Commerce Server provides five import processes for importing and transforming data in the Data Warehouse.
- Web Log File Data Import Process
- Transaction Data Import Process
- User Data Import Process
- Campaign Data Import Process
- Product Catalog Data Import Process
This process imports Web log file data generated by your Web servers. The Web log files must be in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) extended Web log file format. For information about configuring Web log files in the W3C extended Web log file format, see Configuring Web Log Files for Import.
You use the Web server log import task to provide information about what log file to import and where to find it. The Web log file import process looks for the log files in the specified location, parses them, and applies the properties that you set in the Advanced Web Server Log Import Properties dialog box.
If your site has more than one Web server, the Web log file import process combines the files from the different Web servers in memory, and organizes the log file data chronologically. The Web log file import process filters the Web log file data using the import properties you set. It applies a user visit inferential algorithm to transform click data into distinct user and visit counts.
Additionally, if you select to import query strings associated with the Web site, the Web log file import process imports them. For information about configuring Web log files, see Configuring Web Log File Import Properties.
Commerce Server supports Web servers that are not running Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 and do not include Commerce Server components that are capable of creating log files in the W3C log file format. You can make these Web server log files available to the Data Warehouse for import. For more information about adding applications and Web servers that do not use Commerce Server components, see Adding a Non-Commerce Application and Web Server.
- The Web log file import process will not import log files while IIS is actively writing to them. Do not import your log file directly from your Web site. Instead, verify that the server is no longer accessing the file, and then copy the file to a different location. You can then import it from the location you selected.
This process imports site transaction data when you run the Transaction data import task. Transaction data is stored order data, such as purchase orders and requisition numbers. By running reports on the imported transaction data, you can analyze how individual products are selling, how much is being requisitioned, or how much your customers are purchasing. You can perform a full import of all transaction data from the Commerce Server database, or you can perform an incremental import of transaction data that has not yet been imported into the Data Warehouse.
This process imports user profile data when you run the User profile data import task. You collect user data on your Web site with the User Object profile definition. You use the Profile Designer module in Business Desk to designate which user profile properties will be imported into the Data Warehouse. (You can also perform this task using the Profiles resource in Commerce Server Manager.) For information about specifying user data for import into the Data Warehouse, see Profile Definitions.
By running reports on the imported user data, you can analyze whether your user base is growing, and how successful your site is at converting guest users to registered users. The user data import process imports user data into the Data Warehouse in time intervals that you can specify to prevent locking the database table. For example, if you plan to import data for 10,000 users, you can specify 15-minute intervals for user data import, so that your server is not overloaded.
You can perform a full import of all user data from the Commerce Server database, or you can perform an incremental import of user data from the Commerce Server database that has not yet been imported into the Data Warehouse.
This process imports campaign data when you run the Campaign data import task. Campaign data includes advertisers, advertisement campaigns, and campaign item information. The campaign import process imports campaign data from the Commerce Server database. By running reports on the imported campaign data, you can analyze the success of your advertising.
This process imports data about products in your catalog when you run the Product catalog data import task. Product catalog data contains the dimensional information about catalog products, such as name, description, color, and size. The catalog data import process imports the catalog data from the Commerce Server database. Reports such as Product Analysis and Transaction Analysis require catalog data to display properly. If catalog data is not imported into the Data Warehouse, products are identified in reports by their stock keeping unit (SKU) numbers only.
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