objects in the Marketing tool.