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Planning & Creation of Characteristics and Attribute Collections in Magento 2 • Author: Cao Quang, Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:10 am

What is an feature and attribute collection, and what exactly are they for?

In one of our past articles, we covered the process of product creation in Magento 2. Choosing the feature set is one of the first steps in the process of creating a product, so it would maximize sense to find out about attributes and feature sets, as well as how to create and configure them in Magento 2. Let's have a closer look.

In order to understand the idea of an attribute and an feature collection, let's use a good example: a handbag. A carrier can be defined by a big range of characteristics such as: color, materials, weight, size, etc. All of these characteristics come up with describe an feature set (quite virtually a couple of characteristics) and each of them individually can be an attribute (or individual attribute) of the product.

Attributes generally speaking help a few purposes: they could be used as search variables and conditions for layered navigation (aka faceted filter systems), they can play a part in product comparison studies to help a customer distinguish one from another, and they can help determine products during times of campaigns.

Our product :
By default, Magento has a list of system qualities (such as price, weight, size etc.) that you can use for your products, but if you want more properties to describe and filter products in your catalog, you can create as many attributes as you need. Overall, this helps your customer contain the best experience possible when shopping at your store.

Planning Attributes and Feature Sets

Once the attribute set for a specific product has been assigned, you won't have the ability to change it. The only path out: create the same product but with another feature set and remove the previous (duplicated) product. That's why, it is so important to take into account what features and attribute pieces you'll want to assign your products ahead of time, before you start adding products.

Our product: Magebay Marketplace
To create the merchandise "bag", you most likely will never have to create a particular attribute set merely to do so. You will find enough capabilities in the Magento default feature set (color, price, country of manufacture, description, gallery, price, sku, awareness, weight etc.) that should describe all the merchandise attributes you would need to properly list this product. But, in the event you do need a little something extra (something like material, pattern etc.), it might be an improved idea to make a completely new attribute place that is more customized to your unique product needs.

While planning the feature established for your product, it's also advisable to take into account various other basic criteria:

Should your site sells various kinds goods and each type has dissimilarities in parameters, it makes the most sense for every type to obtain its own attribute set. This way, each product can be best represented on your store as is feasible.
Become familiar with and become acquainted with the default attributes, this could help you save lots of time and energy over time if each product type doesn't have to have it's own custom template.
When creating characteristics, it's important to select the right attribute type from the drop down, to make your daily life easier throughout the rest of the process (text, dropdown).
Text features do not impact split navigation or configurable products so these values must come from a dropdown if you would like those capabilities to be viewed.
The fewer variety of attributes created, the smaller the repository will maintain the end, which does mean the site will run faster.
Separate features into tabs and create split sections if required. This helps increase the task of content managers.
Ways of adding traits in Magento 2

Magento 2 allows you to add product traits in two distinctive ways. Let's take a closer look at our first option here:

1. Creating a custom attribute.

Creating an attribute in Magento 2 consists of the following steps:

1. Go to Stores and select “Product” in the admin panel

2. Then select “Add New Attribute”

3. Choose some attribute properties:

– Default Label: The label that identifies the attribute during data entry. For example, “Country of Manufacturer”, “Weight” etc.

– Catalog Input Type for Store Owner: Determines the data type and input control that is used to manage the product from the store Admin. For example, text, multi-select etc.

– Values Required: A required value needs to be entered in this field before the record can be saved. Set Values Required to “Yes.” (Options include Yes and No)

4. Choose advanced attribute properties if needed (Attribute Code, Scope, Default Value etc.)

5. Choose storefront properties

6. Save Attribute

Now that we’ve created the necessary attributes that will be added to the attribute set, we just need to highlight the products that this will be applied to. We can do that next, in the following steps:

Go to Stores and select Attribute Set
Open the necessary Attribute Set

3. Transfer your newly created attribute from ‘Unassigned Attributes’ column to ‘Groups’

4. Click ‘SAVE’ and you’re good to go.

In addition to creating custom attributes for your more unique and specific products, we can also make attribute lists from pre-existing attributes (or characteristics). Let’s take a closer look at how we can do that.

2. Choosing from the list of existing Attributes.

Note: The following steps are not completely functional at the time of publication of this article. We’re going to walk through the process anyway, as everything should go as planned in future releases. However, if you don’t want to wait for this feature to become functionally available, you can always reach out to one of our Magento developers and they’ll gladly assist you in fixing this feature.

Attributes can be selected and modified while actively working on a product, and in the following example, we’ll see how to add any attribute to a product from the list of existing options.

Step 1: Open the product in the admin panel

Step 2: Click ‘Add Attribute’

Step 3: Choose an attribute from the list and select ‘Add Selected’

Step 4: Save the product

Attribute Sets

As we already mentioned, choosing the attribute set is one of the very first steps when creating a product and can also be used as a template for the product record. If you sell products that require specific types of information, such as cameras, it might be better to create a dedicated Attribute set that includes the specific attributes that are needed to describe each product (camera, watch, shoe, etc).

Steps for creating an Attribute set:

1. From the Admin sidebar, select Stores, then under Attributes, select Attribute Set.

2. Click ‘Add New Set’ and then do the following:

a. Enter a Name for the Attribute set (the name is completely up to you, as this is the part where you’re customizing your own Attribute set)

b. Set “Based On” to an existing Attribute set to be used as a template.

c. Click Save.

New Attribute Set

The next page will then display the following information:

The left column shows the name of the Attribute set we’ve just created. The name is for internal reference, and can be changed at any time as needed.
The center of the page lists the current selection of attribute groups.
The right column lists the selection of attributes that are currently not assigned to the Attribute set.
To add a new attribute to the set, click and drag the attribute from the “Unassigned Attributes” list to the appropriate folder in the Groups column.
When complete, select Save.
To create a new attribute group:

1. In the Groups column, select the attribute set and click Add New.

2. Enter a Name for the new group (again, completely up to you as this is fully customizable) and click OK.

3. Do either of the following:

Drag Unassigned Attributes to the new group.
Drag attributes from any other group, to the new one.
The new group you’ve just created now becomes a section of attributes that can be applied to any product that fits the overall category of this Attribute Set. After just a few simple clicks, we’ve created a custom template for our store products that help increase visibility to our customers.

As usual, if any of this information seems a bit too intense or complicated, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Magento developers, or one of your project managers for more help and/or clarification. We’re here to make things easier, so don’t settle for something that isn’t working 100% for you and your store.


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