Import and Export
BwPostman offers the ability to import subscribers. The accepted formats are XML and CSV. You also are able to export your subscribers. The used formats are XML and CSV as well.
To see how the data looks like in the respective formats, demo data are supplied. You will find them in the admin-folder of the component (<path-to-your-Joomla-installation>/administrator/components/com_bwpostman). They are named import_demo.csv and import_demo.xml.
You call the import with the button Import at the toolbar in the sub-menu Subscribers of BwPostman. The button is not visible at test recipients.
First you have to select the format, XML or CSV. Only then the button Browse... will be enabled, with that you can select the file to import. When you import a CSV file, then you have to enter the CSV delimiter as field separator and the CSV text separator and whether the file contains the field names in the headline.
For field separator there are available comma, semicolon, tabulator and space. For text separation you can select no separation, apostrophe and double quote. Text separators are normally not used. For best practise at CSV files you will find a detailed guidance below.
XML files don't need this informations naturally.
With the button Further you go to the next view. Here you allocate the data from the file to import (in the right list) to the fields of BwPostman (in the left list). Important here is to match the same order at the left and right. The order of the import fields will be adjusted in the right column. To do so highlight the the name of the data field and click to the button up or down under the select list.
Also fields, that only exists in one of the select lists, have to be removed. This will be done with the button Remove below the corresponding select list.
Then you select the mailing lists, to which the subscribers shall be added. Here, too, the mailing lists are divided into three: At the left the mailing lists that are public, in the middle the mailing lists that only can be subscribed by special user groups and in the right the mailing lists that only can be assigned in back-end by the webmaster or a person with appropriate permissions.
Below you set the default email format that will be allocated to the subscriber in case there is no entry in the committed data. Finally you set, whether the subscriber gets an email to confirm the registration (check box not marked) or to confirm the subscriber while importing.
This setting only takes effect, if the data to import contain nothing else. If you exported the subscribers of BwPostman with their state before and now you import these data, this setting takes no effect.
The import will be processed by clicking the button Import data.
In BwPostman (like Joomla!®) it is not possible to create one or more subscribers with one and the same email address. But it is possible to create two equal test recipients – one per mail format – and one subscriber with the same mail address.
If the data to import contains one email address multiple times with the same settings (regular subscription, test recipient HTML, test recipient text), then it will be imported only the first set of data of this email address.
If an email address already exists in BwPostman, then all sets of data with this email address will be skipped while importing. In each case of skipping you get a message at end of importing.
In countries with mandatory double-opt-in-procedure the handling with automatic confirmation while import possibly is improper! A proper usage may be the import of subscribers from another newsletter system.
Mail clients often offers a lot of data fields in their address manager. You principally should restrict the export of the address data to that data fields BwPostman is able to import: last name, first name, mail address and mail format. The field status only concerns the internal state of a subscriber in BwPostman and normally only is of interest while importing data, that were exported form BwPostman prior. Status 1 means the subscriber has confirmed his subscription, 0 is an unconfirmed subscription and status 9 means test recipients.
If it is not possible to restrict the data to export from mail client or other program, then I suggest to export the data to CSV. This file can be cleared out by a program, that can handle CSV files. Well done is this by CALC from the OpenOffice-Series (Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, …).
Open your CSV file with OpenOffice. There is a portable version of this program, that only has to be unpacked and called. OpenOffice is a sure candidate for functional CSV files.
Apache OpenOffice (other versions of OpenOffice eventually have different labels) shows a dialogue while opening a CSV file, where you can select character set, with which the file is written, field separator and text separator and more. But OpenOffice recognizes really well, which conditions are set. If you take changes here, then you can examine these changes in the section below. A click to OK opens the file.
Because BwPostman only uses first name, last name, email address, email format and state, you should remove the columns BwPostman don't need. That eases following work. If email format is given, but as text – e.g. HTML/text – then you can enter the values 0 for text and 1 for HTML by Edit → Find & Replace.
Following save the file by Save As as CSV file with UTF-8, field separator (best is semicolon) and text separator double quote. These settings you reach by checking Edit filter settings. OpenOffice asks, whether you want to keep current format – that is CSV – or ODF format. It is imperative to click to Keep Current Format.
Next dialogue is preset with the selections while opening the file. But that settings not always are the best, take care. Ensure the checkbox Quote all text cells is selected.
Now the CSV data are treated in a manner, BwPostman may import.
So far the settings UTF-8, ; and “ did work properly, whilst the data did not come from Excel, because Excel makes a BOM, absolutely unusual an hardly to exorcise.
A text separator particularly is important, if spaces and special characters occurs at first name or last name. These characters bring trouble upon import (empty or broken data sets).
It is indeed recommended to use double quote as text separator, because the chance to occur in a name is really little, while a single quote may occur in name affix. Think of names like D'Angelo…