Import and multi value custom fields

Tom11

New Member
Hi,

I have some custom field with multi selects, trying to import new users thru csv, the app interpretate the field as text and doesn't 'check' the checkboxes when i go edit an user. The field is show as text in the user list as well.

If i try to edit the user, checking the same fields that should have been selected, the system save a duplicate, example:

field before import 'data1,data2,data3'
field after editing manually, ' data1,data2,data3, data1, data2, data3'

Related to this, if i do import a new user that has a new value of that custom field, lets say data4, it doesnt get added in the values saved in the custom fields page.

Also, unrelated with the problem but would be very useful to have checkboxes when doing new segments and selecting to filter thru a custom field thats a multi select, cause right now only text is possible.

Thanks!
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
@Tom11 - Unfortunately we're a little behind in this area and right now we can only import lines with just one value, everything else will be interpreted as such. Will try to catch-up in the future.
 

Tom11

New Member
@twisted1919 There's no way to import users with multiple fields selected so ?

Can you suggest any alternative ? I need to import a database that has two columns with multiple fields selected, can't do it manually
I feel isn't that rare case so maybe should be looked into as a feature very soon anyway?

Thanks
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
@Tom11 - Believe it or not, this hasn't been an issue thus far, nor people requested it, this is also the reason why we don't have it.
Of course, it can be done with a custom importer, any PHP developer with Yii and Mailwizz knowledge should be able to to it in a few hours.
 

Tom11

New Member
@twisted1919 I am a programmer and i do have bought this plugin because i do not have the time to do this myself.

From a logical point of view this is a functionality that should be there and for how i see it is more of a bug than a missing functionality, because you have already all that functionality in place but do not handle it ONLY in import.

You have an import and export function and you have multiple custom fields, all working and all promoted on the plugin page.
The plugin is able to export the lists to file, but it is unable to re-import the same lists, due the error above, i don't see how this should be optional, is your import/export procedure that is broken as it doesn't do what should, and on top of not handling custom fields it fuck up the import cause then if you add in the backend the custom field with checkbox it doesnt save it as well, cause duplicate the info in that field.

Could you please figure this out ?

Import and export has to work, isnt a minor feature or something.

Thanks
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
@Tom11 - Can you PM me or open a support ticket, and attach the file you try to upload, or a sample from it so i can have a look at it and see what would it take to make the importer accept it?
p.s: language please.
 

SuperRadDM

New Member
Did this ever get resolved? I'm looking to do the same. Import multiple comma separated values to a a field named Industries.

e.g.
Rec 1, Industries = Agriculture, Electronics, Manufacturing
Rec 2, Industries = Industrial, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical
 

nadworks

Active Member
Just to add my usual 2 cents: This has been an issue for us here, too.
We aim to let users select their preferences either upon signup or by editing their preferences later. Multi-select fields are the key to this. However, the lack of support has stopped us from ever using it properly. We get frequent signups from affiliate websites, where the content preference has been set, when we import those records, we're messing with the pre-existing multi-select field each time.
I never requested a fix because I felt I'm already constantly asking for stuff. ;)
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
@nadworks - i think most, if not all the things you ask for, are just common sense to have, so we try to add them, so no worries for asking, we always do our best to implement what we can.

Related to this issue, our main problem with multiple values is that you can't split them by a comma without actually wrapping them in double quotes.

For example, a CSV like:
Code:
email,industries
john@doe.com,it,agriculture,media
is not the same as:
Code:
email,industries
john@doe.com,"it,agriculture,media"

The first example is broken and cannot be used. So you need to do it like the second example.
Do you think all people will be able to upload lists like in the second example?
 

SuperRadDM

New Member
Interesting, What would be the correct way to create the import sheet in Excel?

Below is a snapshot of an import file in Excel with the industries in Column B, and the industries concatenated with a double quote in Column C.

Then follows a snapshot of what that file looks like in a text editor.

1623058868753.png
1623058877118.png

The Column B values are already encased in Double Quotes, and the Column C values now have 6 double quotes.

Thanks,

J.
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
In the above example, the B column is the correct one.
Btw, we just took a look at MC and it seems they simply import like we do, they don't split the value into multiple values, so i dunno, maybe they have a reason they don't do it.

Anyway, in MailWizz, there are two custom fields that accept multiple values, that is multiselect and checkboxlist, so while we were thinking about how we go about this, following questions arose.
  1. If this is a new custom field, we should be able to create it as a multiselect or a checkboxlist where the values should be separate rows, that is it, media, production.
    First question here is, how do we decide if this is a multiselect or a checkboxlist?
    Secondly, if this is a new field, and it's either multiselect or checkboxlist, it doesn't have options defined, so what should we do? Collect all the different fields as we go through the import process and import them as options for these custom field? Remember, a multiselect or checkboxlist need a list of options from which people will select and these selections become the values which we import.
  2. If this is an existing field which has options defined, do we just add these new values? or do we remove the existing values and add these new ones? So do we merge or do we replace the field values?
 

SuperRadDM

New Member
Thanks as always for your quick response Twisted.

A question for you, what is the difference between multiselect and checkboxlist? If I was administering a record within MW, and wanted to mark a field with multiple values, I'd expect to tick the multiple values on a checkbox. e.g.
1623061090632.png
Rather than Ctrl + Click. e.g.

1623061167919.png

But that's just my preference.
My answer to your questions; in another CRM I use I believe it works this way:

  1. If this is a new custom field, we should be able to create it as a multiselect or a checkboxlist where the values should be separate rows, that is it, media, production.
    First question here is, how do we decide if this is a multiselect or a checkboxlist?
    Secondly, if this is a new field, and it's either multiselect or checkboxlist, it doesn't have options defined, so what should we do? Collect all the different fields as we go through the import process and import them as options for these custom field? Remember, a multiselect or checkboxlist need a list of options from which people will select and these selections become the values which we import.

In my opinion Options should be defined when the administrator creates the field, in my example I went in and added all the values that can be in the Industries field. ( a note, if you could import the values en-masse rather than one by one would be helpful)

2. If this is an existing field which has options defined, do we just add these new values? or do we remove the existing values and add these new ones? So do we merge or do we replace the field values?

Don't add new values, only values that live in the field list are valid. I'd like to be in a position where I could interrogate the data and ask questions like "Which Industries open the most emails", and I think the most effective way to do that is if the values are fixed.
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
@SuperRadDM - Thanks for passing ideas around, this helps us understand better a lot of things. That being said, we'll continue asking questions till we are sure we know what to do.


what is the difference between multiselect and checkboxlist?
It's just a matter of preference on how you want to display the records.

In my opinion Options should be defined when the administrator creates the field
What if the field doesn't exists? Right now, we create any missing field, and I think that's an awesome feature of MailWizz, you don't have to go and do it manually, MailWizz just knows you need them and creates them for you, automatically. Should we stop doing this? I am reluctant to go this way.

Don't add new values, only values that live in the field list are valid
That makes sense. Anyone with a different idea on this take?
 

SuperRadDM

New Member
SuperRadDM said:
In my opinion Options should be defined when the administrator creates the field
What if the field doesn't exists? Right now, we create any missing field, and I think that's an awesome feature of MailWizz, you don't have to go and do it manually, MailWizz just knows you need them and creates them for you, automatically. Should we stop doing this? I am reluctant to go this way.

I'd agree with you. It's very handy that custom fields are created on Import, but I think by default any new field is created as text only. If you could have an option to define the field type on import, that could be handy. Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong, while you can import pretty much any data under an additional field, I don't believe their is function in place to interrogate that data and create new campaigns.

e.g. It turns out that recipients in the north of England, who are under 35, where red is their favourite colour typically open emails about product X. But people in Brazil over 25 with a favourite colour of blue prefer emails about product Y.

I wonder if I'm asking too much of the system. As a mail sending platform, it's fantastic. Start doing a lot of development on how data is handled and interrogated, and you're then moving into CRM territory. While that could be very useful for probably a large percent of users, can you afford the development overheads and testing to make it work?
 

twisted1919

Administrator
Staff member
Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong, while you can import pretty much any data under an additional field, I don't believe their is function in place to interrogate that data and create new campaigns.
Well, we do have segments which can we used for this exact purpose.

e.g. It turns out that recipients in the north of England, who are under 35, where red is their favourite colour typically open emails about product X. But people in Brazil over 25 with a favourite colour of blue prefer emails about product Y.
Segments, yes.

I wonder if I'm asking too much of the system
I don't think so. TBH, yes, it's complex, but I also think we can do it :D
While that could be very useful for probably a large percent of users, can you afford the development overheads and testing to make it work?
Well, good news is that v 2.x is now super solid for these types of things, so as promised when starting v2.x, we build a solid foundation.
Anyway, we have some ideas as to how to go about this. We basically have to "guess" a lot of things based on the data itself, but we have some ideas. We'll see when we start working on it and ask additional questions then.
 
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