cre loaded epa (easypopulate) gotchas, errors and solutions

The EPA – easypopulate – function has been a feature of cre loaded carts since the mid 2000s and like many cre loaded features, is a tangled mess of old code which has resulted from additional feature ‘add-on’s over time. Here are a couple of gotchas that may be causing issues for your easypopulate uploading and their solutions:

1. Date added and date available overwritten with 1-1-1970 error
You might find that your product date_added and date_available fields get overwritten with 1-1-1970 08:00:00 which isn’t ideal.
The solution here is to make sure that when you edit the EPA upload file, you check to make sure the dates are in a correct format (and not in the default date format of your spreadsheet programme if this is what you’ve used.)

screenshot of easy populate upload file with corrected dates

2. Missing manufacturer_name
If you are getting an internal error (500 error) after uploading an EPA (easypopulate) import file, check to see that ALL rows of the EPA include a manufacturer’s name. This is necessary because the manufacturer-related infoboxes in your side columns will break without both manufacturer_ids and manufacturers_names. See screenshot above for example.