What is FeedBox and how does it work?

What is FeedBox?

FeedBox allows you to upload Assets and Master Data CSVs directly to your Shotfarm account via 3rd party desktop file transfer applications that support AWS (Amazon Web Services) S3 storage connections without logging into your Shotfarm account. If you'd like to integrate FeedBox directly with your corporate application(s) you can use the AWS REST API. Watch a video of a user activating FeedBox and uploading files via a file transfer application at the bottom of this article.

Philosophy of FeedBox

Shotfarm is a cloud-based, self-service platform with a focus on ease of use for the transfer of product content. "Integration" is generally a bad word for our customers as they can get up and running the same day they create their accounts by dragging and dropping data and files into their account. They don't need their technical teams to "integrate" and we don't offer an external Shotfarm API with associated integration services. We use the Amazon Web Services infrastructure, so in the case of FeedBox, our philosophy is to expose the standard AWS S3 storage buckets to customers that want to automate pushing files to their account. FeedBox simply generates unique credentials for your account which allows access to the buckets (folders) that store your files and data. Then you choose how you would like to interface with these buckets. The two ways to use FeedBox are 3rd party file transfer apps (we recommend some that we've tested on our FeedBox page) or use the AWS API. Shotfarm does not provide support or integration services for 3rd party applications and the AWS REST API. 

How do I get FeedBox activated for my account?

FeedBox is included with subscriptions of a 250GB storage package and greater. Go to the Plugin Store under the "Do More" menu to upgrade your storage package. Once you are upgraded, FeedBox will become active in your account, the FeedBox tab is located in your “Account > Manage Settings” section.

feedbox-page.png

How does FeedBox work?

  1. Start by selecting a desktop application for PC or Mac from our suggestions on the FeedBox page, then download and install it on your computer.
  2. Then click the button on the FeedBox page to generate your private Access Keys. Enter your FeedBox credentials (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) and the Path to connect to your private storage location. Once connected you will see "media" (Assets), "manifests" (Data), "pages" (HTML) and if you've already downloaded LightBoxes, the "export" (downloads) folders.
  3. Assets: You can add, replace or delete assets in the Media folder and they will show up in your Assets page (Gallery) within Shotfarm once the upload is complete and the preview images have been created. Note, if you have deleted files in the past, copies of them are still in your "media" folder but they will not be visible on your Assets page (as a user deleted them in the past without using FeedBox).
  4. Data: FeedBox is only used to replace or "swap" existing Master data CSVs. So before you can start using FeedBox to manage your product data you must have a Master CSV uploaded, mapped and active within your account. Once you are ready with a new Master CSV, you can use FeedBox to replace your complete dataset. Drag and drop (upload) a Data CSV named exactly the same file name as your existing Master CSV onto the "manifests" folder. Your file transfer application will ask if you want to replace the existing CSV, go ahead and accept the replacement and your new Data CSV will upload and display on your Shotfarm account "Data" page. You must upload an identically named CSV. Our System will automatically swap out the old CSV with the new one and activate it as long as A) it is named exactly the same B) your Core Field mapping remains the same.
  5. Advanced users can automate their workflow by integrating with the AWS REST API. For uploading objects, the SDK provides a higher level of abstraction by providing the TransferUtility class. The high-level API is a simpler API, where in just a few lines of code you can upload files to Amazon S3.Here are some links to AWS documentation to get you started:
  • What is Amazon Web Services S3: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/Welcome.html
  • Using the AWS SDK for .NET (and PHP, Java, Ruby, Python): http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/UsingTheMPDotNetAPI.html#TestingDotNetApiSamples
  • How to post a file to AWS S3: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/UsingTheMPDotNetAPI.html#TestingDotNetApiSamples

Shotfarm does not provide support or integration services for 3rd party applications and the AWS REST API.

Watch a video of a user activating FeedBox and uploading files via a file transfer application:

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