The beauty of Magento being an open source solution is that if there is a shortcoming within the main core files, a third party developer can write an extension to address the issue. One such problem is the easy process of importing data into Magento.
Magmi is a third party tool to speed up the process of importing large amounts of product data. This tool is not installed as an extension of Magento but rather as a collection of php and other files connected to the Magento database. Installation is easy once you know what you are doing and once it’s installed, it will make your importing process much easier and faster. In addition, it is versatile and capable of dealing with a huge volume of data.
Some of the main reasons to use Magmi are:
• Great speed – 70-100 rows/sec on average depending on the number of fields and server
configuration. To put this into perspective, it is roughly 98% faster than built-in Magento
• Support for images – Magmi can import from a remote URL or a local folder from the server.
• Multistore support
• Custom script handling – You can for instance, build an automated script to pull a file from a
remote server and update products using task scheduler. This kind of feature is quite handy when
you are updating inventory count and prices.
• Support for Dataflow export CSVs file and generic SQL Datasource Plugin for enabling import from
other legacy or older database.
With Magmi, you can easily do a variety of tasks including; importing categories, assigning images, importing tier prices and even importing from a remote CSV.
Magmi is however not perfect, particularly with regards to its interface and security. The interface is not the most intuitive, but once you know what you are doing, it is easy to use. Magmi UI in Magento is also by default not secured. You can run additional scripts to make it secure, but this requires additional work. Furthermore, users of Magmi need to possess an extensive knowledge of Magento, particularly the understanding of product types and attribute sets to maximise the benefits of the tool.
However, once you have installed it correctly and got to use with the interface, it does the job of importing much faster than standard. Magmi is arguably the best mass importer for Magento available at the moment.