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View the glossary of data feed management terms commonly used around the Productsup platform to learn the definitions of data feeds, FTP, XSL, and many more concepts characteristic of the domain.

This glossary contains a list of the most commonly used Productsup terms arranged alphabetically. Before going over the glossary table, check these three terms to help you navigate the Productsup platform:

  • Account

    The account level consists of all information in Productsup that relates to your company, such as all projects, their sites, user management, monitoring, and more.

  • Project

    The project level is a container for sites. Use projects to organize sites into a structure.

  • Site

    The site level gives you an overview of a particular part of your data. A site consists of imported products, all modifications applied to them, and channels to which you can export your products.



Additional data sources

Additional data sources contain additional information about the products that are already a part of your main data source. An additional data source links new information to the products in the main data source using a Product Identifier. Each additional data source extends the product feed horizontally.


API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of methods used for enabling applications and software components to communicate with each other. A good API makes it easier to design processes that span beyond one application, for example, optimizing your products in Productsup and sending them to eBay.


BOM (Byte Order Mark) is an invisible character at the start of a text stream indicating that the text uses Unicode encoding. If a Productsup export does not have a specific encoding defined, the platform exports data using the UTF-8 encoding by default without using a BOM.


CDATA (Character Data) is a code expression in XML that looks similar to this:

<![CDATA[Your Content]]>

When the parser goes over the code, it ignores everything written within the CDATA section. CDATA enables using characters and combinations of characters in your text that XML would otherwise consider code syntax. Such characters include ', &, <, ", and --. However, you still can't have ]]> in your text since it is a part of the CDATA expression.

CDATA sections are popular for scripting language content as well as XML and HTML content examples.


A channel is a target export where you want to send your data, for example, Google Merchant Center or Facebook Dynamic Ads.


A compiler translates code that a programmer writes in a high-level programming language into lower-level code that machines can read. The former is the source language, and the latter is the target language.

A compiler scans and parses code to check whether it is syntactically correct. Then, it identifies the semantics of the code to create target code with the same meaning. If necessary, a compiler locates and removes errors while translating the code.


CSV (Comma-Separated Values) is a delimited text file format that displays a table of data as plain text. It uses commas to separate column values and newline characters or semicolons to separate rows. CSV files have the .csv extension.

Instead of:



J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

A CSV file contains:

ID123, Book, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

To use comma characters in your column values, you can put your data in double-quotes. To use double quotes in your data, you can also put them in double-quotes. For example, to get the output TV 55", soundbar, and 3D glasses set as a value in one column, use this expression: "TV 55""", soundbar, and 3D glasses set".

CSV may also refer to delimited-text file formats that use field separators other than commas. Such non-comma-separated files as tab-separated values and space-separated values often have the .csv extension.

Data feed

A data feed is a stream of data that feed management tools use to import product information from data sources. The benefit of using data feeds is getting product data updates as soon as they occur in the data source.

Data feeds exist in files and contain information structured in a specific way. The structure of a data feed depends on the specific needs of the application that receives the data.

Data feeds can stream data continuously or on-demand. They store information using tables or tags. CSV and XML are the most common file types among data feeds.

Delta encoding

Delta encoding, also known as data differencing and delta compression, is a method of storing and transmitting data. Instead of using complete data files, delta encoding presupposes using the differences between sequential data stored in discrete files called deltas or diffs. To see how the two methods differ, compare transmitting a month's worth of stock market data as a complete file versus sending it as individual additions and subtractions.

The benefit of using delta encoding is reducing data redundancy when performing minor changes to massive datasets. Collections of deltas are more space-efficient than their non-encoded alternatives.


A destination is a method of uploading your export file.

Destinations can be:

  • Physical storage spaces. For example, Amazon S3 Bucket, an FTP server, Google Merchant Center FTP, and Productsup Server.

  • Upload mechanisms - For example, Content for Shopping API, Facebook Marketing API: Product Ads Video, and Youtube API.

Export (button)

The Export button in the top-right corner of any site page sends data to all active exports.

Export feed

An export feed is a file containing the products you send to a channel.


FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard communication protocol for transferring and exchanging files between a server and a client. FTP often uses plain-text authentication via standard login data, such as a username and a password. If configured so, FTP can enable users to connect to servers anonymously.

Because of the shortcomings of FTP in the data security domain, SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is gaining popularity over FTP.

Import (button)

The Import button in the top-right corner of any site page imports data to Productsup.

Indirect connections

An indirect connection is a connection between two stages in Dataflow that has a faded-out color compared to other connections between these stages.

An indirect connection indicates that the platform applies a rule box to the connected attribute and that this rule box uses data from another attribute.

In the following example, the mobile_link column indirectly connects to the image_link column in the intermediate stage. This indirect connection occurs when the Append/Prepend rule box prepends the mobile_link data to the image_link column.


Insight 1 & 2

Insight is another name for Data View in Productsup. While Insight 1 refers to the older version of the user interface, Insight 2 is the newer version that enables editing and optimizing your data with an entirely new layout and new features.


JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a data-interchange format that is both human- and machine-friendly. JSON uses attribute-value pairs and arrays to store and transmit data objects and has more in common with XML than CSV.

Although JSON derives from JavaScript, the format is language-independent.

Since JSON is a very flexible format, there is no guarantee that Productsup can import all JSON files. You can check if your JSON file works for Productsup by validating it via JSON formatter or JSONLint - The JSON Validator.

Main data sources

Main data sources contain your product feed with each row representing a product and each column representing a product's attribute.

Each new main data source that you add imports more products to your product feed and extends it vertically.

Maintained Products

Maintained Products, also referred to as administered lines and imported rows, are the average number of processed rows in a site over a month.

To see your number of Maintained Products:

  • Go to Activity from your site's, project's, or account's main menu.


A parser is a component of a compiler or an interpreter. To help compilers and interpreters translate human-readable code into a machine-readable format, a parser decomposes the input code and converts it into a transparent structure. Such a structure usually constitutes a parse tree or an abstract syntax tree. The input code is usually a linear text similar to tokens, interactive commands, or program instructions.

To break up the linear text, a parser follows a set of rules called grammar and performs lexical, syntactic, and semantic analysis of the input. The first two analysis stages check the technical correctness of the output code. The last stage makes sure that the parsed output has the same meaning as the input.

Product Identifier

A Product Identifier is an attribute or a set of attributes you choose as unique identifiers for your products while setting up your data imports in Productsup. A Product Identifier can be, for example, an SKU, a GTIN, or a combination of the two.

To set up a Product Identifier:

  1. Go to Data Sources from your site's main menu and select the Settings tab.

  2. In the ID Column drop-down list, open the list of Product Identifiers and choose one at least.



A run is a complete process of importing product data into Productsup and exporting it to the chosen channels. You can select the Run button in the top-right corner of any site page to update all the data including import and export:

  • Importing your data in Data Sources

  • Mapping and optimizing product data using rule boxes in Dataflow and Data View

  • Optimizing and restructuring products in Data Services

  • Exporting product feeds to each channel in Exports

To understand the difference between Run vs Import vs Export, see Import (button) and Export (button) in this table.

System columns

A system column is an attribute in Data View and Dataflow that has three underscores preceding the attribute's name, for example, ___id. System columns do not appear in any export feeds. The platform uses them internally.

You can create a system column by adding three underscores ___ at the beginning of an attribute's name.

Warning connections

A warning connection is a connection between two stages in Dataflow highlighted in red.

You can see a warning connection whenever an attribute in the intermediate stage has an active connection to an attribute in the import stage, but the connected import attribute has disappeared from the import feed. You can also see a warning connection if a rule box applied to this connection is missing the required column input.


XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) describes how to display and render an XML document. Although XSL uses a different syntax, it is compatible with CSS and shares functionality with it.

XSL can also refer to XSLT (XSL Transformations). Although XSLT originally served as a language for performing complex styling operations, now XSLT mainly functions as a general-purpose XML processing language and is more widespread than XSL.