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.)

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.