Downloading Title and Issue data from the Web

You can now download your title and issue information from the largest Comic database on the web - the Grand Comics Database.  If you've dreaded all the typing you'd have to do to enter your collection, well, this is the feature for you.  Read on to see how it works.

You bring up the Web Download window by clicking the Web button on the Title Maintenance window.

Click here for a write up of tips for downloading data to make it as efficient as possible.   

    Retrieving Title Data

Web Window Caption

The caption will tell you for what ROW title we are searching

Web Title

This displays the title as it appears on the Grand Comics Database web site

Web Title Id

This is the Grand Comics Database title ID. This has no real meaning other than a link to the title on the GCD web site. If this field is filled in, then the link has already been made.

Url currently being accessed

As ROW looks for GCD information, it has to access various GCD websites. This gives you the Url of the web page currently being accessed.

If you wish to take a look at the page itself, copy this Url into Internet Explorer, and take a look.

Remove Web Link

Click this button if you have linked to the wrong title.  This will remove the link from the ROW title to the GCD title.

Search for matching titles

Click the Search button to have ROW display all the GCD titles that match the keywords listed to the right.

The table below will display the matching titles. Select the correct one, and then click the Update ROW Title Data button to make the link, and update any title fields on GCD that are currently blank on ROW.

Title keywords

This displays the keywords associated with the ROW title. When you click the Search button, ROW will search GCD for any titles matching these keywords.

You can change the keywords to improve your search. For example, GCD has titles listed under "spider-man", not "spiderman", so you may have to make some changes

Matching Titles

This table will show all the titles found on GCD that match the keywords listed above.

Select the one that matches the ROW title, and then click the Update ROW Title Data button.

Once a row is selected, click the Show Web Title Details check box to display info about this title. This may be necessary to distinguish titles with similar names (volumes, mini-series vs. regular, etc.)

Show Web Title Details

Turn this box on in order to view additional information in a popup window about the title selected in the table above.  This may be necessary to distinguish titles with similar names (volumes, mini-series vs. regular, etc.)

Update Row Title Data

Once you are sure that you have selected the correct title, click this button to update your ROW data. ROW will update any data on GCD that is blank on your title record.

In addition, ROW will update this ROW title with the GCD title ID. Once that is done, ROW can bypass this linking step whenever it searches for issue data.

Append Comments to your data

Click the Append box if you want ROW to append the GCD title data (add it to the end of your comments). If this is turned off, ROW will update the comments field only if it is blank.

Web Retrieval Status

This portion of the window gives you information about what ROW is currently doing. Sometimes, the download can take a while, or appear to get "stuck" trying to connect to a page. This should give some info about that.

To cancel the process, click the Cancel Update button. That doesn't always cancel the process immediately. It still has to finish the current process first, especially if it's trying to connect to the web page.

Maximum number of retries

If ROW cannot connect to the web page (if GCD is down), ROW will keep trying to connect until the end of time, unless you click the Cancel Update button, or set the maximum number of times you would like it to try by entering that number here.  There's really no reason to set this higher than 3 or so (unlike this example).  If it doesn't connect in 3 tries, GCD is probably down.

Cancel  Update

If you get tired of waiting for the download process to finish, you can click this button. The process will then end as soon as it connects to the next web page.

Sometimes, the actual connection can take a while, so there may be a bit of a delay between clicking the button, and actually getting the process to end.

Close Button

Click this button to close the Web Download window

Help Button

Click here to display a pop-up help window which gives you additional information about the web download window.  You'll actually be displaying this very help

    Retrieving Issue Data

Which Issues to Display

By default, ROW will display all the issue numbers NOT YET UPDATED below. If you wish to see all issues, click the second option - display all issues for this title

Issues to Retrieve

This field contains all the issues that you would like to find on GCD. They must be separated by semi-colons (not commas). That is because commas can actually be part of an issue number (remember the DC 1,000,000 issues?).   You can use ranges as well ("1-10"). A sample would look like the following:

1; 5; 10-20; 25

Please note: If you are planning to pull down a bunch of NEW issues, you are better off using Batch Entry first to enter a shell for these records with other, non-GCD data (condition, source, location, etc.), and then running the web download against those now existing records.  Click here for more complete tips on getting this to work as efficiently as possible.

Retrieve Cover Image

You can retrieve the cover image from GCD by turning on this option, and then selecting the appropriate directory into which the images should be downloaded.

Because of the way this is down, there can be no spaces in the file name, as well as no special characters (?, &, etc.). ROW will test for those.

Click the Image Path button in order for a window to popup which will allow you to select the correct location for these image files.

Overwrite the Following Fields

By default, ROW only updates your data when the field on your info is blank. That way, it does not overlay data you've already entered.,

There are times you may want to overlay existing data. To do that, check the appropriate box. In those cases, ROW will overlay your data with the GCD data whether or not it exists.

Reverse Creative Team Names

When writing Creative Team members, ROW will do it's best to try to reverse the names, so that the last name comes first, followed by a comma, and then the first name, if you turn on this option.

Update ROW Issue Data

Once all your options are set, click the Update ROW Issue Data button to start the process.  ROW will then go through all the issues listed above and try to find each of those on GCD, and then pull down all the requested data.

Click the Cancel Update button if you wish to stop the process.

Url being accessed while retrieving issues

As ROW looks for GCD issue information, it has to access various GCD pages. This gives you the Url of the web page currently being accessed.  If you wish to take a look at the page itself, copy this Url into Internet Explorer, and take a look.

Results of the Download

ROW will tell you which issues were updated, as well as the GCD issue ID in this box.

Error Messages

ROW will tell you whenever it runs into anything that "doesn't exactly fit". These "error" messages are also written to a GCD_DOWNLOAD.LOG file.  Errors that refer to the GCD file layout ("Invalid Creative Team - comma separated") would be useful to give to GCD to help them correct their data.