IDXManager IDX FTP Data Import
Real Esate House

IDXManager | What does this add-on do?

The IDXManager™ add-on provides a web site developer with a configurable database import tool that can be configured to retrieve, unzip, and import delimited listing data and .jpg listing photo files from compatible MLS IDX FTP repositories into Open-Realty®'s listing database. The import process can be optionally automated using CRON (if available). The add-on can automatically assign listings to the individual listing Agents who are installed into Open-Realty®. The add-on automatically removes listings and photos as they expire from the MLS, and also provides some common (optional) IDX rules compliance features to Open-Realty via the use of custom template tags.

IDXManager | What doesn't this add-on do?

The IDXManager™ add-on is not a standalone application, it must be used exclusively in combination with Open-Realty® v2.1.4 or higher. The add-on does not alter or modify the MLS's IDX listing data, it imports all listing information exactly as it exists within the raw listing data files provided by the MLS. The add-on consumes server resources only when actually performing import processes and does not affect or alter Open-Realty®'s functionality in any way.

IDXManager | What do I have to do to get it working?

You must have access (login and password) to a compatible IDX FTP repository, and have in your possession copies of the IDX developer's documentation, which is a legend or list detailing exactly how the raw listing data is arranged, what the data field names are for each property class, and how large each data field is. The MLS or the MLS's software vendor will have the developer's documentation, and may call this documentation 'field layout reports' or something else entirely.

Using the MLS's IDX documentation, the IDXManager™ add-on must be configured. Configuration is accomplished via 2 administration areas within Open-Realty®'s administration control panel once the add-on is installed. You will need to enter the Broker or Real Estate office's IDX FTP login information into the add-on's IDX server configuration menu, and select a MLS software vendor type such as FNIS, Rapattoni, SEI or etc.

You must determine and then select how the raw IDX listing data is formatted and delimited, and provide the names/locations of the source IDX data and photo archive files.

You must create one or more IDX property classes from the add-on's class management module and then enter all of the IDX data field names and field-lengths (from the documentation the MLS provided) into the IDXManager's configuration forms for each IDX property class file you intend to import.

For any Agents that are setup in Open-Realty® that also have listings in the IDX, you will need to obtain and update each Agent's unique Listing Agent ID within Open-Realty's <Edit Users> menu. The add-on uses this unique identifier for matching IDX listings to Agents automatically during an import.

Once you are finished and have tested importing everything manually, you can optionally automate the regular update process using CRON, if available.

IDXManager | Why is the IDXManager + Open-Realty® a superior solution?

1) You are in control of just about everything.
All listing data and the corresponding listing photos reside physically within Open-Realty® wherever the web site running it is hosted. Most IDX "services" or "solutions" offered by IDX "vendors" require that all the IDX listing data and photos be physically located on their servers, and everything associated with the presentation of listing information to site visitors is completely under their control.
When a vendor is in control of everything, that means it is not possible to change or affect things like:
  • The listing fields that can be used for searches.
  • The listing information your site visitors see.
  • How search results and listing information are arranged on a page.
  • The colors and style of the page layout or page design.
  • Search engine optimization
Open-Realty® offers unparalleled control over these items and all aspects of your MLS's IDX listing data when used in combination with the IDXManager™ add-on.
2) No irritating HTML frames.
Most IDX solutions available today provided by IDX "vendors" use HTML frames (iframes) which must be included on a web page by linking to a remote 3rd party server. When using a framed IDX solution, a web site becomes dependent on the vendor's remote server, and the site can become extremely slow, broken, or even more often frozen whenever there is a problem with the remote server, or a network problem occurs somewhere between your server and the vendor's remote server. Using 3rd party framed IDX solutions can actualy discourage site visitors. There are better IDX solutions available that don't use HTML frames, but these vendors also require that you host your web site with them, and use their closed proprietary technology. Most if not all vendors will not allow you to make any direct modifications to their "canned" design layouts. In any case, framed or not, any site-captured leads that are generated directly from a listing are going to be stored, handled, and routed via 3rd parties.
The MLS will also have a maximum limit on the number of photos that they include with each listing they provide via IDX. It is not unusual sometimes for a MLS to only provide 1 photo per listing. Open-Realty® allows the addition of an unlimited number of photos to any of its listings, which can really make one office or Agent's listings stand out over another competing firm.
3) Better search engine ranking and placement potential.
Since Open-Realty® does not use HTML frames, all listing information and photos imported by the IDXmanager add-on will physically exist on your web site. Search engine spiders will be able to traverse all listing pages, and there will be literally hundreds if not tens of thousands of pages of spiderable content. Search engine spiders will not enter an HTML frame (or IFRAME), nor will they count any HTML framed content toward a web site's page ranking. Framed HTML content and framed solutions should only be used by any web site owner or developer as a last resort. Simply put, using framed content does not add any search engine ranking benefit to a web site, it is impossible to track what a site visitor is doing when they are using framed content, and this all becomes a giant disadvantage just as soon as there are competing offices in the same real estate market that have web sites that do not use framed content.
4) Flexibility.
You can change Open-Realty® to look or work however you want, and even create your own additional display and reporting features.
Unlike "one-off" or "homegrown" IDX solutions that must be hard coded specifically for one MLS or work with only one MLS software vendor, the IDXManager™ add-on for Open-Realty® was designed to be easily configured for various IDX formats using a friendly form-based interface within Open-Realty's administration control panel. Like a Swiss army knife for importing IDX information, the IDXManager™ add-on has the built-in tools designed to work with a variety of different IDX data formats and file delivery methods. Using the optional developer's interface, completely custom file retrieval methods, and data manipulation can be accomplished so that even stubborn or otherwise unusable IDX repositories can be displayed successfully. Should the MLS ever change the vendor they use to provide their IDX information, it is very likely that you can still continue to use the IDXManager™ after making a few adjustments via its online interface. If your client's office belongs to more than one MLS (and that MLS also uses a compatible IDX format) you can import listings from multiple IDX repositories into Open-Realty® with the IDXManager add-on.*
*additional one time charges apply for each additional IDX repository that the add-on must connect to..
5) Value.
Open-Realty® is FREE, and you only have to pay for the IDXManager™ add-on once for a site, there are no recurring monthly fees. If you are a developer already experienced with building sites using Open-Realty® you can probably install and configure the IDXManager™ add-on yourself, if not, professional installation and configuration of the add-on for your client's IDX can be purchased at a reasonable cost.
Open-Realty® and the IDXManager™ add-on give you unparalleled control, do not use HTML frames, and can be hosted anywhere compatible web hosting is available. Savvy web site developers can leverage this powerful combination to create informative and lucrative customer-oriented Real Estate web sites that rival completely custom solutions costing $20,000.00 or more.
6) Regular and ongoing development
The heart of the IDXManager™ add-on for Open-Realty® was derived directly from a proven commercial IDX solution created by PIV, Inc. that has been in extensive use all over the U.S. since 2001. Development and refinements are ongoing, as we add support for more new IDX formats to the add-on's toolkit.
Open-Realty® is the most powerful and most widely used free Real Estate web site application in existence, and is used daily by thousands of web sites in countries all over the World. Open-Realty's free support forums have well over 10000 members who share advice, source code, and have been helping each other as an online community since 2003. The ongoing development of Open-Realty® spans 7 years, and new versions and features are released regularly.